Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD.
Other Common Name:
Morinda, Indian mulberry, Piña de puerco.
Parts of the plant used:
The leaves and, occasionally, the fruit and seeds. The juice is widely marketed as a cure for many ailments in the West, although evidence is scant or lacking with regard to its effectiveness.
How is it used?
Originally, the leaves were applied directly to the skin to treat ulcerations and minor infections. Multilevel marketing companies have proposed that drinking Noni juice can be used against a wide variety of ailments. Unfortunately, none of these claims have been substantiated by clinical evidence in humans. There is no evidence that the juice has been used medicinally to any extent by the Pacific Islanders or in Chinese traditional Medicine. Both the fruit and juice have a disagreeable “cheesy” taste and odor.
What is it used for?
The leaves have also been used to treat gout, tuberculosis and ringworm. The seeds are eaten in order to expel intestinal worms in the Philippines. This plant has also been popular as a source of red, yellow and purple dyes. Most of the commercial Noni or Morinda juice available in the market today contains variable amounts of other fruit juices, due to the fact that Noni juice is considered to be unpalatable.
Safety / Precautions
- Noni juice may contain high amounts of potassium. Patients on low potassium diet should consult with their physician or nutritionist before taking it.
- An abnormally high amount of potassium in the blood may result as a consequence of drinking large amounts of Noni juice or by ingesting it over an extended period of time.
- Patients who have liver or kidney disease should consult with their physician prior to drinking the juice.
- Since most commercial Noni juice also contains moderate to high amounts of other juices which may be high in glucose (such as grape juice, for example), diabetic patients should employ caution.
- Its safety during pregnancy, lactation and in small children has not been studied in depth, so it may be best to avoid it in these instances. Consult with your gynecologist or pediatrician.
Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-medication and self-diagnosis: Always be on the safe side!