Health Benefits of Malunggay (Ben Oil Tree)

Malunggay, also known as Ben Oil Tree, has the following uses according to Bureau of Plant Industry:

a. Malungai is popularly known by them to be of use, particularly the young leaves, as a galactagogoue (promotes lactation). Father de Sta. Maria tells us that a decoction of the roots is used to cleanse sores and ulcers. Guerrero says that the bark is used as a rubefacient remedy. It is said that the roots of this tree, if chewed and applied to the bite of a snake, will prevent the poison from spreading. A decoction of the roots is considered antiscorbutic and is also given to delirious patients.


b. Nadkarni states that the leaves as a poultice are useful in reducing glandular swellings. The leaves are said to have purgative properties. Eating of the leaves is also recommended in gonorrhea on account of their diuretic action.

c. The roots have a taste somewhat like that of horse-radish, and in India are eaten by Europeans as a substitute for the latter. The fresh root is regarded as an acrid, pungent remedy, which is stimulant and diuretic.

d. In India and Indo-China the roots are regarded as antiscorbutic and when pounded are considered an effective poultice for inflammatory swellings. The root is rubefacient being applied externally in the form of a plaster as a counterirritant. The juice of the root, with milk is also useful as a decoction in hiccoughs, asthma, gout, lumbago, rheumatism, enlarged spleen or liver, internal and deep-seated inflammations, and calculous affections. A decoction or infusion of the root is an effective gargle. A decoction of the root is used in Nicaragua for dropsy. Kirtikar cites Rheede, who says that the root causes abortion.

e. Kamel reports that the bark is used as a rubefacient and vesicant. It is a popular abortifacient in India according to Kirtikar, Kirtikar and Basu and Waddel, and is regarded as antiscorbutic. A decoction of the root-bark is used as a fomentation to relieve spasm, and is considered useful in calculous affections.

f. The gum, mixed with sesame oil, is recommend to be poured into the ears for the relief of otalgia.  The gum is also given for intestinal complaints in Java.

g.The flowers are used in India for catarrh, with or in lieu of young leaves, or young pods.

h. The Ben oil from the seeds is said to be use foe salads and culinary purposes, and is a good illuminant. According to the bulletin of the Imperial Institute, the oil is particularly valuable for ointments since it can be kept for almost any length of time without undergoing oxidation. This property together with the absence of color, smell and taste, renders it peculiarly adapted for use in the “enfleurage” process of extracting perfumes. Dey, Nadkarni and Sanyal and Ghose say that the oil is used as an external application for rheumatism. Nadkarni states that the essential oil from the root is used externally as a rubefacient.

4 Replies to “Health Benefits of Malunggay (Ben Oil Tree)”

  1. Thanks for the useful info.
    For cancer patient, which part of the plant and how should this be taken? I have heard that it us v helpful in treating and preventing from spreading cancers.
    Thank you .

  2. Thank you for these very valuable dietic information. It has helped me to choose foods with medicinal benefits. NjengaKIMANI

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