Apatot is an erect, smooth shrub or small
tree, 3 to 10 meters high. Leaves are broadly elliptic to oblong,
12 to 25 centimeters long, with pointed or blunted tips. Peduncles are leaf-opposed,
solitary, 1 to 3 centimeters long. Flowers are not bracteolate, and form dense, ovoid or rounded heads, and are 1 to 1.5 centimeters. Calyx is truncate.
Corolla is white, 1 centimeter long; limb is 5-lobed, 1 centimeter in diameter.
Fruit is fleshy, white or greenish
white, ovoid, 3 to 10 centimeters long, with the odor of decaying cheese.
- Found chiefly along or near the seashore throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs in India to Polynesia.
- Fruit contains phytochemicals: lignans, polysaccharides, flavonoids, iridoids,
nonisides, scopoletin, catechin and epicatechin, damnacanthal, alkaloids.
- Root bark contains a crystal glucoside, morindine (C27H10O15), and a coloring matter, morindine.
- Fruit yields a volatile oil, morinda oil.
- Studies have yielded scopoletin, octoanoic acid, potassium, vitamin C, terpenoids, alkaloids, anthraquinones, sitosterol, ß-carotene, vitamin A, flavone glycosides and linoleic acid.
- Leaves yield flavanol glycosides, beta-carotene and iridoid glycosides.
- Study of methanol extracts of leaves, stems, and fruits yielded 22 constituents. Eight were new compounds: morinaphthalenone, morindafurone, morinaphthalene, morindicone, morinthone, morindicinone, morindicininone, and 5-benzofuran carboxylic acid -6-formyl methyl ester, with 14 known constituents viz., 1, 3-dimethoxyanthraquinone, hydroquinone, scopoletin, 1,8-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-3- methyl-9-anthrone (6), 2,4-dimethoxy-9-anthrone (7), 1-hydroxy-2-methylanthraquinone (10), 2-hydroxymethylanthraquinone, 2-hydroxyanthraquinone, 2-methoxyanthraquinone, stearic acid, palmitic acid, 4-(3' (R)-hydroxybutyl)-3,5,5'-trimethyl-cyclohex-2-en-l-one and 4-hydroxy-4-[ 1 'E,3 'R)-3' -hydroxy-l 'butenyl]-3,5,5' -trimethyl-cyclohex-2-en-l-one and 1.2-dihydroxyanthraquinone. (18)
- Ethanolic extract of leaves and fruit juice yielded eighteen and fifteen compounds respectively. Among them were octanoic acid, cyclopropyl, hexanoic acid, n-decanoic acid, allantoin, sorbitol, mannitol, glycerin and gamma tocopherol.
- Fifty-one volatile compounds have been identified, including organic acids such as octanoic and hexanoic acids, alcohols including 3-methyl-3-butene-1-ol, and esters like methyl octanoate, and methyl decanoate, as wee as ketones 2-heptanone , and lactones (E)-6-dodeceno-y-lactone.
- Fruit is emmenagogue.
- Root is cathartic.
- Bark, because of morindine, is febrifuge
- Leaves considered vulnerary.
- Studies have suggested anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anthelmintic, analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing effects.
Roots, bark, leaves.
- Fruit is edible, which smells like decaying cheese and not great tasting, is eaten
raw or cooked, salted or curried.
- In Indo-China, fruit eaten with salt.
- Fruit occasionally used as pig feed.
- In Java, young leaves eaten as vegetable.
- Tonic drink is prepared from decoction of pounded leaves and stem bark.
- In the Philippines, fruit is used as emmenagogue.
- Leaves, when fresh, applied to ulcers, facilitates healing.
- In Malaysia, heated leave applied to the chest and abdomen for coughs, nausea, colic, enlarged spleen, and fever.
- In Indo-China, leaves used as deobstruent and emmenagogue.
- In Bombay leaves applied externally for wound healing, and internally, as tonic and febrifuge.
- Decoction of charred leaves with mustard for infantile diarrhea.
- Juice of over-ripe fruit used for diabetes.
- Over-ripe fruit used as poultice and for treating kidney diseases.
- In Java, juice of fruit pulp, mashed with sugar, is slightly laxative.
- Syrup of fruit juice used as a gargle for sore throats.
- Expressed juice from leaves applied to relieve pain in gout.
- In Malaya and Cochin-China, over-ripe fruit used as emmenagogue.
- Fruit used internally in various preparations for swollen spleen, liver diseases, beriberi, hemorrhage, and coughs.
- In India, fruit used as deobstruent and emmenagogue.
- Unripe berries, charred and mixed with salt, applied to spongy gums.
- Leaves, fruit, flowers or bark used for eye problems, wounds, abscesses,
- Leaf juice used for arthritis.
- Used for bone and wound healing.
- In Polynesian traditional medicine, used for anticancer activity.
- In India roots used as cathartic.
- Bark decoction used as astringent; used by the Malays for ague.
- In the Congo bark used as febrifuge, an effect attributed to morindine.
