Noni juice comes from the Noni plant, also known as Morinda Citrifolia. People who believe in the health benefits of Noni juice claim that a small daily dose makes them feel younger and healthier from the inside. Users report having more energy and better digestion, and claim that the juice makes their skin healthier. Proponents cite studies that have shown Noni juice to decrease blood sugar, regulate menstrual cycles, and shrink enlarged prostates, but the validity of these studies is questionable. Other studies have shown Noni juice to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and even slow or stop the growth of malignant tumors, but these studies have never been duplicated in a controlled setting.
Noni juice has caused quite a controversy in the health-food realm, and has its believers and its skeptics. Skeptics claim that the health benefits of Noni juice are nothing more than a marketing ploy. When Noni juice was first brought to the U.S., it was introduced as a multi-level marketing ploy, complete with late-night infomercials proclaiming Noni a “miracle fruit.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) censured the company for making false claims after independent labs were unable to duplicate the results of the company’s studies. The company no longer claims to sell a miracle fruit, but continues to tout the its rhealth benefits.
Independent studies have shown that Noni juice does contain minimal amount of vitamins B and C, but not nearly in the quantities claimed by manufacturers. Additionally, retail-grade Noni juice was tested for concentration and found to have a very low percentage of actual juice. Most brands contained less than 10 percent Noni juice, with the bulk of the beverage made up of other fruit juices, sugar, and water.
The health benefits of Noni juice are still in question. Those who drink it daily swear that it fixes everything from acne to cancer, and there are those who believe the claims are nothing more than advertising gimmicks. Even though the actual health benefits of Noni juice are in question, there is no question that it is not actually unhealthy to drink. Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA have declared Noni juice safe to drink, dispelling myths of toxicity.
The large, knobby, pale green fruit grows on a small evergreen that originated in Asia, but is now found throughout the Pacific, especially in Tahiti. The plant can grow in almost any environment, and can yield up to 15 pounds (about 7 kg) of fruit per month. The Noni fruit has a bitter, pungent aroma and taste, so the recommended one-ounce daily dose is usually mixed with a sweeter juice like pineapple or orange.