Morinda citrifola, commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India), dog dumpling (Barbados), mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia), apatot (Philippines), kumudu (Bali), pace (Java), beach mulberry, cheese fruit, or noni (Hawaii), is a fruit native to Southeast Asia and Australasia. It is green at first, then turns yellow as it ripens, giving off a pungent odor. Weaver ants are attracted to it, which protects the plant from plant-parasitic insects.
It is most commonly sold in juice form. There are different types, such as unsweetened, sweetened, diluted with grape or other berry juices, or even noni powder mixed with water or juice. The best kind would be unsweetened, with pulp. Additives such as sweeteners and preservatives will cancel out the effects it has on your body, making it redundant; the pulp contains the most nutrients. Noni has a bad reputation of being a spam product, from ads saying that it is a cure-all. This is not true, and most of the products on the market are indeed hurting more than helping.
Nevertheless, noni may be what you are looking for to help alleviate pain or boost your immune system. Here are the 10 most important benefits this fruit has in detail.
1. Analgesic – Noni has the nicknames of “The Tree For Headaches” or “The Painkiller Tree”. Studies have shown that noni reduced pain comparable to the drugs tramadol and hydrocortisone, making it effective for arthritic and other joint pains.
2. Immune system booster – Noni activates macrophages and strengthens the immune system, which then produces more lymphocytes. It also contains antibacterial agents that fight infectious bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
3. Antidepressant/sedative – Noni stimulates seratonin and melatonin, two very important hormones. Seratonin affects mood, emotions, and sleep; imbalance in levels of serotonin may contribute to depression. Melatonin regulates the Circadian rhythm, which helps you sleep; keeping this regular will help you get a good night’s rest, also improving your mood.
4. Skincare/hair – Noni’s properties are useful on skin and scalp conditions, such as eczema and ringworm; also rubbed on scalp for lustrous hair; and will keep your skin young. Just rub some juice on affected skin/scalp, leave on for 15 minutes, rinse off. Ingestion of juice may help your nails to grow stronger.
5. Anti-tumor/anti-cancer – Noni stimulates the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an extremely useful substance, one that is at the base of many of noni’s benefits. In this case, it reduces tumor growth and helps your body fight against the cancerous replication of cells. It also contains an immunomodulatory polysaccharide rich substance known as noni-ppt that further fights cancer. The immune boosting properties I mentioned in an above section are also a great help. One more thing that’s important are the amount of phytochemicals in noni that fight cancer. Phytochemicals are found in vegetables and herbs, if eaten regularly will build up preventive amounts. In the case of cancer already being present, noni and other plants with high amonts will slow, stop, or totally reverse the cancer process.
6. Hypertension – Noni is high in phytonutrients, selenium, and vitamin C, which fights free radical damage on blood vessel walls; scopoletin, a compound that may lower blood pressure; it is alkaline, which keeps bodily fluids from becoming too acidic, therefore hurting free radicals. It also has proxeronine, which is needed for the body to produce xeronine. Xeronine helps coordinate the cells to work harmonious, lowering stress and in turn, blood pressure. Also has the amino acid, tryptophan. When tryptophan enters the blood stream and goes to cells, it helps produce other substances that are important, such as even more seratonin, which is great for lowering blood pressure by way of its relaxing effect.
7. Cholesterol – Noni prevents the absorption of LDL cholesterol, thus reducing plaque in arteries, keeping you healthy and alive longer.
8. Memory – Noni, as mentioned before, prevents absorption of cholesterol by way of its large amount of phytosterols. This directly helps your brain stay healthier, and plaque does not build up in arteries feeding the brain, keeping it properly oxygenated.
9. Irritable Bowel Syndrome/constipation – Noni is high in soluble fiber, which helps ease the strain on your intestines and softens stool. Also has necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your intestines healthy.
Antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral – Noni has properties to fight infections comparable to that of prescription drugs. It contains anthraquinones, scopoletin, and terpenes, among others all work together to fight diseases.