Noni plant and its derivative products are considered as a Polynesian super food, due to it potent ability to counteract various diseases. Each part of this evergreen shrub also has their proven uses. The noni fruit was established to remedy conditions like arthritis or joint inflammation, senility due to old age and digestive problems. There is an unending list of diseases that can potentially benefit from the noni fruit. Since noni fruit is succulent, the juice is usually extracted and taken in pure, crude form. The leaves of the plant is also brewed and used as medicine for digestive problems and stomach ache. It is also used to reduce swelling. The leaves are used as a poultice for headache and arthritis. The leaves are wrapped around the affected area. In case of burns, the leaves are bandage to the burnt body part. Noni leaves application can speed up the healing process in burns. The fruits, seed and roots are also edible since it can also be eaten. The bark is traditionally used as preparation that aids parturition or childbirth. Since noni plant has antibacterial properties, a fusion of leaves and fruit can be applied to an abscess in order to halt the proliferation of bacteria that worsens the infection process.
There are many varieties of Noni plant in different countries and the shrub usually grows in open coastal areas and in regions with lava flows due to volcanic eruptions, like Hawaii. Noni based products derived from Hawaiian noni varieties are said to have superior quality, attributed to the type of the environment where these plants abundantly grow. Based on the results of laboratory studies, there were beneficial chemicals and substances contained in noni extracts. These substances might work on the cellular level, protecting the integrity of the cell, preventing cell degeneration and repairing damage in cells. Noni juice is also an immune booster, since it activates and enhances the immune system.
Some of the chemicals isolated in Noni juice include potassium, phytotonutrients xeronine and proxeronine, flavonol glycosides, iridoid glycoside, antitubercular components, vitamins and minerals. Potassium is one of the important ions in the body. Decease level of this ion will lead to variety of symptoms associated with hypokalemia like muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting. It is also associated to arrhythmias and even cardiac arrest. Hypokalemia may occur if the body looses the ions due to gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea and dehydration. Noni juice is a good source of potassium needed by the body. Xeronine and proxeronine gained recognition when a study was conducted in Hawaii in 1970’s. Xeronine and proxeronine plays a very important role pain perception as well as pain management . We know that eating chocolates can somehow neutralize pain, since it stimulates our body to release our natural painkillers or endorphins. According to studies, our body supplied with Xeronine and proxeronine, however, its amount cannot suffice for our physiological needs. Proxeronine is a precursor of xeronine. It is a material used to manufacture xeronine. Both of these substances work by regulating the shape and maintaining rigidity of a certain protein that controls variety of physiologic responses in the body. How do these substances work? Scientists were able to document the processes that lead to analgesic effect of noni extracts. In the process, xeronine activates the brain receptor proteins to facilitate absorption of endorphins. The study also revealed that noni has minimal xeronine content, however, it’s abundant in proxeronine. As mentioned earlier, proxeronine is the raw material needed for the production of xeronine. The xeronine-proxeronine effect is much greater especially if taken before meals.
Aside from analgesic properties, noni also has strong antioxidant properties. The study conducted on 2001 isolated five flavonol glycosides in their preparation. Flavonol glycosides are responsible for the antioxidant property in noni. The antioxidants in noni are known to protect the liver, heart, lungs and kidneys, thereby reducing the risk of cancer for these specific areas. The antioxidant actively hunts free radicals in the body and blocks lipid peroxidation. They also obstruct compounds involved in carcinogenesis. Another result revealed that noni has an anti inflammatory property comparable to Celebrex, a commercial drug categorized as COX-2 inhibitor.
Noni has still many promising health benefits yet to be discovered. A lot of people including medical doctors can attest to the effectiveness of this wonder plant; even recommends the extract for their client.