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Drumstick Tree: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh 

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


“As long as we are not living in harmony with nature, we cannot expect ourselves to heal.” Have you ever heard about the miracle tree? The drumstick tree or Moringa is called the miracle tree as every part of it benefits humans and animals. Due to this reason, In Sanskrit, the drumstick tree is called Shobhanjana, meaning auspicious. Other names for the drumstick tree include the horseradish tree (English), Sainjna or Saguna (Hindi) and Akshiva or Haritashaaka (Ayurveda). The scientific name of drumstick tree is Moringa oleifera and it is a member of the Moringaceae family. It is a fast-growing evergreen tree cultivated worldwide from India to Africa and numerous other arid and other tropical countries. The leaves, flowers, seeds and roots of the drumstick trees are edible and are used to prepare a variety of delicious recipes. This “tree of life” has various benefits; let us know more about the uses and benefits of drumstick tree leaves .1 

Nutritional Value of Drumstick tree: 

The leaves of the drumstick tree are packed with the goodness of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, carotenoids, vitamins A and E and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, etc. The phytochemicals in drumstick tree include flavonoids, phenolic compounds, glucosinolates and carotenoids. The nutritional chart of the drumstick plant is given in the table below: 

Nutritional components Value per 100 gram 
Carbohydrates 12.5 g 
Protein 6.7 g 
Fat 1.7 g 
Fibre 0.9 g 
Vitamin E 448 mg 
Calcium 440 mg 
Potassium 259 mg 
Vitamin C 220 mg 
Phosphorus 70 mg 
Magnesium 42 mg 
Vitamin A 1.28 mg 
Iron  0.85 mg 

Table 1: Nutritional value of drumstick tree (leaves) 1 

Based on my observations, I have found that different parts of the drumstick tree, including the leaves, pods, and roots, may possess pain-reducing properties. I recommend considering the use of drumstick as a natural remedy for pain relief.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Drumstick tree: 

Drumstick tree shows numerous scientifically proven properties; some of which are mentioned below: 1 

  • It may have antioxidant properties. 
  • It has properties to reduce inflammation. 
  • It may have properties to reduce blood glucose levels. 
  • It may have the potential to reduce blood pressure levels. 
  • It may have protective properties for the heart.  
  • It may have properties to improve haemoglobin levels. 
  • It may have the potential to halt the abnormal growth of cells. 

Be careful when consuming Moringa leaves! They contain a high concentration of saponins, which can interfere with the absorption of important minerals like zinc and magnesium. It is important to be mindful of this potential risk and monitor your Moringa leaves intake.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

Potential Uses of Drumstick tree for Overall Health: 

Some of the potential benefits of the Drumstick tree are described below: 

Potential use of Drumstick tree in Colorectal cancer  

Cancers of the colon and rectum are the third most lethal cancers affecting both males and females equally. Asmari et al. conducted a review in 2015 stating that Drumstick tree halts the abnormal multiplication of colorectal cells and inhibits the formation and progression of cancer cells. This effect is attributed due to the presence of eugenol, a polyphenol present in drumstick leaves. This indicates that the consumption of drumsticks may help manage colorectal cancers. Also, the presence of carotenoids and flavonoids may help in exerting a protective effect against cancers. However, to claim these results in humans, we need more studies. Additionally, it is advised to consult a physician for the proper management of colorectal cancer and not consider usage of drumstick trees as a remedy for cancers.2 

Potential uses of Drumstick tree in Hypertension 

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition in which blood flows through the arteries at very high pressure. Direk et al. conducted an animal study in 2019 stating drumstick consumption helps in relaxing the arteries and thus helps reduce blood pressure. This states that drumsticks may have the potential to manage hypertension. However, we need more human trials to claim these effects with greater reliability. It is better to take a professional opinion if you suffer from high blood pressure instead of self-medicating.3 

Potential uses of Drumstick tree in Colitis  

Colitis is a condition characterised by inflammation and ulceration in the digestive tract. A review by Mohsen et al. done in 2014 states that drumsticks may have the potential to manage colitis by reducing inflammation and ulcers. This effect is attributed to the presence of polyphenols which exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thus, it may be concluded that drumsticks may have the potential to manage colitis. However, we need more human studies to claim these results with greater reliability. Additionally, it is always advised to consult a physician for the proper management of colitis and not rely on self-medication with the drumstick tree.4 

Potential uses of Drumstick tree as an Antibacterial agent 

Medicinal plants like the drumstick tree are coming into the limelight as antibacterial agents. Abalaka et al. conducted a study in 2012 to test the efficacy of the drumstick trees on different bacteria like E.coli, H.pylori, S.typhi, K.pneumonia, etc. A plant-based chemical called glucosinolate present in the leaves of this tree inhibits the growth of these bacteria; thus drumstick leaves may have the potential to manage bacterial infections caused by the above-mentioned bacteria and help in managing infections like urinary tract infections, typhoid, pneumonia, etc. However, we need more studies to confirm these results in humans. It is recommended to avoid self-medication and consult your physician for the proper management of any bacterial infection.5 

Potential uses of Drumstick tree for Diabetes 

Diabetes (Type I & II) is a metabolic disorder characterised by an increase in blood glucose due to decreased production or resistance of a hormone called insulin which regulates blood glucose. A review conducted by Piyush et al. in 2022 stated that the drumstick tree might have the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. This effect is attributed to polyphenols that inhibit enzymes that break down carbohydrates into simpler sugars and increase blood glucose. Additionally, the antioxidant effect plays an important role in reducing the increased blood glucose. Therefore, the leaves of drumstick tree may have the potential to manage diabetes. However, it is advised not to generalise these results in the management of diabetes. To claim these results and apply them in humans, we need more studies. In addition, you should consult your physician for the proper management of diabetes and not rely on self-medication.1 

