Noni: Nature’s Health-Enhancing Fruit

compiled in part from Noni: Nature’s Amazing Healer
by Dr N Solomon, Woodland Books 1998

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Morinda citrifolia is an evergreen plant that has been used by humankind as both food and medicine for millennia. Growing in various parts of the world, including parts of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas, the oldest known reference to the plant as a medicine dates back several thousand years to ancient Sanskrit Ayurvedic medicinal texts in India.
     Known as Noni in Hawaii, the plant was brought to Polynesia from the East by migrating settlers and has been used by the people of Polynesia to treat a wide variety of health disorders for over 2000 years; yet it is only recently that its medically active constituents have been identified and its healing action begun to be explained.
     Researchers at the University of Hawaii and elsewhere have isolated Noni’s active ingredients. Dr Mona Harrison MD, former Assistant Dean of Boston University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer D.C. General Hospital writes: “The modern world of medicine is finally starting to catch up to the knowledge of ancient times. We now have the instrumentation necessary to evaluate what it is about Noni that allows it to cause such dramatic improvement in so many areas of the body. Noni, an ancient remedy, is finally being validated by breakthroughs in modern technology.”1
     Various researchers around the world have looked into Noni’s healing action and beneficial affects on a wide range of con-ditions. Research suggests that Noni’s action includes purifying the blood, stimulating the immune system, regulating cell function, and regeneration of damaged cells.
     Other research has indicated that Noni is antibiotic, anti- inflammatory, anti-congestive and analgesic. It can help to restore and regulate the body’s pH balance, ability to assimilate nutrients, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and endocrine system, particularly pineal, thyroid and thymus action. This may explain why it has been found useful in such a wide variety of cases, being used to treat over 100 medical conditions.
     Dr Neil Solomon MD, PhD, former Presidential Special Advisor on Health Matters and Maryland’s First Secretary of Health, writes: “Noni is taking its place at the forefront of complementary medicine because of its successful adjunctive treatment of ailments that vary from cancer to arthritis, from high blood pressure to weight control. Study after study has yielded positive results regarding the efficacy of Noni in treating many of the most common ailments in modern times.”2
     Evidence from doctors and patients alike testifies to some of Noni’s remarkable effects: 79% of over 8000 Noni users surveyed reported an increase in general well-being and an improvement in one or more of their health problems. From diabetes to depression, migraine to varicose veins, Noni has been found by thousands of people around the world to be a valuable nutritional supplement.
     Dr Bryant Bloss, an Orthopaedic Surgeon from Indiana, writes “Noni took care of my back pain and pain in my left shoulder. It has also increased my energy level. Noni has been very effective for the majority of my patients. I offer it as a food supplement and most of them choose to try it and then continue using it. Noni has improved not only my life, but the lives of many of my patients.”3
     Allan Bailey, Pharmacist and Master Herbalist writes, “On a daily basis I see people who have benefited from Noni. From experiences that people have shared, I feel Noni has universal applications. Noni should be included as a part of everybody’s daily nutrition because it helps us absorb essential nutrients from our diets and supplements. Noni is the missing piece of the health puzzle.”4
     Doctors and people who have taken Noni have reported:


•    Breathing
•    Mental clarity
•    Muscle development 
•    Sexual enjoyment
•    Digestion
•    Energy levels  
•    Feeling of well-being 
•    Sleep 

Relief of:

•    Pain
•    Depression
•    Stress
 •    Fatigue
 •    Allergy
 •    Obesity
 •    Senility
 •    Smoking
 •    Drug addiction