- Tonic produced from the pounding and cooking of the leaves and stem bark.
- In Hawaii, considered a medicine for tuberculosis.
- Cleaning: Pulp of fruit used for cleaning hair,
iron, or steel.
- Dye: Bark produces a reddish purple to brown dye used in batik making. In Java, roots used for dyeing.
- In Malaya and Thailand, tree used as support for pepper plants.
- Noni rage
Briefly ruled as a herbal dietary supplement snake oil
cure-all (Noni Juice or as a morinda capsule supplement ) claiming a wide
range of therapeutic effects: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumor,
analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and immune enhancing effects
among many others.
- Probiotic Juice: Seedless fermented M. citrifolia fruit juice from Taiwan showed potentials for the production of probiotic produced by reacting raw substrate of M. citrifolia juice with lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus casei and L. plantarum) or Bifido-bacteria (Bifidobacterium longum). (38)
• Antioxidant / Anticancer: Study suggest the prevention of carcinogen-DNA adduct formation and the antioxidant activity from commercial juice made from M citrifolia fruit may contribute to the cancer preventive effect of M citrifolia. (1)
• Nitric Oxide Scavenging Activity: Study of plant extracts of 17 Indian medicinal plants, M citrifolia was third in potency of dose-dependent nitric-oxide scavenging activity. (2)
• Herbal Hepatotoxicity / Case Report: Report of a case of hepatotoxicity from a three-week history of drinking Noni juice. Pathology was confirmed by liver biopsy. Transaminase levels normalized within a month. (4)
• Antispasmodic / Vasodilator Activities: Results suggest the spasmolytic and vasodilator effects of Moringa citrifolia are mediated possibly through blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channels and release of intracellular calcium – mechanisms that may explain its use in diarrhea and hypertension. (7)
• Analgesic: Study suggests the alcoholic extract of fruits of Moringa citrifolia appears to have an analgesic effect. Morphine sulfate was the reference drug. (8)
• Wound Healing / Antioxidant: Study showed antioxidant and wound healing activities: increase in wound contraction rate, tensile strength, granuloma breaking strength, collagen content and hydroxyproline content. (9)
• Antiviral / Cytotoxicity: Study of fruit juice of M citrifolia displayed marked cytotoxicity in lymphocyte (MT-4) cells and inhibition of HCV subgenomic replicon replication in Huh 5-2 cells. (10)
• Apoptosis-Inducing Effects/ Cytotoxicity: Results showed an anti-growth effect from induction of apoptosis. Study showed noni may be useful in the treatment of breast cancer either on its own or in combination with doxorubicin. (11)
• Antidyslipidemic: Study of extracts of leaves, roots, and fruits showed antidyslipidemic effects in rat models mediated through the inhibition of biosynthesis, absorption and secretion of lipids, possibly, partly due to the presence of antioxidant constituents in the plant. (13)
• Prevention of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting: In a preliminary, prospective, randomized double blind, placebo-controlled trial, a noni extract was showed to have an antiemetic and prophylactic property, effectively reducing the incidence of early postoperative nausea (0-6 hours). (15)
• Weak Estrogenic Activity: Noni appears to restore normal menstrual cycle and alleviate menstrual symptoms. Study showed M. citrifolia has very low potency in comparison to estradiol, suggesting its beneficial effects of are not closely linked to estrogen-mediated action. (16)
• Noni Combined with Physiotherapy / Cervical Spondylosis: Study showed Noni combined with physiotherapy to be an efficacious in the management of neck pain and stiffness in patients with cervical spondylosis. (17)
• Antioxidant / Wound Healing: Study of Mc leaves was done on experimental wounds and lipid peroxide levels in rats. There was a significant increase in wound contraction rate, skin breaking strength reflecting increased collagen levels. Results showed aqueous extract of leaves enhances wound healing and possess antioxidant activity. (20)
• Cytotoxicity: Study of ethanolic extract of fruit showed cytotoxicity in human cells only at high concentration. Cytostatic activity against HeLa and CFFK cells was seen at concentration (CC50) of more than 100 ug/ml. (24)
• Subchronic Oral Toxicity Study: A subchronic oral toxicity study in Sprague-Dawley rats showed a no-observed-adverse-effect level at 5000 mg/kg body weight/day. (25)
• Noni-Based Skin Care Regimen: A six-week clinical trial of the safety and efficacy of a noni based skin care regimen substantiated the traditional uses of the plant for skin health improvement. There was significant improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, skin elasticity, and firmness within two weeks of product use. (26)
• Protective in Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairment: Study investigated the effect of Noni fruit on memory, cerebral blood flow, oxidative stress and AChE activity in scopolamine-induced amnesia model. Results showed an ethanolic extract of fruit and its chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions significantly improved memory and CBF. It also showed dose-dependent inhibition of AChE activity in vitro. (27)
• Protective in Beta-Amyloid Induced Cognitive Dysfunction: Study was done to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of an EA extract of fruits on beta-amyloid peptide induced cognitive dysfunction in mice. Results showed a significant increase in short-term memory and long-term memory, a significant reduction of ACh activity, a significant increase in levels of serotonin and dopamine in various treatment groups. (28)
