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Noni Fruit Health Benefits

Noni is the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia tree, which is native to the regions of Southeast Asia to Australia. The Morinda citrifolia is a tree of the coffee family, and is known by different names in different parts of the world. Some of the common names of this tree are, Indian mulberry, great morinda, cheese fruits and beach mulberry. This tree can reach a height of about 12 feet. Noni fruit is green in color, but eventually becomes yellowish green when ripened. It can take about 3 months on an average for the noni fruits to ripen. Noni fruits are nowadays increasingly used for making nutritional supplements, as they are known to provide several health benefits. The supplements are mainly available in the form of noni juice.

What are the Benefits of Noni Fruit?

The numerous health benefits of noni fruit can be mainly attributed to the fact that this fruit contains a number of phytochemicals such as, terpenoids, rutin, octoanoic acid, ursolic acid, damnacanthal and caproic acid. It also contains, scopoletin and proxeronine. Proxeronine found in noni fruit is converted into xeronine by an enzyme found in the human body, if the noni fruit is taken on an empty stomach. The compound, xeronine is believed to have several benefits for human health.

In the traditional medicine, noni fruit is mainly used for alleviating menstrual cramps, urinary tract infection and bowel problems.
An important fact about noni juice benefits is that it contains antibacterial compounds, and so, it can help to control the growth of bacteria like, salmonella and Helicobacter pylori. The compound, scopoletin found in noni can also help to inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli.
Noni fruit is immensely rich in vitamin C and many other powerful antioxidants, which can neutralize the free radicals to protect the body cells and tissues from their harmful effects.
Several polysaccharides can also be found in noni fruit and its juice, which too can have antibacterial, immune boosting and anti-tumor properties.
The compound scopoletin found in noni can help to lower blood pressure and alleviate inflammation. It can relieve headaches and prevent the overgrowth of fungi in the body.
Noni juice may prove effective in lowering the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body as well.
Noni has analgesic, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, for which it can help to provide relief in conditions like, arthritis.
Apart from these, noni fruit can protect the liver from toxins, increase the level of energy, help to treat skin conditions like, acne, improve the condition of the skin, treat gastric ulcers, reduce allergies and asthma, and provide some protection against cancer.

Side Effects of Noni Fruit

Some of the possible side effects are a few gastrointestinal problems such as, stomachache, nausea and constipation or diarrhea. These side effects are usually experienced when a large amount of this fruit juice is consumed. Noni fruit contains a high level of potassium and so, people with hypokalemia should avoid this fruit. Apart from these, some other possible side effects of noni fruit and its juice are, cough, bloating and gas, headaches, skin rashes and heavy periods.

To sum up, noni can have several benefits for human health, if used judiciously. An excess consumption of this fruit can however, cause a number of side effects. So, it is essential to weigh both health benefits and side effects of this fruit, before considering taking it for therapeutic purposes. Moreover, one should always consult a physician or health care provider before taking any kind of nutritional and herbal supplementation.