Most people report an increase in energy levels and general well-being after only a few weeks of taking Noni. Out of 3,273 people surveyed 71% reported reduced stress levels. 88% of 1,545 people questioned reported enhanced sexual enjoyment. In one survey 69% of people who had tried it continued to take it and refused to give it up!5
     So how could one plant help so many people with so many diverse health problems? Dr Solomon set out to explore this question and writes: “It appears that Noni is a true adaptogen – it enhances the body’s healing system regardless of the medical treatment a patient is receiving. As an adaptogen, Noni brings the body into more normal balance (i.e. homeostasis). If blood pressure or blood sugar are too high Noni will help lower them. If too low Noni helps raise them. Noni is teeming with compounds that have been scientifically proven to have a great deal of efficacy against a myriad of diseases. This tropical herb is a credible source of relief from many, many ailments.”
     He concludes: “Noni is a remarkable fruit and scientists are steadily putting a stamp of approval on its medicinal abilities. Slowly but surely, Noni is moving from the mystical world of tribal healers into the mainstream health arena, giving each of us the opportunity of benefiting from this powerful medicinal fruit. Noni can make a difference in your life.”6
     Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a research biochemist was one of the first scientists to look into the action and benefits of Noni, and is credited with discovering some of the active ingredients that give Noni its healing properties. Whilst working in Hawaii in the 1950s he was inspired to investigate the Noni plant to try to discover why it had such a vast therapeutic spectrum. His research inspired other researchers and doctors to take a closer look at Noni.
     Dr Solomon writes: “Scientists speculate that there may be a number of different agents in Noni that act in a synergistic manner to produce desirable effects.”7 Research revealed a wide range of beneficial phytochemicals that work together to give the plant its health promoting properties. Some of these phytochemicals are unique to Noni and are not found in any other known plant. Noni has been shown to contain over 140 different compounds thought to play an integral role in the plant’s healing action.
     Dr Heinike’s research suggests that an important part of Noni’s action is in delivering to the body quantities of the compound proxeronine, and the enzyme ‘proxeroninase’, which the body uses to convert proxeronine into the vital bio-chemical ‘xeronine’.
     Dr Solomon explains: “Xeronine is a pivotal ingredient in a wide range of normal biochemical reactions that help the body heal itself,”8 Our body’s ability to produce xeronine diminishes with age and illness. Insufficient levels of xeronine in the body can lead to a wide variety of health problems. Extra levels of xeronine are required by the organs of the body to repair cells whenever there is damage or disease. Disease, injury, trauma and stress can also lower the amounts of xeronine available to our cells, creating a xeronine deficiency.
     Helping to maintain sufficient quantities of proxeronine in the body may be one of the factors that gives Noni its preventative and energising action as well as its curative and therapeutic qualities. The fruit has also been found to be effective in stimulating and regulating melatonin and seratonin levels in the body, thus helping regulate sleep, temperature and mood cycles.
     Dr Heinike concludes: “The action of Noni juice in enabling the body to recover from different types of infection is exciting. The administration of Noni causes an unbelievably wide range of physiological responses. Numerous research workers have shown that Noni improves the immune system and specifically, increases the number of T-cells. Noni is a valuable herbal remedy. The future for Noni looks bright.”9
     Noni seems to be continuing to prove itself to be one of the most remarkable and beneficial of plants. As medical research into why Noni works so well with so many varied conditions continues, a growing number of people around the world are taking Noni as part of their daily nutritional programme.
     Noni has even been used to treat animals. Dr Gary Tran, Veterinary Doctor reports: “The results were so dramatic for my family that I decided to use it on the four-legged patients at my clinic. I have given Noni to over 2,000 animals and more than 90% of the time the animals have responded well.
     I have found Noni is the most wonderful substance a doctor can use in this line of work. If I were banished to a remote island and could bring only one health product, it would definitely be Noni.”10
     Whether for humans or animals this ancient healing plant seems to have much to offer us in the modern world. As Dr Steven Hall M.D., Providence Hospital, Washington puts it: “Not only does Noni provide many benefits on its own, it also increases the effectiveness of other treatments. Noni is incredible because it offers help to people who could not be helped by traditional science. Instead of giving people the standard vitamin and mineral supplements, we can help their bodies reach another level of cellular and molecular regulation.”11
     Noni is also recommended in the prevention of disease. According to Dr Ede Koenig, DSc, NMD, you do not need to have a health problem to benefit from taking it: “Noni represents a whole new paradigm in the field of natural healing and health maintenance. It is as important for those interested in preventative health as it is for those who are currently addressing health disorders of almost any kind. I have found in my own research and experience that the benefits of Noni are so profound that I now recommend it to all of my clients. It has been a tremendous enhancement to my health programme. If there ever was a panacea I would have to say that this is it.”12

(1), (3), (4), (6), (10), (11) Noni Amazes Medical World Health News Vol. 4 No 2. Triple R Publishing Inc, Oregon. 1997.
(2), (5), (7), (8), (9), Solomon N. Noni: Nature’s Amazing Healer. Woodland Books, Pleasant Grove, Utah. 1998.
(12) Koenig Dr Ede. The Health Nugget. The American’s Bulletin. September 1997.

Further Reading:
Abbott LA. La’au Hawaii: Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants. Bishop Museum Press. Honolulu. Hawaii. 3: 97-199. 1992.
Abbott I & Shimazu C. The Geographic Origin of the Plants Most Commonly Used for Medicine by Hawaiians. Journal of Ethno-Pharmacology. 14: 213-22. 1985.
Bushnell OA, Fukuda M, Makinodan T. The Antibacterial Properties of some Tropical Plants. Planta Med. 36: 186-187. 1950.
Bushnell OA, Fukuda M, Makinodan T. The Antibacterial Properties of some plants found in Hawaii. Pacific Science. 4: 167-183. 1950.
TenBurggencate J. Native Plants Can Heal Your Wounds. Honolulu Star Bulletin & Advertiser. Honolulu. Feb 9, 1992.
Cox Paul Allen. Polynesian Herbal Medicine in PA Cox & SA Bannock eds. Islands. Plants, & Polynesians. Dioscorides Press. 1991.
Darryl MD. Noni juice benefits HIV infected patients. Letter. University of California, College of Medicine, Irvine, CA. Nov 1997.
Ditmar Alexander. 1993 Morinda Citrifolia L. Use in Indigenous Samoan Medicine. Journal of Herbs, Spices, Medical Plants. 1(3). 1993.

