Noni, also known as Great Morinda or Indian Mulberry, is a shrub that grows extensively in the Southeast Asia and French Polynesian Islands (Tahiti being one). It is now commonly referred to as Tahiti Noni because the juice of Noni has been commercially marketed under that brand name.
The Noni plant, or shall we say the Tahiti Noni plant, is a very robust plant. It can withstand drought conditions and thrive even in volcanic terrains and limestone outcrops. It matures after 18 months and after that flowers and fruits throughout the year.
Tahiti Noni Fruit
The Tahiti Noni fruit grows in bunches and exudes a very pungent odor as it ripens. Because of this pungent odor, it is also called Cheese Fruit and even Vomit Fruit. It also has a whole lot of seeds in it, which are edible when roasted. Despite the odor, the inhabitants of the French Polynesian Islands consume it in both raw and cooked form.
The Tahiti Noni fruit is also believed to be full of antioxidants and medicinal properties, which are described below.
Medicinal Properties of Tahiti Noni
In countries such as China, Japan and Tahiti, various parts of the Tahiti Noni plant are used to treat fever, eye and skin problems, constipation, stomach pain, asthma, lumbago and breathing problems. The oil from the Noni seeds contains plenty of linoleic acid, which is used in products related to the beauty industry.
Tahiti Noni Juice
Tahiti Noni juice was introduced in 1995 and it brought the Noni fruit into focus. As of now, there are about 300 companies marketing the Tahiti Noni juice worldwide. The USP of the juice is that it boosts energy, strengthens the immune system, and supplies the body with antioxidants.
Tahiti Noni: Scientific Research Findings
In one scientific study it was found that Tahiti Noni rapidly degenerated the growth of capilliary vessels in a breast tumor. Another scientific study showed that one particular brand of Tahiti Noni juice prevented the formation of cancer cells in rats. This same study also found that the anti-oxidant properties of the Tahiti Noni juice were more effective than all the anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C, grapeseed powder and pycnogenol put together.
Tahiti Noni Juice: Criticism
In 2005, two studies concluded that the Tahiti Noni juice contained the anthraquinone toxin and, therefore, it caused acute hepatitis. But the World Journal of Gastroenterology concluded in 2006 that the Tahiti Noni juice was not toxic even if taken in high doses, thereby rubbishing these studies. Even the European Food safety Authority concurred with the findings of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
So far, nothing has been proven against the various Tahiti Noni juice brands. Nor have any of these brands been given a license for medical use. All consumers of the juice have been asked to read the label carefully and check for warnings and consume it according to their choice.