NONI
Names and History

Noni is the Hawaian name of the plant Morinda Citrifolia of the genus Morinda of the family Rubiaceae. In India it is the Indian Mulberry, in Malaysia it is Mengkudo, in Vietnam it is Grand Morinda, in Australia it is Cheesefruit, in Africa it is Bumbo, in the Caribbean islands it is Painkiller Tree, in Guam it is Lada, in Tahiti and Raratonga it is Nono, etc.

As it is the Hawaiian noni that is used for the products that our parent company produce and that we market, a word on the Hawaiian noni would not be out of place.

Out of the 80 existing species of Morinda genus, only 20 are of any economic worth. Of these twenty, with its conspicuous features, multiple uses, supreme ability to distribute itself on sea coasts without human aid and its great medicinal efficacy, the Hawaiian noni is considered the ‘Queen of the Morinda Genus’.

It is widely accepted that noni originated in South East Asia and reached the eastern region of Polynesia. Polynesian settlers must have carried noni from their homeland to Hawaii about 1500 years ago. They must have taken the plant with them for its various uses – its bark for a red dye, its roots for a yellow dye, its fruit as food and its leaves, fruits and bark as powerful medicines for several diseases and health problems.

Description

Hawaiian Noni is a small, blossoming shrub with rounded branches and dark, glossy evergreen leaves that measure approximately a foot in length. Bunches of small white flowers sprout at different times and evolve into bumpy egg-shaped fruits that are a few inches long and etched with circular indentations. The yellowish white skin of the fruit, which is waxy and opaque, becomes more translucent as it ripens and the tasteless, whitish pulp turns into a smelly semi-liquid that seeps through the skin of the fruit.

Chemical Constituents

The leaf contains anthraquinones, glycosides, phenolic compounds, resins, B-sitosterol and ursolic acid, besides several amino acids like alanine, arginine, aspartic acids, cysteine, systine, glycine, glutamic acid, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, setine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine.

The flower contains acacetin, glucophyranoside, dimethyl apigenin, galactophyranoside. dimethoxy methyl anthroquinone, rhamnosyl glucophyranoside, etc and the fruit contains antioxidants, alizarin, anthraquinones. aucubin, caprolic and caprylic acids, proxeronine, damnacanthol, essential oils, B-D-glucopyranose pentaacetate, asperuloside tetra acetate, glucose and ascorbic acid.

The root and root bark contain carbonate, rubicholric acid, chrysophanol, magnesium, sodium, morinadadiol, resins, sterols, chlorubin, soranjidol, phosphate, ferric iron, glycosides, morindine and rubiadine.

Pharmacological observations

Compounds found in the fruit portion exhibit antimicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, shigella paradysenteriae and Staphylacoccus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure. Proxeronine, an alkaloid constituent of the fruit, prompts the production of Xeronine in the body, which is thought to be helpful in cancer treatment. Noni influences almost all body systems including circulatory, digestive, respiratory, integumentary, endocrine, immune-related, nervous and skeletal.

Traditional uses

  • Juice made from pounding noni leaves, roots and fruit, mixed with water, is used for diarrhea
  • For infant diarrhea, powdered bark with water is given
  • Small pieces of fruit and root are given with water to kill intestinal parasites
  • Poultice of fruit is applied to swollen areas, deep cuts, inflamed joints, etc for immediate relief
  • Noni fruit juice and bark decoctions are used for regulation of menstruation
  • Boiled bark decoctions are used for stomach ailments
  • Pounded fruit with kava and sugarcane is used in the treatment of tuberculosis
  • Leaf infusions are used to treat adult fevers
  • For inflamed gums, a mouth wash consisting of crushed ripe fruit and juice is used
  • Pounded leaf juice is used in adult gingivitis
  • For sore throat, leaves are chewed and the juice swallowed
  • Leaf poultices are used for skin abscesses and boils
  • Leaf macerations are used for swelling anywhere on the body
  • Heated leaves are used in the treatment of arthritic joints and against ringworms
  • Grated bark is used in the treatment of cough
  • Diseased gums are treated with charred unripe fruit with salt.
  • Fresh, crushed leaves are rubbed on the chest of babies for serious chest colds and fever

R & D Efforts

The traditional uses of noni focus mainly on its antibacterial activities, its ability to expel mucus and help in the shrinkage swollen membranes, its use in painful menstruation and gastric ulcers, etc. But modern Research and Development efforts are focused mainly on the anti-cancer, anti-arthritis, immuno-stimulatory, nutritive, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, pain-relieving, skin-healing and drug addiction treatment properties of noni.

