Shigru (Moringa oleifera)

Basonym of Drug

Shigru, scientifically known as Moringa oleifera, is a revered medicinal plant that holds a treasure trove of therapeutic potential.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

Shigru has traversed time with various Sanskrit synonyms, each encapsulating its distinctive attributes. Some primary Sanskrit synonyms of Shigru include:

  1. Shobhanajana: Shobhana means “beautiful” or “pleasing,” and Jana refers to “tree.” This synonym highlights the aesthetic appeal of the Moringa tree.

  2. Mochaka: The term ‘Mochaka’ signifies “reliever” or “alleviator.” This synonym emphasizes the plant’s potential to alleviate various health issues.

  3. Teekshnagandha: It has strong smell.

Regional Name (Vernacular Names)

Shigru’s widespread presence is reflected in its vernacular names across regions. Some regional names for Shigru are:

  • Hindi: Sahijan, Munaga
  • English: Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree
  • Tamil: Murungai
  • Telugu: Mulaga
  • Kannada: Nuggekai
  • Malayalam: Muringa
  • Marathi: Shevaga
  • Bengali: Sajina
  • Gujarati: Saragvo

Scientific Classification of Dravya

Shigru finds its place within the scientific classification as follows:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  • Clade: Angiosperms (Flowering plants)
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Brassicales
  • Family: Moringaceae
  • Genus: Moringa
  • Species: oleifera

Classical Classification of Dravya (Gana)

Charaka Samhita: Katukaskandha, Krimighna, Haritaka varga, Shirovirechanopaga, Svedopaga

Sushruta Samhita: Varunadi, Shirovirechana

Vagbhata: Varunadi

Bhavprakash Nighantu: Guduchyadi Varga

External Morphology

  1. Habit: Shigru is a fast-growing, deciduous tree that can reach a height of up to 10 to 12 meters. It often has a single, upright trunk with a spreading crown of branches and leaves.

2. Bark: The bark of the Shigru tree is generally smooth and gray in young trees, but it becomes rough and fissured as the tree matures. The bark is used in traditional medicine and has various therapeutic applications.

3. Leaves: The leaves of Shigru are one of its most recognizable features. They are small to medium-sized and composed of multiple leaflets. Each leaflet is elliptical or ovate in shape and has a smooth margin. The leaves are bright green and arranged in a pinnate pattern on the branches.

4. Flowers: Shigru produces small, white or cream-colored flowers that are fragrant and appear in clusters known as panicles. The flowers have five petals and are usually about 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter. They have a pleasant aroma and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

5. Fruits: The most distinctive feature of Shigru is its long, slender, cylindrical pods that resemble drumsticks, hence the common name “Drumstick Tree.” These pods can grow to be around 30 to 45 centimeters in length. When mature, the pods turn brown and contain numerous seeds.

6. Seeds: The seeds of Shigru are brown and triangular in shape. They are encased within the mature pods. The seeds have a characteristic wing-like structure that aids in their dispersal by wind.

7. Roots: Shigru has a taproot system, which means it has a primary root that goes deep into the soil and lateral roots that spread out. The roots play a crucial role in anchoring the tree and absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Useful Parts

Various parts of Shigru are harnessed for their medicinal value, including the leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, and even the roots.

Important Phytoconstituents

Shigru’s therapeutic potential is attributed to a diverse array of phytoconstituents. Some key phytoconstituents present in Shigru include:

  1. Vitamins: Shigru is rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and various B vitamins, contributing to its nutritional and antioxidant properties.
  2. Minerals: It is a source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, promoting overall health.
  3. Proteins: Shigru contains protein-rich leaves and seeds, making it a valuable dietary supplement.
  4. Flavonoids: These compounds offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, supporting various health benefits.
  5. Glycosides: Shigru contains glycosides with potential health-enhancing effects.

Rasa Panchaka:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): “Katu” (pungent), “Tikta” (bitter)

Guna (Property): “Ruksha” (dryness), “Laghu” (lightness), “Teekshna” (penetrating)

Veerya (Potency): “Ushna” (hot)

Vipaka (Post-digestive Effect): “Katu” (pungent)

Prabhava: Shigru’s unique efficacy or “Prabhava” lies in its potential to pacify aggravated doshas and support various health concerns.

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Shigru primarily acts on the “Kapha” dosha, helping to balance its excess. It also has a secondary action on “Vata” dosha.

