The noni plant belongs to the tropical evergreen family. Its scientific name is Morinda citrifolia, but it is commonly called noni fruit, noni juice, Great Morinda, Indian mulberry, canary wood, Meng Koedoe, Mora De La India, Ruibarbo Caribe, and wild pine.
Noni Plant and Fruit
The noni plant can grow up to six meters tall. Its flower is small and creamy white which develops into a fruit that is as big as a potato. The fruit is green when unripe and turns into yellow or white when mature. Inside the fruit are over 100 seeds that can be eaten when roasted. When the fruit is just ripening, it emits a pungent smell that is terrible. Others call it cheese fruit because it resembles the smell of cheese.
The roots, barks, leaves, flowers, roots or rhizomes including the green and ripened fruits are used in traditional medicine by the Polynesians.
- Green fruits are used to cure menstrual cramps, bowel problems, liver disorders and urinary tract infection.
- Liquid tonic from the leaves and barks of noni are used to treat urinary infections and muscular pains.
- Juice from the fruit can treat head lice when applied to the scalp.
- Cuts and broken bones are treated with mashed green noni fruit with salt.
- Facial impurities and skin infections like boils are treated with poultice from ripe noni fruit.
- Noni seed oil applied topically to the skin aids against inflammation, acne and facial moisture.
- Leaves are crushed and steeped as tea and can treat tuberculosis, arthritis, rheumatism. It can also be an anti-aging treatment.
With noni being processed and sold commercially nowadays, people drink noni as a general tonic to many health problems ranging from colds, flu, headaches, sinus infections, menstrual cramps, sprains, injuries, skin infection, poor digestion to chronic disorders like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and arthritis, ulcers including mental depression, senility, and addiction.
Noni Nutritional Properties
Amazingly, there are about 150 nutracueticals, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals in noni juice specifically. Nutracueticals refer to food products that give health and medical benefits, as well as disease prevention and treatment. Phytochemicals are chemical substances that are produced by plants that also give health benefits. No wonder noni is considered by many as a magic drink.
Noni Health Benefits
Here are some health benefits from nutrients found in noni based on research:
- Antioxidants repair skin and avoid damage body due to age-related disorders.
- Anti-inflammatory reduces swelling due to infections or injury.
- Antibacterial strengthens the body against infectious bacteria such as Staphylococcus, E-coli, Salmonella and Sigel. These antibacterial components are Acubin, Alizarin, Asperuloside and Anthraquinone.
- Vitamin C helps fortify the immune system.
- Serotonin prevents moodiness and lowers blood pressure.
- Scopoletin helps dilate the blood vessels; it also has antifungal, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Natural enzymes helps in the proper functioning of the digestive tracts.
- Anthraquinone, Damnacanthal and Selenium destroy cancer cells.
- Beta Sitosterol, Noni-ppt and limonene prevent cancer cell actions.
- Polysaccharides stimulate the white blood cells and build up the immune system.
- Proxeronine and Xeronine help expand the cell membranes for better nutrient absorption.
- Nitric oxide reduces the growth of tumor, inhibits the radical duplication of cancer cells and reduces the risk of diabetic hypertension.
The noni plant has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine. Additional research and clinical trials are currently being conducted to further corroborate and explore noni juice benefits and other potential uses of noni.