Moringa plant as handwashing soap


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  • asafumaradufu
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  • Born in what is now The United Republic of Tanzania. Attended University of Dublin for BA, MA and McGill University in Montreal for PhD in Chemistry. Lectured at Nairobi University and University of Eastern Africa, Baraton as a Chemistry Professor.
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Re: Senecio lyratipartitus and moringa ?

Thank you Elisabeth! I moved from Kenya and I am now in Tanzania. I am trying to establish my own lab here in Arusha Tanzania. Once I am settled I will surely continue with the Senecio project. I had hoped that I would be funded by BMGF in phase 2 but this did not happen. Hence I'll struggle on my own but this will be difficult especially when we work as team. Thank you for drawing my attention to Moringa.

Sincerely Asafu
Professor Asafu Maradufu
University of Eastern Africa, Baraton
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  • ben
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Re: Moringa plant as handwashing soap

Thanks elizabeth for the other article,

Here is further reading on the subject :

And the interview of Dr Belen Torondel :

I'm always so surprised some researchers keep finding such potential in nature, 2000 years after invention of soap. Imagine the next generation of latrine with a tree nearby which will replace soap. This is great, looking forward to the field tests !

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  • joeturner
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Re: Moringa plant as handwashing soap

Intellectual Property Rights will also be sought

If it turns out that the leaf (or leaves) are useful, I seriously hope that this doesn't happen.

Of course, I appreciate that pharma companies and research outfits invest a lot of money in new technology, but finding new active ingredients from existing cultivated plants seems to me to be taking the biscuit.

I suppose they might be trying to get IPR on the gel or the extraction method or something. But just trying to do that on the active ingredient seems.. wrong.
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Moringa plant as handwashing soap

Dear Ben,

Thanks for your post which makes me more curious about this research and its potential relevance at a larger scale.

One thing I have been wondering about: There was a similar research project funded by the Gates Foundation which was posted here on the forum:

Its title was:
Using Senecio lyratipartitus Extract After Anal Ablution

To what extent is this the same or a similar approach?
Those researchers from University of Eastern Africa in Kenya used Senecio Lyratipartitus (any relation to Morgina? Same family of plants maybe?). And they produced a gel from it (not a powder).

Here is a quote from the mentioned post (link above):

Current State of Affairs:
Our team applied for phase II grant from the foundation, but we have not received a response. We intend to continue the project with hopes that we will get funding. A sample of our hand sanitizer gel was presented and demonstrated to some participants attending the FSM2 conference in Durban. If resources will be available, we intend to produce a large quantity of S. lyratus disinfectant to be tested in a wide population that practices anal ablution after defecation. Time allowing, we will work on purification and isolation of the active ingredients of Senecio lyratus. Intellectual Property Rights will also be sought.

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • ben
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Re: Moringa plant as handwashing soap

Amazing news !!

Unilever is therefore in trouble ... funny enough London School of Tropical Medecine is one of their many partners for the lifebuoy promotion.

Did you find any further link on how to make it, is it simply pure powder of the leaves ?

This is a serious revolution, not only for world's health but as well for the quantity of forests that are cut to grow palm trees all over the world.

Congratulations to these researchers, looking forward to some further reading about it !

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  • secretariat
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Moringa plant as handwashing soap

Plant powder as potential alternative to handsoap?

Information taken from Sanitation Updates :

Lab tests have shown that Moringa oleifera leaf powder has potential effect as a hand washing product, in addition to the known antibacterial benefits against different pathogens.

The powder was tested by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SBI Consulting Ltd in Mozambique: the research was on hands artificially contaminated with E. coli and compared to the effect of non-medicated liquid soap. The results found were that four grams of Moringa oleifera powder had the same effect as non-medicated soap when used for hand washing. Further testing will be done in practical settings.

For an article summary and link from Sanitation Updates, please follow the link:

(Posted by Roslyn)
Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sector Program Water Policy – Innovations for Resilience
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn, Germany
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