• Hypoglycemic / Hepatoprotective: Fermented fruit juice was studied for hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective effects in diabetes-induced rats. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose level. Untreated diabetic animals revealed significant fatty degeneration of the liver. (29)
• Review / Anticancer: A few in vitro and in vivo animal studies suggest a possible identified substance in unpasteurized noni fruit juice that may have a small degree of anticancer activity. Isolation of the active component warrants further research. (30)
• Anti-Photoaging Effect / Seeds: Tyrosinase inhibitors may be useful in the prevention of pigmented spots. Anti-melanogenesis activity of noni was done using an in vitro tyrosinase inhibition assay with 50% ethanol extract of fruit flesh, leaves, and seeds. The seed extract inhibited tyrosinase activity in a concentration dependent manner. The fruit extract showed weak activity, and a leaf extract showed no enzyme inhibition at any concentration. (31)
• Safety in Patients Taking Chemotherapy: Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of noni juice alone and in combination with selected chemotherapy. In cancer lines, noni juice alone did no exert cytotoxic effects, and decreased activity in combination with selected chemotherapy. Data suggest noni juice may not be safe to recommend in patients taking chemotherapy. (33)
• No Efficacy as Anti-Inflammatory in Primary Dysmenorrhea: In a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trail in 100 university students, Noni did not show a reduction in menstrual pain or bleeding when compared to placebo. (34)
• Safety Study on Noni Fruit Juice: Study of Tahitian Noni juice in 96 healthy volunteers showed drinking up to 750mL Tahitian juice per day is safe. (35)
• Antipsychotic-like Activity: Study evaluated the antipsychotic effects of noni fruits using mouse models of apomorphine-induced climbing behavior and methamphetamine-induced stereotypy (licking, biting, gnawing, sniffing). Results showed an antidopaminergic effect of Morinda citrifolia in mice, suggesting an antiphycotic effect that may be utilized in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. (36)
• Anthraquinone Content Concern: Concern regarding the possible content of anthraquinones in noni products has led to the scrutiny by the European Food Safety Authority. The production process (fermentation and juice production versus drying or lyophilization) has no effect on anthraquinone content. Study suggests that commercial noni products, whether fermented or unfermented juice or powder, should be derived only from fully ripe noni fruits, and any seed material should be removed during the production process. (39)
• Juice Composition / Unexplained Benefits: Noni juice contains a low amount of oil (1.6 g.100 g-1 dry matter), with a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids (52.2 g.100 g-1 oil) including 31.4 g polyunsaturated fatty acids. A main characteristic is a high proportion of short-chain fatty acids C6 to C10 contributing to the unpleasant taste and odor of the juice. Despite many studies and analyses on noni juice and its derivatives, the fruit retains its health-giving and curing secrets. Studies suggest the product contains molecules with undeniable antioxidant properties and additional active molecules at a medicinal level such as certain alkaloids (xeronine), assumed, but never isolated or identified. (40)
• Antihypertensive: Study evaluated the antihypertensive effects and possible mechanisms of noni juice on medicinally diagnosed high blood pressure individuals, while not taking blood-pressure medications. Preliminary results suggest that noni fruit juice concentrate (NFJC) and Tahitian noni juice (TNJ) were able to lower blood pressure by inhibiting ACE enzymes and AT receptors. (41)
• Enhanced Immune Response Against Lung Cancer / Leaves: In search for functional foods as complementary therapies against lung cancer, study evaluated the immuno-stimulatory properties of M. citrifolia leaves and compared it with the anti-cancer drug erlotinib. The extract significantly increased blood lymphocyte counts, spleen tissue B cells, T cells and natural killer cells, and reduced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a lung adenocarcinoma biomarker. It also suppressed COX2 inflammatory markers, and enhanced tumor suppressor gene. Extract contains phenolic compounds scopoletin and epicatechin. Results showed the leaf extract has promising potential as a complementary therapeutic dietary supplement which was more effective than erlotnib in suppressing lung adenocarcinoma. Mechanisms suggested were enhancement of immune response, suppression of proliferation and interference with various tumor signaling pathways. (42)
• Acceleration of Oral Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated the noni leaves as oral antibacterial agent against Streptococcus mutans and the role of a leaf extract gel on oral mucosal wound healing. Results showed noni leaves extract could help oral mucosal wound healing based on angiogenesis rate and fibroblast cell count. However, study suggests noni leaves is not sensitive against S. mutans but has an inhibitory effect on S. aureus. (43)
• Antidiabetic Potential / Review: Review summarizes the anti-diabetic potential of noni, differences between traditional and modern use of noni, along with beneficial clinical studies of noni products and challenges in clinical translation of noni's health benefits. (44)
Juices and various noni products in the cybermarket.