Noni, a tree in the family Rubiaceae, or its fruit. Biological name is Morinda citrifolia. It is commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India), മഞ്ഞണാത്തി or മഞ്ഞപ്പാവുട്ട (Malayalam), dog dumpling (Barbados), mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia), Kumudu (Balinese), pace (Javanese), beach mulberry, cheese fruit or noni (from Hawaiian) is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Morinda citrifolia’s native range extends through Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the species is now cultivated throughout the tropics and widely naturalised.
Alkaloid - These naturally occuring organic compounds are complex, contain at least one nitrogen atom, and they have a physiological effect on humans and animals. Examples of alkaloids include painkillers like morphine, codeine and cocaine. Other alkaloids are caffeine, nicotine, quinine and strychnine. Chemically, they are bases, colorless and taste bitter. They may be used as medicine or poisons.
Antioxidant - Substances that are categorized as being antioxidants are able to inhibit oxidation. This is beneficial because oxidation is thought to cause damage to cells. They bind themselves to free radicals that otherwise would cause damage to cells. Natural antioxidants in the body decrease with age, leading to age-related disease. Noni juice is an antioxidant.
Anti-inflammatory – A substance is called an anti-inflammatory substance if it is able to reduce inflammation. This helps reduce pain due to inflammation and swelling. Steroids and non-steriod inflammatory drugs like aspirin, cortisone and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory substances frequently used to relieve the pain of arthritic joints. Noni juice is anti-inflammatory.
Beta Blockers – These medications are used mainly to lower blood pressure and treat heart and blood vessel diseases. They are also used to treat glaucoma, migraines and angina. Noni juice is claimed to also lower blood pressure.
Cox-2 – This is an enzyme in the body that is responsible for pain and inflammation. The Cox-2 inhibitor drugs are drugs that are non-steriods (NSAID) that target these enzymes in order to reduce pain and inflammation. There are some side effects, in particular with liver function, that need to be monitored. One benefit that NSAID drugs have is a reduction in gastrointestinal problems. Noni is an anti-inflammatory substance that can act as a Cox-2 inhibitor.
Enzyme – The body uses chemical reactions for cellular functions. An enzyme is a protein; the body has thousands of many types of chemical reactions sparked by enzymes. Enzymes either speed up or inhibit those chemical reactions. They act as a catalyst to increase or decrease reactions in cells. If the body is deficient in enzymes, supplementation can provide positive benefits. Enzymes work in many ways, like generating movement in muscles, and aiding in digestion. Noni juice has been found to contain a precursor to an enzyme that is important to digestive function, proxeroine. The proxeronine and proxeronase found in Noni juice allows production of the enzyme xeronine, which is a catalyst needed for an important chemical reaction.
Macronutrient – Macronutrients are substances like proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are essential to the body and that also must be consumed in large quantities. There are good levels of macronutrients in Noni pulp powder, but negligible levels in the juice.
Micronutrient – Micronutrients are substances like Vitamin C, iron, potassium, Vitamin A, calcium, sodium and niacin. Noni has substantial micronutrient levels, especially for Vitamin C. Micronutrients are only needed in small daily quantities.
Phytochemical – Also known as phytonutrients, these are found in plants. They are bioactive chemical compounds that are believed to be beneficial to human health. Examples are anti-oxidants, flavenoids and caretonoids. Many clinical trials are conducted on phytochemicals in a search for good disease fighters.
Statins – These are drugs that are prescribed for the purpose of lowering plasma cholesterol. They inhibit the Cox-A enzyme action in the liver, which inhibits sythesis of cholesterol. Some natural substances, like Noni and Coenzyme Q10, reduce levels of cholesterol and can be helpful to those taking statins as it may result in those persons being able to reduce their statin drugs. Anyone taking Noni for this purpose must consult their personal physician to assure that it will not interfere with their medical treatment or interact with other drugs they may be taking.
Xeronine – This is an enzyme that aids digestion. Noni juice contains a substance that is a precursor to this enzyme, which is needed for essential chemical reactions.