Elliot S & Brimacombe J. The Medicinal Plants of Cunnung Leuser National Park. Indonesia. Journal of Ethno-Pharmacology. 19: 285-317. Elsevier Scientific Publisher Ireland Ltd. 1987.
Erasmus Udo. Fats that Heal, Fats That Kill. Alive Books. Burnaby, BC, Canada. Revised 3rd edition. 1995.
Ganal C & Hokama Y. The effect of Noni fruit extract. (Morinda Citrifolia, Indian Mulberry). (Meeting Abstract). Nutrition & Cancer. VOL.II. Dept. of Pathology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. 4999-5002.
Heinicke RM. The Pharmacological Active Ingredient of Noni. Pacific National Tropical Botanical Garden Bulletin. Vol. XV No 1. 1985.
Hirazumi A. Anti-tumour activity of Morinda Citrifolia. Proc of Annual Meeting of American Assoc. for Cancer Research. 33: 515. 1992.
Hirazumi, Furusawa, Chou, Hokama. Anti-cancer Activity of Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 37:
145-146. 1994.
Hiramatsu, Imoto et al. Induction of Normal Phenotypes in Ras-Transformed Cells by Damnacanthal from Morinda Citrifolia. Cancer Letters. 73. 1993.
Koenig Dr Ede. The Health Nugget. The American’s Bulletin. September 1997.

Krauss B. Plants in Hawaiian Culture. University of Hawaii Press. Honolulu, Hawaii. 103: 252. 1993.
Levand Oscar. Some Chemical Constituents of Morinda Citrifolia. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation from University of Hawaii. 1963.
Levand O & Larson HO. Some Chemical Constituents of Morinda Citrifolia. Planta Med. 36. 1979.
Lemonick Michael D. The Mood Molecules. Time. 150 (13). Sept 29 1997.
McCuddin. Samoan Medical Plants and Their Usage. Dept. of Medical Services. Govt. of American Samoa. Pago American Samoa. 1974.
McPherson C & L. Samoan Medical Belief & Practice. Aukland University Press. 1990.
Moorthy & Reddy. Antiseptic. 56. 1990.
Morton Julia F. The Ocean Going Noni, or Indian Mulberry & some of its colourful relatives’. Economic Botany. Vol. 46 (3). 1992.
Neal M. In Gardens of Hawaii. Bishop Museum Press. Honolulu, Hawaii. 1965.
Noni, Polynesia’s Natural Pharmacy. Pride Publishing. Vineyard. VT. 1997.
Noni Amazes Medical World. Health News. Vol. 4 No 2. Triple R Publishing Inc. Oregon. 1997.
Information On Noni Health News. Vol. 5 No 13. Triple R Publishing Inc. Oregon. 1998.
Pandey GM & Pandey SC Dwivedi et al. Platelet Serotonin-2A Receptors: A Potential Biological Marker For Suicidal Behaviour. American Journal of Psychiatry. Vol. 152: 850-855. June 1995.
Powell T. On Various Samoan Plants and Their Vernacular Names. Br. Foreign J. Bot. 278-285, 342-347, 355-370. 1868.
Ruden Ronald A & Byalick M. The Craving Brain: The BioBalance Approach to Controlling Addiction. Harper & Collins. NY. 1997.
Russia K & Sriivastava SK. Antimicrobial Activity of Some Indian Medicinal Plants. Indian Journ. of Pharmacol Science. Jan/Feb. 57-58. 1987.
Schechter Dr Steven. Hawaii Miracle Fruit. Noni Fruit Table. Sept 1997.
Schechter Dr Steven. Noni Booklet. Natural Healing Institute. Encinitas, CA. Sept 1997.
Simm Helen H. The Isolation & Characterisation of a fluorescent Compound from the fruit of Morinda Citrifolia (Noni): Studies on the 5-ht Receptor System. Unpublished Masters Thesis from University of Hawaii at Minoa. 1993.
Singh Y, Ikahihifo T et al. Folk medicine in Tonga. A study on the use of Herbal Medicines for Obstetric & Gynaecological Conditions & Disorders. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 12: 305-325. 1984.
Solomon N. Noni: Nature’s Amazing Healer. Woodland Publishing. Pleasant Grove, Utah. 1998.
Solomon N & Lipton M. Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired. Wyndwood Press. New York. 1989.
Tabrah FL & Eveleth BM. Evaluation of the effectiveness of
Ancient Hawaiian Medicine. Hawaii Medical Journal. 25. 1966.
d’ Raye Tonita. Simply Noni (Morinda Citrifolia) Ancient Health Miracle For Modern Times. The Ten Minute Read Co. Oregon. 1998.
Whistler A. Polynesian Herbal Medicine. National Tropical Garden. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. 173-4.
Whistler W. Tongan Herbal Medicine Isle Botanica. Honolulu, Hawaii. p89-92. 1992.
Whistler WA. Traditional & Herbal Medicine in the Cook Islands. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 13: 239-280.
Wurtman Judith J & Suffes S. The Serotonin Solution. Fawcett. 1997.
Younos Rolland & Fleuretin Lanhers, Misslin & Mortier. Analgesic & Behavioural Effects of Morinda Citrifolia. Planta Med. Vol 56. 1990.