Benefits of noni fruit

Last Updated 22 June 2012, 14:16 IST

Morindacitrifolia, Hawaiin Noni or the Indian Mulberry  is a tropical shrub from the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Although native to Southeast Asia and Australia, it is widely-grown in India in coastal regions. It can grow in different environments and is a perennial fruit.

Benefits of noni fruit

Traditionally, the noni fruit and leaves have been used as folk remedies by Polynesians for over 2000 years. There is a mention of the noni fruit being used as an internal cleanser and as an effective treatment for joint aches and skin conditions in Ayurveda and Siddha texts. In recent times, however, extensive research carried out across the globe on noni’s active principles has put noni on the scientist’s radar the world over, as a fruit with immense therapeutic potential for various conditions ranging from menstrual pain to cancer prevention and noni juice as a health boosting tonic because of its exceptional nutrient content. European communities are patrons of this fruit, having officially recognised it as the “super fruit” in the UK.

This super fruit has over 150 phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants apart from vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. Phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, immune-boosting and cellular repair properties.

 Some of the recognised phytonutrients in the noni fruit are organic compounds called anthraquinones, which act as anti-bacterial agents. Another important phytonutrient is proxeronine, precursor for xeronine, an alkaloid, which works at the molecular level, repairing damaged cells to improve functionality. Noni juice is a source of antioxidants. Further, studies have found the fruit to have central analgesic effect on the human body.

 Clinical trials conducted at the Natural Healing Institute in California found that noni stimulates the production of T-cells in the immune system. T-cells play a pivotal role in fighting disease. The polysaccharide components in the juice are known to have both cancer-preventive and cancer-treating effects through stimulation of the immune system. It has bioactive components that make it a wonderful adaptogen, ie, the ability enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress by targeting imbalances and normalising it without affecting normal bodily functions. 

The noni fruit is also a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, several B complex vitamins, calcium, sulphur, potassium, phosphorous and certain essential amino acids like phenylalanine and tyrosine.  

The fruit has a strong odour and an unpalatable taste and hence is available only in juice form in the market. 

Choose the right brand of juice 

* Check the company’s sources and quality of the fruits. Local sources are better than those where the fruit or its frozen concentrates are transported across miles before processing

*Check the company’s processing facilities

* Choose juice brands without any thickeners or stabilisers which are added to maintain uniform viscosity

* Choose one with natural preservatives, if at all, like lemon and honey

* Choose one in which noni juice is the primary ingredient, not a blend of various juices as it reduces efficacy.

Noni juice that meets the above criteria can be taken as a therapeutic drink or as a general tonic twice a day at least 30 minutes before food for effective absorption. Ten to 15 ml is the normal dosage for adults and can be had as is or mixed in a glass of water.

 It can be consumed by people with arthritis, high BP, diabetes, cancer, allergies, digestive problems, chronic fatigue and depression. Its high potassium content can combat kidney problems.

(Published 22 June 2012, 14:16 IST)

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