Noni Introduction

Noni is also known as Indian Mulberry. It is a small, tree-like shrub that can grows to heights of 27 feet. It produces a fruit that turns from green to white, protruding from white, cream-like flowers. The leaves of the Noni plant are oval and can be over quite large - over 1 foot long. The plant is native to parts of Southeast Asia. Noni was transplanted to the Polynesian islands over 2000 years ago, and has also spread into parts of India. The plant prefers to grow in the volcanic soils of coastal regions, as well as upon lowlands less than 400 meters above sea level. [1]

Noni has been used for over 2000 years as both a medicine and food. The people of Polynesia used Noni to treat infection and chronic disease. It also proved useful as a survival food, for those lost or wandering. Aside from being a novel food source and medicinal agent, parts of the Noni plant were used ornamentally; to make a reddish dye for clothing and use in ceremonial rituals.

Today, Noni is said to be a remedy for diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, infections, and chronic diseases. Until recently, there has not been much research documenting these uses, regardless of its popularity. Current research is being conducted to test the validity of the claims for Noni’s medicinal action. In the meantime, many use Noni for the abovementioned anecdotal actions.

Noni contains several different constituents that vary according to which part of the plant is used. Noni is known to contain anthraquinones, alkaloids, and proxeronine, as well as polysaccharides, sterols, coumarins, triterpenes, and iridoids. [2] Since the discovery of Noni’s active constituents, research into the mechanism of action in humans is of great interest in the medical community.

Uses ascribed to Noni include:

  • antibacterial
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-hypertensive
  • anti-tumor (anti-carcinogenic)
  • anti-oxidant
  • sedative
  • analgesic

Noni Food Sources

Parts Used

The fruit and juice are the primary agents of Noni currently employed for dietary supplementation purposes. The fruit can be eaten as a medicinal food, and the juice drank daily as a medicinal juice. Some preparations use the bark or leaves for obtaining different constituents that are lower or absent in the fruit. However, most of the research has focused on the fruit and juice.

Noni Uses

Noni is considered an effective sedative and analgesic and may be helpful for persons with insomnia. Because of its sedative effects, it may also be useful for anxiety-related conditons. [3]

Noni is a potent anti-oxidant. It has the ability to scavenge nitric oxide, a free radical that may contribute to conditions such as heart disease, dementia, and chronic inflammation. [4] Also because of its anti-oxidant potential, Noni may help prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, and cancer.

Noni has shown anti-cancer action in vitro and in animal studies. Though traditional and current anecdotal evidence supports the use of Noni for cancer prevention, human studies are still needed to validate this use. In one animal study, Noni proved protective against DNA damage caused by carcinogens; though to be caused by its anti-oxidant action. [5] Other animal-based studies have shown Noni to be effective at improving the survival time of rats with specific cancers. [6]

Noni may be a useful therapy for infections caused by bacteria and viruses as well. In numerous in vitro studies, Noni has been effective at inhibiting many types of bacteria and viruses. Clinical research conducted on human-subjects are the next step in assessing Noni’s potential as a legitimate antibacterial and anti-viral agent. [7]

Noni Dosages

The typical dose of Noni juice is 1 ounce, ingested on an empty stomach. This can be taken 1-2 times per day.

Noni Toxicities and Deficiencies

Noni has no known side effects or toxicity; though there has been one published case report of Noni causing excess amounts of potassium to accumulate in the blood. [8]

The personal administration of Noni products remains contraindicated in those with kidney disease.

Noni Toxicities and Deficiencies

Noni has no side effects or toxicity. However it is contraindicated in people with kidney disease. There has been one published case report that Noni caused an excess amount of potassium in the blood.[8]


1. Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 2nd Ed, 2000. Dorling Kindersley, New York: 236.

2. Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 2nd Ed, 2000. Dorling Kindersley, New York: 236.

3. Younos C et al. Analgesic and behavioral effects of Morinda citrifolia. Plant Med. 1990 Oct; 56(5):430-434.

4. Jagetia CS, Baliga MS. The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging ability of certain Indian medicinal plants in vitro: a preliminary study. J Med Food. 2004 Fall; 7(3):348-348.

5. Wang MY, Su C. Cancer preventative effect of Morinda citrifolia (Noni). Ann NY Acad Sci. 2001 Dec; 952:161-168.

6. Hirazumi A, Furusawa E. An immunomodulatory polysaccharide rich substance from the fruit juice of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) with anti-tumor activity. Phytother Res. 1999 Aug; 13(5):380-387.

7. Wang MY et al. Morinda citrifolia (Noni): A literature review and recent advances in Noni research. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2000 Dec; 23(12):1127-1141.

8. Mueller BA et al. Noni juice (Morinda citrifolia): hidden potential for hyperkalemia? Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Feb; 35(2):310-312.


Noni Products