In a paper published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (a peer-reviewed, open access journal) scientists reported that a hot-water extract of the leaves of Moringa Oleifera inhibited the growth of all pancreatic cell lines tested.

Called the “miracle tree”, Moringa Oleifera, Lam. (Moringaceae) is a tree that grows widely in the tropics and subtropics of Asia and Africa. Its leaves have been traditionally consumed by Asian village people, but it is a relatively novel food material in the western world . Moringa Oleifera contains several phytochemicals, some of which are of special interest because of their medicinal properties. Leaves of Moringa Oleifera contain flavonoid pigments, such as kaempferol, rhamnetin, isoquercitrin and kaempferitrin. In addition, these leaves are rich in a group of the glycoside compounds, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates as well as beta-sitosterol, glycerol-1-(9-octadecanoate), 3-O-(6'-O-oleoyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl), and beta-sitosterol-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, all of which have demonstrated anti-cancer properties in-vitro. An in-vitro study using human KB cells as a cancer model has shown that Moringa Oleifera leaf extract exerts strong anti-tumor activity. In addition, different leaf extracts of Moringa Oleifera generate significant cytotoxic effects on human multiple myeloma, ovarian, lung and liver cultured cell lines. A list of these studies can be seen on Pubmed here.


Fewer than 6% patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas live up to five years after diagnosis. Chemotherapy is currently the standard treatment, however, these tumors often develop drug resistance over time. Agents for increasing the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy or reducing the cancer cells’ chemo-resistance to the drugs are required to improve treatment outcome. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), a pro-inflammatory transcription factor, reportedly plays a significant role in the resistance of pancreatic cancer cells to apoptosis-based chemotherapy. This study investigated the effect of aqueous Moringa Oleifera leaf extract on cultured human pancreatic cancer cells - Panc-1, p34, and COLO 357, and whether it can potentiates the effect of cisplatin chemotherapy on these cells.


The effect of Moringa Oleifera leaf extract alone and in combination with cisplatin on the survival of cultured human pancreatic cancer cells was evaluated by XTT-based colorimetric assay. The distribution of Panc-1 cells in the cell cycle following treatment with Moringa leaf extract was evaluated by flow cytometry, and evaluations of protein levels were via immunoblotting. Data of cell survival following combined treatments were analyzed with Calcusyn software.


Moringa Oleifera leaf extract inhibited the growth of all pancreatic cell lines tested. This effect was significant in all cells following exposure to ≥0.75 mg/ml of the extract. Exposure of Panc-1 cells to Moringa leaf extract induced an elevation in the sub-G1 cell population of the cell-cycle, and reduced the expression of p65, p-IkBα and IkBα proteins in crude cell extracts. Lastly, Moringa Oleifera leaf extract synergistically enhanced the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin on Panc-1 cells.


Moringa Oleifera leaf extract inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cells, the cells NF-κB signaling pathway, and increases the efficacy of chemotherapy in human pancreatic cancer cells.