Moringa Leaf Extract Outperforms Drug for Oral Precancer Lesions

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Lesions lurking in your mouth that can turn cancerous? This ancient medicine from the moringa tree might help banish them better than modern drugs.

A new trial published in the Journal of Alternative Medicine suggests a natural gel from the moringa tree works better than a conventional medication cream for shrinking white mouth lesions that can turn cancerous.


The study compared moringa leaf extract to retinoic acid cream in 72 patients with oral leukoplakia, a condition where thick white patches form on the gums, tongue or inner cheeks from cell damage. These lesions tend to progress to oral cancer without treatment [1]. Oral leukoplakia is actually not a rare condition. According to Wolters Kluwer, a systematic review pooling data from studies with at least 1000 individuals estimated that the prevalence in the general population is between 0.3 and 4.1 percent.


After three months, the moringa gel reduced lesion sizes significantly more than the retinoic acid cream. Remarkably, the plant extract performed on par with the drug despite its gentler safety profile.


Moringa leaf extract contains potent antioxidants called polyphenols that may curb inflammation and free radical damage driving precancerous growths [2]. The extract caused no reported adverse effects in the trial.

"This study showed that M. oleifera mucoadhesive gel (2%) is an effective and safe treatment option for oral leukoplakia patients," concluded lead author Dr. Sulem Ansari of DY Patil University. "The development of chemotherapeutic drugs from M. oleifera for cancer treatment should also be considered."  

As natural medicine solutions like moringa extract edge out conventional options for certain conditions, the hope is that further research will unlock additional plant-based therapies that heal gently and effectively.


Learn more about the potential health benefits of moringa in over 150 conditions here.






[1] Speight PM, Khurram SA, Kujan O. Oral potentially malignant disorders: risk of progression to malignancy. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2018;125(6):612‐627. doi:10.1016/j.oooo.2017.12.011 


[2] Gupta, A., Mahajan, S., & Sharma, R. (2015). Evaluation of therapeutic potential of traditionally consumed Cucumis melo seeds. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 5(5), 337–341.

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