Noni. Or the noble ambrosia. Whatever that means, we simply intend to say that if you want to know how the nectar used by the Greek gods looked like, go for noni.
What’s with this fruit or its juice? Why should it matter to you? Let the questions keep coming. Because the answers are right here!
This juice is derived from the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia, a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. The noni tree often grows among lava flows. It has been used both for dyeing clothes as well as a folk remedy for numerous treatments.
Also called “Dog dumpling” in Barbados, “Mengkudu” in Indonesia and Malaysia, “Pace” in the islands of Java, “Kumudu” in Bali, and “Apatot” in the Philippines, the noni is a green fruit that turns yellow as it ripens (and gives off a pungent odor).
The most popular of the remedies is the noni leaf extract, which is used for treating a long list of ailments.
However, it is important we know that the effectiveness of noni in numerous treatments has been proved only in certain studies. But researchers are investigating its beneficial effects, and a huge amount of evidence (both anecdotal and substantiated) sure does promote noni’s beneficial effects.
One particular variety of noni juice that we need to look at is Tahitian noni juice. After safety testing, the European Union had approved it as a novel food in 2002. So, when we talk about the benefits, we are referring to this variety.
Tahitian noni juice gets its name from the city of Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia. It is also called (only sometimes) the Hawaiian noni juice.
The juice is safe if taken in food amounts. But we don’t know the effects if taken in medicinal amounts (in quantities larger than normal). Please consult your doctor in this regard.
Before we proceed any further, let’s take a look at the history of noni juice.
Noni is basically a fruit that has been around for 3,000 years. Also called the Indian mulberry, this fruit is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia or the French Polynesian islands. In fact, early Polynesians understood its value and even consumed it in times of famine.
Earlier sold in the capsule form, the pulp powder of the noni fruit was the first commercial product brought into the Hawaiian market by Herbert Moniz of Herb’s Herbs in 1992.
Today, noni is also found in India, Australia, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and South America. But the one from Tahiti is considered to be of the highest quality. Also, another fruit considered similar to noni in terms of the benefits is acai berry, which is a native of South America (Brazil). There are conflicting reports as to which is better of the two.
All thanks to its purported benefits – and more importantly, the nutrients the juice contains.
Although noni juice claims to have a lot of nutritional qualities, the commercially available variety has very different makeup. The actual noni fruit is unsuitable for consumption because of its bitter taste. Moreover, the fruit is highly sweetened and processed to create a desirable taste, which further decreases the nutritional value of the fruit juice. If you consider the noni juice in its purest form, it comprises of the following nutrients.
|supplement FactsServing Size:1tbsp(15 ml.)Servings Per Container:35|
|Amount Per Servinh||% Daly Value|
|Total Carbohydrate||0.9 g||<1%|
|Vitamin C||1.5 mg||2%|
|Pure Noni Fruit Juice 15,000mg(15ml) ***|
|** Percent Daly Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.***Daily Value not established.|
These are what one tablespoon (15 ml) of noni juice contains:
Some of the major nutrient groups of noni juice include:
Macronutrients: Noni fruit (in the form of powder) is an excellent source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber, with 100 grams serving providing 55% and 100% of the dietary reference intakes (DRI). It is also a good source of protein, providing about 12% DRI of this nutrient. Noni pulp is low in total fats, providing just 4% of DRI. Noni juice has relatively lower amounts of macronutrients.
Micronutrients: The main micronutrients of noni pulp powder are vitamin C, occupying 10% DRI, and substantial amounts of niacin (vitamin B3), iron, and potassium. It also contains vitamin A, calcium, and sodium in moderate amounts. Noni juice has comparatively lesser amounts of these micronutrients but a high level of vitamin C, making up nearly 42% of DRI.
Phytochemicals: Noni fruit juice does contain phytochemicals, but there are no established DRI values for the same. A particular phytochemical called xeronine present in noni fruit juice is known for its ability to relieve pain in the body. Noni juice is also packed with proxeronine, the precursor of xeronine. It is activated in the large intestine, where it is absorbed by the cells of the body.
Anthraquinones (Damnacanthol): These are important antiseptic and antibacterial plant chemicals found in noni juice that have proven to be effective in killing pre-cancer cells. They stimulate the immune response to cancer by activating the body’s T-cells, which are the body’s “cancer killers”.
Scopoletin: This is a little known but the important chemical component of noni juice that has wonderful health benefits that are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It regulates serotonin, which is the body’s feel-good hormone, to ward off feelings of anxiety and depression. It also binds to melatonin to regulate sleep, hunger, and body temperature.
These, and a few other nutrients, are what give noni juice its beneficial abilities. Which is what we will see now.
