Noni fruit comes from a small shrubby tropical tree (Morinda citrifolia) grown predominantly in Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. The plant has white tubular flowers, whilst the fruit is mango-sized, yellow-greenish-white in colour, and has a lumpy surface. Noni is strong and bitter in flavour, and can be processed into a puree, paste or juice.
For thousands of years, Polynesian healers have used noni fruits to help treat health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, aches and pains, arthritis, inflammation, burns, tumours, aging effects, constipation, anxiety, depression, along with parasitic, viral, and bacterial infections. In Hawaii, noni is one of the most frequently used plant medicines. Ancient healing manuscripts cite the fruit as a key ingredient in natural healing formulas.
A study in 2006 of over 177 branded noni juices International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, found that (along with high levels of vitamin C) the juices contained minerals including: iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, sodium, zinc, phosphorous and selenium.
Along with containing high levels of macronutrients, micronutrients and phytonutrients, noni juice is a potent antioxidant and may provide relief to joint pain sufferers. Some research and human clinical trials demonstrated joint pain reduction and increased range of motion, indicating some painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties.
As there is a link between oxidative stress and oxidative damage in cells and chronic conditions in the body, some researchers suspect that potential health benefits of noni juice are related to its powerful antioxidant properties.
With studies indicating noni’s potential to reduce cellular damage, improve heart health in smokers, reduce pain in arthritis sufferers, increase endurance in exercise, and improve immunity, noni juice might be described by some as a one-stop-tonic for general health and well-being.
Contraindications: there is currently not enough evidence on the effects of drinking noni juice while pregnant or lactating. However, as noni may increase potassium levels, those with kidney disease should consult with their General Practitioner before use.