June 30, 2016

Morinda

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What other names is Noni known by?

Ba Ji Tian, Bois Douleur, Canarywood, Cheese Fruit, Hai Ba Ji, Hawaiian Noni, Hog Apple, Indian Mulberry, Jus de Noni, Luoling, Mengkudu, Menkoedoe, Mora de la India, Morinda, Morinda citrifolia, Mulberry, Mûre Indienne, Nhau, Noni Juice, Nono, Nonu, Pau-Azeitona, Rotten Cheese Fruit, Ruibarbo Caribe, Tahitian Noni Juice, Ura, Wild Pine, Wu Ning, Yor.

What is Noni?

Noni is a small evergreen tree in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, Australia, and India that often grows among lava flows. Historically, noni was used to make a red or yellow dye for clothing. It was also used as medicine, usually applied to the skin.

Today, noni fruit, leaves, flowers, stems, bark, and roots are still used to make medicine for a long list of ailments. However, the effectiveness of noni for these uses has not been proven. A study of noni freeze-dried fruit extract is underway at The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, but the results are not yet in. In the meantime, the FDA has issued multiple warnings to noni manufacturers about health claims that aren't backed up by fact.

People take noni by mouth for colic, convulsions, cough, diabetes, painful urination, stimulating menstrual flow, fever, liver disease, constipation, vaginal discharge during pregnancy, malarial fever, and nausea. It is also used for smallpox, enlarged spleen, swelling, asthma, arthritis and other bone and joint problems, cancer, cataracts, colds, depression, digestive problems, and gastric ulcers. Other uses include high blood pressure, infections, kidney disorders, migraine headache, premenstrual syndrome, stroke, pain, and sedation.

The fruit juice is used for arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle aches and pains, menstrual difficulties, headaches, heart disease, AIDS, cancers, gastric ulcers, sprains, depression, senility, poor digestion, atherosclerosis, circulation problems, and drug addiction.

The leaves have been used in medicines for rheumatic aches and swelling of the joints, stomachache, dysentery, and swelling caused by a parasitic infection called filariasis. The bark has been used in a preparation to aid childbirth.

Noni is sometimes applied to the skin. It is used as a moisturizer and to reduce signs of aging. The leaves are used for arthritis by wrapping around the affected joint; for headache by applying to the forehead; and for burns, sores, and wounds by direct application. A mixture of leaves and fruit is applied to pockets of infection (abscesses), and preparations of the root are used on stonefish and sting-ray wounds, and as a smallpox salve.

In foods, the fruits, leaves, roots, seeds, and bark are eaten.

The smell and taste of some Noni fruit and juice are unpleasant.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer. Early research suggests that taking 6-8 grams of noni daily might improve physical function, fatigue, and pain in people with advanced cancer. However, noni does not seem to reduce tumor size.
  • Age-related spinal damage (cervical spondylosis). Early research suggests that taking noni juice while participating in physiotherapy for 4 weeks can reduce neck pain and improve neck flexibility compared to physiotherapy alone. However, treatment with physiotherapy alone seems to relive pain and improve flexibility better than noni juice alone.
  • Exercise performance. Early research suggests that drinking a juice containing noni, grapefruit, and blackberry juices for 21 days can increase exercise endurance in distance runners.
  • Hearing loss. Early research suggests that drinking 4 ounces of noni juice daily for 3 months does not improve hearing in hearing-impaired women.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that drinking 4 ounces of a specific noni juice (Tahitian Noni Juice) daily for one month can reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
  • Osteoarthritis. Early research suggests that drinking 3 ounces of a specific noni juice (Tahitian Noni Juice) daily for 90 days can reduce the need for pain relievers and improve quality of life in people with osteoarthritis.
  • Nausea and vomiting after surgery. Noni fruit might reduce nausea. Some research shows that it reduces nausea after surgery. However, it does not appear to affect vomiting.
  • Colic.
  • Seizures.
  • Cough.
  • Diabetes.
  • Urinary problems.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Fever.
  • Liver problems.
  • Constipation.
  • Vaginal discharge.
  • Smallpox.
  • Enlarged spleen.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Swelling.
  • Asthma.
  • Eye cataracts.
  • Colds.
  • Depression.
  • Digestion problems.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Heart trouble.
  • Infections.
  • Migraine.
  • Stroke.
  • Pain.
  • Reducing signs of aging.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate noni for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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