Noni juice (or Tahitian noni juice) is replete with antioxidants, which are a major reason for its benefits. The juice fights the free radicals and inflammatory ailments like cancer, diabetes, and joint pains. These antioxidants also offer anti-aging benefits to the skin and hair.
Several laboratory studies have shown that noni juice can have anti-cancer effects and even aid in chemotherapy (1). Though further research on humans is required, the possibilities are bright. Another study talks about an unidentified substance in unpasteurized noni that might possess anti-cancer properties (2).
Noni juice is also known to cut cancer risk in smokers. Taking 1-4 oz of noni juice can reduce cancer risk in smokers – it achieves this by blocking the carcinogen DNA from genomic (the complete set of genes in an organism) DNA (3). Studies have also shown that noni juice can help prevent breast cancer.
Fermented noni juice was found to contain quinone reductase, an enzyme that possesses great anti-inflammatory traits (4). Another German study talks about how noni preparations can ease inflammation and even reduce arthritic pains (5).
Noni fruit is a great source of some very important anti-inflammatory molecules that can stall the progression of inflammatory diseases, one of them being inflammatory bowel disease. The juice has also been found to have therapeutic effects on gout.
Noni juice has been found to lower cholesterol levels in one study. Smokers who took the juice saw substantial reductions in their cholesterol levels (6). In fact, herbal medicine has been using noni for several years to treat cardiovascular illnesses, some of which include high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heart disease.
Studies show that noni juice can improve insulin action during diabetes. The nutrients in the juice act synergistically with insulin to aid in diabetes treatment (7).
Further studies suggest that noni juice can be included as a functional health food in the diets of diabetes patients (8).
There is no evidence that noni juice can aid weight loss. However, since it is rich in various nutrients, it can be a good addition to a weight loss diet that requires one to cut down on several foods.
Noni juice is known to prevent brain cells from dying by supporting the health of mitochondria. Simply put, the juice has a therapeutic effect on neurodegeneration.
And then, we have the antioxidants in the juice. They combat oxidative stress, which can harm the neurons.
One Japanese study talks about how noni juice can protect the brain from a stress-induced decline of cognitive function (9).
Noni juice also helps combat other related issues like stress and anxiety. It can even aid in depression treatment.
Noni juice has analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties – and these play a big role in enhancing skin health. The juice is also rich in the essential fatty acids that are the building blocks of fats and oils in the body. These essential acids improve the functioning of cell membranes, thereby improving skin health. The skin cells start to readily absorb the nutrients and also flush out the toxins that might interfere with cell function.
One compound that deserves special attention is proxeronine, which helps in the production of another compound called xeronine. Xeronine keeps the cells healthy, and, in addition, brings abnormal cells back to normalcy.
Noni juice can also help treat dermatitis of the face. Simply apply the juice to the affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with fresh water. A similar remedy can also help treat the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
In fact, noni juice was even used to treat acne in Polynesian folk medicine (10).
Noni juice is particularly rich in vitamin A, protein, calcium, and iron – nutrients important for the digestive system (11). In case you are suffering from a case of sluggish digestion or slow bowel movement, noni can set things right. The juice can exert a stimulating effect. It leads to peristalsis (involuntary constriction and relaxation of intestinal muscles, pushing the contents forward) and colon cleansing (12).
There is less research on this. Some sources say that the antioxidants in noni can improve vision and even prevent serious issues like macular degeneration and cataracts.
But we haven’t found sufficient research. So, consult your doctor.
Certain compounds in noni, like glycerol and butyric acids, play a role in hair health. And the fatty acids in the juice strengthen the hair follicles and help treat any related issues like hair fall. Drinking noni juice can do the trick.
Noni juice might also treat scalp issues like dandruff.
Noni contains colorless alkaloids that aid cellular repair and help the body maintain a healthy balance. It also contains small amounts of xeronine, an alkaloid specifically required for cell health and functioning.
Noni juice had shown efficacy in treating leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease caused by sandflies that can affect internal organs (15).
Certain sources say that noni can help improve the degeneration of the spinal cord. The disorder can be caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin B12. Symptoms include weakness and uncomfortable sensations in the body, difficulties with vision and thinking – most or all of which might be improved by noni (it contains several vitamins and minerals, and all can work in synergy to offer the benefits).
Noni is also believed to protect the nervous system in the event of spinal damage.
Some research talks about the presence of K+ ions in noni juice. These ions induce muscle contractions and stimulate the blockage of calcium channels. And this results in the suppression of muscle spasms.
But do consult your doctor if you have decided to take noni for relieving your muscle spasms because research is limited.
In case constant fatigue is making your life miserable, noni can help. The juice boosts energy. One study that evaluated the ergogenic (performance enhancing) potential of noni had come up with promising results. The intake of noni juice had improved not only the endurance but also flexibility and balance.
