An extensive review of uses of the moringa tree, written by Dr. Julia Morton, appears in the current issue of Economic Botany. I thought I should bring one paragraph to your attention.
"The root, best known in India and the Far East, is extremely pungent. When the plant is only 60 cm tall, it can be pulled up, its root scraped, ground up and vinegar and salt added to make a popular condiment much like true horseradish. ...The root bark must be completely removed since it contains two alkaloids allied to ephedrine -- benzylamine (moringine), which is not physiologically active, and the toxic moringinine which acts on the sympathetic nerve endings as well as on the cardiac and smooth muscles all over the body. Also present is the potent antibiotic and fungicide, pterygospermin. The alkaloid, spirachin (a nerve paralyzant) has been found in the roots.... Even when free of bark, the condiment, in excess, may be harmful."
I pulled the following facts from Knott's Vegetable Handbook
The following are abstracted from an article in the magazine Baobab, #5, 1990. They in turn learned it from "The Farming World" of BBC World Service.
First a review. You have read in previous issues of EDN and probably elsewhere about this tree's use in insect control. There are many active ingredients, but azadirachtin is perhaps most important. It is found in both leaves and seeds.
Martin L. Price
Issue # 1 was published in December 1981. At the time I thought, "Where will I ever find enough of the right kind of information for another issue." That first issue went to 35 people. This issue goes to about 2,500 people in 110 countries.
The decade began humbly. In addition to myself, ECHO was staffed by my wife Bonnie (as a volunteer), one intern, and sometimes a few faithful volunteers. Every question answered or receipt acknowledged was done personally by myself on a typewriter.