I highly recommend incorporating drumstick tree extracts into your diet, as it might be an exceptional source of vitamin A. This essential nutrient has the potential to safeguard your eye health and stave off deficiencies. Including drumsticks in your meals, especially for your children, is a great step towards maintaining optimal vision and promoting eye health.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Other potential uses of Drumstick tree:  

  • Traditionally, leaves of the drumstick tree were used for managing conjunctivitis.1 
  • The fresh leaves of the drumstick tree are used in anaemia as they are rich in iron which may help improve haemoglobin levels.1 
  • Drumstick leaves due to a high nutritional content may help in malnutrition.1 
  • Drumstick leaves may help manage asthma by relaxing respiratory muscles and improving breathing.6  
  • It may help in managing neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.1 
  • It may help in managing obesity and reduce the risk of cardiac diseases associated with excessive weight.7  
  • The presence of carotenoids may help achieve healthy skin.1 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of Drumstick tree in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of drumstick tree on human health.  

How to Use Drumstick tree?  

  • The leaves of the drumstick tree are used in salads or are roasted and stored as dried powder for long-term use.  
  • Drumsticks can be added to soups, curries and cutlets.1 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Side Effects of Drumstick tree: 

A review by George et al. in 2016 stated that drumstick contains high metallic content which can be toxic to humans. Therefore, excessive consumption of drumsticks should be avoided. 

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to drumstick tree, it is advised to discontinue its intake and immediately contact a doctor or your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it. They will be able to guide you appropriately for your symptoms.1 

Also Read: Moringa Powder Benefits: Research-Based Overview of Its Health Advantages

Precautions to take with Drumstick tree: 

Consuming Drumstick tree is okay if taken in moderate amounts. However, general precautions must be followed in the following conditions: 1 

  • The benefits of drumsticks may be lowered if cooked at high temperatures. It is advised to cook them at a normal temperature.  
  • The safety of the use of Drumstick tree in special groups like the elderly, children and pregnant and lactating women is not well-established. Therefore, necessary precautions must be taken. It is always advised to consult a physician if you plan to add them in your diet. 

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

  • Drumstick leaves may interact with your diabetic medicines and cause blood glucose to drop too low. Avoid taking them together.1 
  • Drumstick leaves may interact with your blood pressure-lowering medicines and cause blood pressure to fall too low. It is advised to avoid this combination.3 

However, you must always seek the advice of your Ayurvedic physician about the possible interaction of Drumstick tree with other drugs and follow the prescription thoroughly, as they will know your health condition and other medications you are taking. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is Drumstick tree scientific name? 

The scientific name of the drumstick tree is Moringa oleifera and it is a member of the Moringaceae family.1 

2) Which tree is called the miracle tree? 

The drumstick tree is called the miracle tree.1 

3) What is Drumstick tree in Hindi?  

In Hindi, the drumstick tree is called as Sainjna or Saguna. 

4) Does the Drumstick tree benefit weight loss? 

Yes, intake of the leaves of the Drumstick tree may help in weight loss.7 

5) Does the usage of drumstick tree leaves help in managing jaundice? 

There is no study stating benefits of drumstick leaves to manage jaundice.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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  1. Piyush et al. “Recent Advances in Drumstick (Moringa oleifera) Leaves Bioactive Compounds: Composition, Health Benefits, Bioaccessibility and Dietary Applications.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 11,2 402. 16 Feb. 2022, doi: 10.3390/antiox11020402. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8869219/  
  1. Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman Khazim et al. “Moringa oleifera as an Anti-Cancer Agent against Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines.” PloS one vol. 10,8 e0135814. 19 Aug. 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135814. available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4545797/ 
  1. Aekthammarat, Direk et al. “Moringa oleifera leaf extract lowers high blood pressure by alleviating vascular dysfunction and decreasing oxidative stress in L-NAME hypertensive rats.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology vol. 54 (2019): 9-16. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2018.10.023. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30668387/ 
  1. Mohsen et al. “Anti-inflammatory effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. seeds on acetic acid-induced acute colitis in rats.” Avicenna journal of phytomedicinevol. 4,2 (2014): 127-36. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25050310/ 
  1. Abalaka M.E., Daniyan S.Y., Oyeleke S.B., Adeyemo S.O. The Antibacterial Evaluation of Moringa oleifera Leaf Extracts on Selected Bacterial Pathogens. J. Microbiol. Res. 2012;2:1–4. doi: 10.5923/j.microbiology.20120202.01. available at: http://article.sapub.org/10.5923.j.microbiology.20120202.01.html 
  1. Suresh S., Chhipa A.S., Gupta M., Lalotra S., Sisodia S.S., Baksi R., Nivsarkar M. Phytochemical Analysis and Pharmacological Evaluation of Methanolic Leaf Extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. in Ovalbumin Induced Allergic Asthma. S. Afr. J. Bot. 2020;130:484–493. doi: 10.1016/j.sajb.2020.01.046. available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629919313572?via%3Dihub 
  1. Mabrouki, Lamia et al. “Cardiac Ameliorative Effect of Moringa oleifera Leaf Extract in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Rat Model.” BioMed research international vol. 2020 6583603. 27 Feb. 2020, doi:10.1155/2020/6583603. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7064870/?report=reader 


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