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Scientific Name(S): Morinda citrifolia

Common Name(S): Morinda, noni, hog apple, Indian mulberry, mengkoedoe, mora de la India, pain killer, ruibarbo caribe, wild pine

Botany: The morinda plant, native to Asia, Australia and Polynesia (eg, Tahiti), is a 3 to 8 m high tree or shrub. Its evergreen leaves are oblong and 10 to 45 cm in length. The plant's white flowers are tubular, with conelike heads. The fruit is yellow-white in color, oval in shape, about the size of a potato and has a "bumpy" surface. The ripened fruit has a characteristic cheese-like, offensive odor. Each fruit contains 4 seeds, 3 mm in length.

History: It is believed that Polynesian healers have used morinda fruits for thousands of years to help treat a variety of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and aging. Ancient healing manuscripts cite the fruit as a primary ingredient in natural healing formulations. Today, fruit preparations are sold as juice, in dried "fruit-leather" form and as a dry extract in capsules. US patents can also be found, including such patents as processing morinda fruit into powder, and for xeronine, an alkaloid isolated for medical, food and industrial use.

Uses of Morinda

Morinda has been used for heart remedies, arthritis, headache, digestive and liver ailments.

Side Effects of Morinda

No information is available on the side effects of morinda.

Toxicology: No information is available about the toxicity of M. citrifolia or its constituents. The fruit has long been reported as edible.

Summary: Morinda citrifolia has been used as a general healing agent for thousands of years in Polynesia. Current literature claims it is beneficial for immune system function, anticancer activity and for its anthelmintic effects. Little is known about toxicity of the plant. M. citrifolia is commercially available as juice or in dried form and is widely promoted in health food markets.

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