Treating Cancer

Noni juice boosts the macrophage and lymphocyte activities to enhance the ability of the immune system to deal with the malignancy of cancerous cells. It also initiates enhanced T-cell activity. Damnacanthol found in noni inhibits the functions of the K-RAS-NRK cells which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies. Xeronine, which noni helps to produce, helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. All these point to the effectiveness of noni as an anti-cancer medicine.

Treating Arthritis

The ability of Hawaiian noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function helps in treatment of arthritic pain in the joints that may be connected with the inability of old people to digest proteins properly with the undigested proteins forming crystal-like deposits in the joints. Besides, the alkaloid compounds in noni have anti-inflammatory action and the antioxidants in noni decreases free radical damage in joint cells.

Enhancing Immunity

Over six types of infectious bacterial strains are controlled or killed by the alkaloid and other compounds found in noni. Damnacanthol in noni can inhibit the early antigen stage of the Epstein - Barr virus. Alkaloids in noni boost phagocytosis, the process in which certain while blood cells called macrophages attack and digest infectious organisms. These prove that noni has immuno-stimulatory and anti-biotic properties.

Reducing Degeneration

During the aging process, free radicals cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. Old people lose the ability to synthesize xeronine and the presence of environmental toxins blocks the production of xeronine. The proxeronine in noni helps in defending the body against these actions and the phytonutrients in noni assist in cell nourishment and protect the cells from free radicals. Noni is, indeed, one of the best antioxidant compounds available.

Boosting Nutrition

The compounds extracted from noni appear to have the ability increase absorption, assimilation and utilisation of vitamins and minerals that the body receives from its regular food intake. The proxeronine in noni helps enhance xeronine levels in the intestines and this xeronine, in turn, helps in the absorption of nutrients, especially amino acids. Besides, noni leaf contains protein in significant amounts and the fruit contains substantial amounts of ascorbic acid. The fruit is considered a tonic in debilitated conditions and has been used by soldiers in World War II for endurance and stamina.

Healing Skin-ailments

One of the most wide-spread traditional uses of noni is as a poultice over cuts, wounds, swellings, abrasions, burns and bruises. As skin is comprised mainly of protein, it responds favourably to the presence of xeronine. The xeronine converts body’s procollangenase system into a specific protease which removes dead tissues from burns quickly and safely.

Stopping Drug Addiction

The proxeronine in noni enhances the level of xeronine in the body and this xeronine increase results in the flooding of the brain with extra xeronine which will reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction normalising brain receptors. As the brain receptors return to normalcy, the physiological dependence on chemicals like nicotine will subside. Anyhow, further research would be necessary in this area.

Soothing Pain

The root of noni has natural sedative properties. The extracts from noni have been proved effective as a pain killer in animal experiments. People with terminal cancer have been administered noni extracts with significant reduction in pain as an immediate effect. More research has to be done in this field further scientifically prove the effectiveness of noni as a pain-killer.

Fighting Diabetes

Hawaiians use various parts of noni to treat blood sugar disorders. Research has to be further conducted in this area, on a scientific basis, about the efficacy of noni as an anti-diabetic medicine and about which part of noni is most effective in this field.

Conclusion

According to eminent scientist Dr. Louis J. Ignarrao, Ph.D., Nobel Prize Winner, the modern life style and related food habits, with too much fats and too little protein in our food, leads to deficiency of nitric oxide which is one of the main reason for most of the diseases like heart ailments, blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, etc. according to. Noni helps to increase the nitric oxide level in the body thus helping in the fight against these diseases.