Not just that, even patients with cancer, upon ingestion of noni juice, had reported less fatigue and related symptoms (16). The juice can also improve overall physical performance and keep fatigue at bay (17).
Studies have revealed that noni juice can protect the liver from extrinsic toxin exposure. The juice achieves this by inhibiting inflammatory response and suppressing the elevated activities of liver enzymes. In fact, high dosage of noni juice pretreatments wasn’t found to induce any kind of liver damage (18).
Certain sources stress on the hepatotoxicity of noni juice, but studies have confirmed otherwise (19). Noni juice had also protected against induced liver damage in female rats – supporting its use as a traditional medicine for liver ailments (20).
However, we advise you to exercise caution. Because noni contains anthraquinones, which are organic compounds that can induce liver toxicity. Consult your doctor before intake.
One Malaysian study talks about the anti-psychotic properties of noni and how it can help treat psychiatric disorders. The stereotyped behavior in mice (induced by apomorphine and methamphetamine) had improved with ingestion of noni juice (21).
Reports say that noni has been used for thousands of years for treating bacterial infections. And not just the juice, even the bark was quite useful in this regard (22).
Noni extracts are also known to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria – some of which include Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginoasa. This effect of noni juice can be attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds like acubin, alizarin, and other anthraquinones (23). The ethanol and hexane extracts of noni (just like noni juice) also possess an antitubercular effect as they inhibit the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.
Noni also helps get rid of skin infections (like candida) and colds and other bacteria-related health issues.
The juice can help treat other gastric problems like constipation, gas, and bloating.
Noni juice has been found to increase the production of IFN-gamma cytokines – compounds that improve immunity (24).
The properties of noni can also accelerate wound healing.
Not just the juice, even the leaves of the noni fruit have benefits. You can use the leaves to prepare noni tea (simply steep them in hot water and drain) that helps heal digestive issues. Wrapping the leaves around sore joints can ease arthritis pains.
The bark and roots of the noni plant are traditionally used for dyeing purposes.
You saw the health benefits of noni juice. Now, you can either buy noni juice or prepare it at home. Before we get to the former part, let’s check out the latter option.
Preparing the juice is a simple process. And if you are wondering how to drink noni juice, here’s how.
You need a noni fruit, a blender, a strainer, and 5 ounces of cold water.
You can also use the pasteurized juice, which can last longer. Here is how you can pasteurize the juice:
Want to know what the recommended noni juice dosage is? The ideal dosage for noni juice is 30 to 750 ml a day. And how do you eat the fruit? Well, the same way as you eat any other. Slice it and have it.
Remember that noni juice should be made only from certified, organic noni fruit. It shouldn’t be made from reconstituted pulp, puree, or concentrate. Ensure it is free of additives as well.
You can add noni juice to your smoothie or fruit juice recipes. It only adds to their value.
Also, one can’t simply drink noni juice whenever they please.
The juice must be taken on an empty stomach, at least half an hour before a meal. This allows it to get absorbed faster. You can also add the juice to your favorite juice.
A few more tips:
And in case you don’t have the time to prepare noni juice at home, you can purchase it.
You can buy it at your nearest supermarket or megastore like Walmart or Walgreens. Or you can even buy it online. Tahitian Noni Juice is one very good brand. You can check the reviews on the site page to understand how authentic the brand is.
You might also want to go for noni enzyme, which is one very popular form of supplement. Or noni capsules.
And make sure the juice you buy is 100% pure and organic. Also, ensure there are no preservatives. Here are a few ways you can check if the noni juice is good or not:
Everything glorious about noni juice is what we have seen now. But did you know the juice also has some undesirable effects?
Noni juice can sometimes cause problems in people with kidney issues and liver ailments. It might not be safe during pregnancy as well.
Noni is known to have been used to cause abortions. So, avoid the juice if you are pregnant. Stay away from it even if you are breastfeeding as not enough is known about the consequences.
Noni contains high levels of potassium, and individuals with kidney disease might end up developing high levels of potassium in the blood, which can lead to complications.
Though we saw studies supporting the use of noni juice for liver health, other equally authentic reports have discouraged its use. Please consult your doctor before you use noni in this aspect.
The noble ambrosia. Enough said.
What are the benefits of noni tea?
Some of the benefits include cancer prevention, improved digestion, and better skin health. The tea is made from noni leaves steeped in warm water. This tea can even improve bone health.
What is noni seed oil good for?
The seed oil is used to address inflammatory skin conditions and other joint issues like arthritis and rheumatism.
Does noni juice expire?
Yes. And if you have prepared it at home, the juice will last for 6 months after it has been opened (must be stored in the refrigerator). If not opened, the juice can last up to 2 years.
What does noni juice taste like?
Pungent and strong. Something similar to red wine or extra sharp cheddar cheese.