How this all started, with a phone call from a long-lost friend, ended rather abruptly when she grew tired of the topic and moved on to the reason for her call. Which is a story for another time….
However, her questions regarding why the pharmaceutical and medical establishments hadn’t continued forward with development of medications and/or treatments using Moringa oleifera stayed with me. I had assumed that the essential parts of the tree necessary for treating over 300 documented diseases were not easily synthesized in a laboratory, therefore could not be patented. Yes plants themselves can be patented, but not if you didn’t CREATE the plant, and besides this is a whole tree we’re talking about. That’s not possible. And if they couldn’t be patented then there would be no BIG MONEY. We all are aware that BIG MONEY drives the development of new pharmaceuticals. Hence the loss of an incentive for the pharmaceutical and medical community, which work hand in hand (jaded, I know, but I’m learning so much these days about what really motivates progress, and it ain’t altruism.).
This all got me looking into the patent issue and why it died. In one article I read, “Moringa oleifera. The contraints to commericalisation, by J.P. Sutherland, G.K. Folkard, and Y.L. Poirier, which appeared in a journal titled, “Development potential for Moringa products October 29th – November 2nd, 2001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the authors concluded that the cost of determining a market for each product developed had a big impact on the whole thing. The time lapse and money it would take to determine if there were even a market for the products is what put a damper on the whole thing. Then there was the cost of R&D, production, and the patents themselves to bear. Apparently that did it, because no further work was undertaken by the pharmaceutical companies to develop medications which, according to copious sound research studies, would prove efficacious to humans.
These were studies which PROVED that Moringa would be efficacious in a multitude of diseases. Here’s a sample: One study revealed that the leaves extracts of Moringa oleifera lowered blood glucose, heart weight, and body weight in rats “was significant,” and their effect on lowering triglyceride level and serum choleserol levels “very significant.” [italics mine, and BTW the dogs want me to go to bed…] I think that’s a pretty amazing result! It means the leaves of the tree could significantly lower the incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease–the major health problems in the United States.
Another study concluded that the Moringa oleifera could interfere with hormone receptor-related cytokine pathways and …appears to have a tremendous effect on protein signal transduction systems as well. It concludes that there is a significant possibility of anticancer potential, in this study specifically ovarian cancer. That’s from an article published in Medscape General Medicine in 2007. An anticancer potential??? I think that’s pretty worth pursuing!
The dogs are winning, I’m going to bed. Look forward to more….
To Be Continued….
To Your Health!
Annie, RN, MSN