Dhatu: Shigru’s main impact is on the “Rakta” dhatu (blood tissue) due to its bitter taste and blood-purifying properties. It also affects the “Mamsa” dhatu (muscle tissue) and “Meda” dhatu (adipose tissue).

Mala: Shigru’s potential to balance “Kapha” dosha could contribute to maintaining healthy mala (waste products) elimination and supporting digestive functions.

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Shigru is indicated for a variety of health conditions, including but not limited to:

  1. Inflammatory Disorders: Shigru’s potent anti-inflammatory properties make it a valuable asset in managing various inflammatory conditions. It might provide relief from joint pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

  2. Digestive Disturbances: The bitter taste of Shigru contributes to its effectiveness in managing digestive issues. It may alleviate indigestion, improve appetite, and reduce flatulence by promoting healthy digestion.

  3. Skin Disorders: Shigru’s blood-purifying and detoxifying qualities can be beneficial in managing skin problems. It might help alleviate acne, rashes, and itching, promoting clearer and healthier skin.

  4. Respiratory Ailments: Shigru’s ability to balance excess Kapha dosha could help manage respiratory conditions. It may provide relief from cough, congestion, and bronchial discomfort by clearing excess mucus and promoting respiratory health.

  5. Cardiovascular Support: Shigru’s potential to balance doshas and support healthy blood circulation might contribute to overall cardiovascular wellness. It could assist in managing cholesterol levels and maintaining heart health.

  6. Diabetes Management: Shigru’s properties extend to diabetes management. It might help regulate blood sugar levels due to its potential to support metabolism and enhance insulin sensitivity.

  7. Wound Healing: Shigru’s anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties may accelerate the healing process for wounds and injuries. Its application might promote faster recovery and reduce inflammation around the affected area.

  8. Antioxidant Action: The presence of various phytoconstituents in Shigru contributes to its antioxidant properties. This can help combat oxidative stress and protect cells from damage.

  9. Gastrointestinal Disorders: Shigru’s bitterness supports healthy digestion and may aid in managing gastrointestinal disorders like bloating, gas, and discomfort.

  10. Rheumatic Conditions: Shigru’s anti-inflammatory attributes extend to managing rheumatic conditions, including symptoms like joint pain and stiffness.

  11. Anemia Support: Due to its potential influence on the blood tissue, Shigru might be used to manage anemia by supporting healthy blood cell production.

  12. General Immune Support: Shigru’s immune-modulating properties might contribute to overall immune system support, enhancing the body’s defense mechanisms.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Shigru can be administered in various forms, depending on the therapeutic goals. Common methods of Shigru administration include:

  1. Powder: Using Shigru powder in recommended doses. Typically, 1 to 3 grams can be taken per day.

  2. Decoction: Preparing a decoction of Shigru bark or leaves and consuming it in appropriate quantities. Dose: 20-50ml

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Shigru is an essential ingredient in several Ayurvedic formulations. Some notable formulations containing Shigru are:

  1. Kaishore Guggulu: A classical formulation used for managing inflammatory conditions, arthritis, and skin issues.
  2. Shothaghna Lepa: It is useful in swelling, pain and redness.
  3. Shobhanjanadi Lepa: Useful as local application,in Joint pain,swelling.
  4. Aragwadhadi Kashayam: Useful for wound healing.
  5. Kotamchukkadi Thailam: Useful as pain relieving oil.

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

When used in appropriate doses and formulations, Shigru is generally safe for most individuals. However, excessive consumption might lead to:

  1. Digestive Disturbances: Overconsumption could cause digestive discomfort, so it’s advisable to follow recommended doses.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

In case of adverse effects due to Shigru consumption, consider these measures:

  1. Reduce Dosage: If digestive discomfort occurs, decrease the dosage or temporarily discontinue use.

Shodhana (Purification Method):

Shigru generally does not require specific purification methods before use, as it is often used in processed forms such as powders or decoctions.


Shigru, scientifically known as Moringa oleifera, stands as a dynamic example of nature’s healing potential. Its attributes, outlined in its Rasa Panchaka, therapeutic indications, and potential formulations, underscore its importance in Ayurvedic practices. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before incorporating Shigru into your health regimen. This article provides insights into the multifaceted tapestry of Shigru and its potential benefits for overall health and well-being.

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Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any other medical condition.

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