One Plant, Many Uses: A Review of the Pharmacological Applications of Morinda citrifolia

Phytother Res. 2017 Jul;31(7):971-979. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5817. Epub 2017 May 19.


Morinda citrifolia, also known as noni, is commonly used in popular medicine in Brazil. Many parts of the noni tree are utilized in such practices, including the roots, leaves and seeds. Through a search of online databases, the present article reviews 92 research studies on the biological actions of M. citrifolia. The paper will discuss the therapeutic effects of noni and its compounds in a variety of forms of presentation, focusing on studies that support its traditional use. A large and diverse number of properties were identified, which were divided into immunostimulatory, antitumor, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antibacterial and anti-septic, antifungal, antiviral, leishmanicidal, antiinflammatory, antinociceptive and analgesic, antioxidant, neuroprotective, wound healing, antiallergic, antiangiogenic, antiemetic and anti-nausea, anti-gastric ulcer and oesophagitis, anthelmintic, antimutagenic, antipsychotic, anxiolytic, photoprotective, anti-wrinkle and periodontal tissue regeneration activities. While it was concluded that although M. citrifolia is widely and successfully used for the treatment or prevention of various diseases, it should be consumed carefully, and only after exhaustive studies into its chemical constituents and mechanisms of action, both in in vitro and in vivo models, as well as clinical trials. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: biological activity; noni; phytotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Humans
  • Morinda / chemistry*
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts