Botanical of the Month – Noni (Morinda citrifolia)

When you look at the 18 botanicals in Biocidin, noni is one you might not be familiar with. While it enjoyed the spotlight as a trendy superfood juice around 20 years ago, noni has yet to gain mass appeal. 

That’s unfortunate since research shows this unusual tropical fruit has plenty of health benefits!

A Noni primer

Morinda citrifolia L. (noni), a member of the Rubiaceae family, is a small evergreen tree or shrub. It is native to regions from Southeastern Asia to Australia.1 Around 400 A.D., noni was taken by canoe to new areas of trade, along with other foods like coconuts and pineapple.2

Noni has a unique look that changes as the fruit ripens. It begins as a bumpy green globe or oval resembling a potato. Cut it open, and you’ll see white flesh with large, dark seeds.

While this somewhat strange-looking fruit feels hard while hanging on the tree, it becomes soft and mushy once it falls to the ground. Its skin also turns from green to pale yellow to white. 

Stop and smell the roses, NOT the noni!

But what really catches your attention about noni is the pungent, awful smell of the fruit as it's softening and ripening. Is it smelly socks, vomit, rotting potatoes, or very stinky cheese? 

Whatever it most resembles, that smell makes ingesting noni quite challenging. Thankfully it’s available as an extract that can be added to supplements.

A long history of health benefits

Noni has been used in folk remedies by Polynesians for over 2000 years.3 It has been traditionally used to treat various ailments where the fruits, leaves, root, stem, and bark can be applied externally as a poultice or consumed orally as a decoction or in the form of fermented fruits.1

A wide range of potential applications for noni include support for healthy digestion, cognition, joint mobility, blood pressure, immunity, weight management, inflammatory response, and gum health.4,5


  1.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9716600/
  2.  https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/noni
  3.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12466051/
  4.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17286240/
  5.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5920423/