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Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy @ OPEN ACCESS 

Abbreviated Key Title: Sch Acad J Pharm 
ISSN 2347-9531 (Print) | ISSN 2320-4206 (Online) Pha rmacy 
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Review of Phytochemical and Pharmacological Activities of Noni 
(Morinda citrifolia L.) 

Merisa Norma Ayunda’, Zulharmita', Zikra Azizah', Harrizul Rivai~ 

‘College of Pharmacy (STIFARM), Jl. Raya Siteba Kurao Pagang, Padang 25147, Indonesia 
Faculty of Pharmacy, Andalas University, Limau Manih Campus, Padang 25163, Indonesia 

DOI: 10.36347/sajp.2020.v09112.003 | Received: 26.11.2020 | Accepted: 10.12.2020 | Published: 13.12.2020 

*Corresponding author: Harrizul Rivai 

Abstract Review Article_ 

Indonesia is a country rich in herbal plants. One of them is noni. Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) is a plant that has long 
been known to have many properties for treatment and disease prevention. This article aims to review the 
phytochemical content and pharmacological activity of noni. The way to find information is through Google Scholar 
with the keywords "Morinda citrifolia," "phytochemicals," "pharmacological activity." Phytochemically, this plant has 


been reported to contain alkaloids, terpenoids, saponins, carbohydrates, proteins, tannins, flavonoids, steroids, 

scopoletin, anthraquinones, and ascorbic acid. Pharmacologically, this plant has been reported to have antioxidant, 
antiinflammatory, antifungal, antidiabetic, immunostimulant, anaphylactic, antiulcer, antihypertensive, and 
antibacterial properties. The conclusion is that the noni plant contains chemical compounds that are efficacious in 
treating various diseases. Because of that, the noni plant can be developed into phytopharmaca. 
Keywords: Morinda citrifolia L, noni, phytochemicals, pharmacological activity, phytopharmaca. 

Copyright © 2020 The Author(s): This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International 

License (CC BY-NC 4.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial use provided the original 
author and source are credited. 

[1]. Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) or pace, kudu (Java), 
INTRODUCTION cangkudu (Sundanese), koddhu (Madura), tibah (Bali) 

originated from Southeast Asia. Other names for this 
plant are noni (Betawi, Hawaii), nono (Tahiti), nonu 
(Tonga), ungcoikan (Myanmar), and ach (Hindi). Noni 
tree reaches 3—8 m high, has white hump flowers. The 
fruit is a compound fruit, which is still young, shiny 
green, and has spots, and when it is old, it is white with 
black spots [2]. The noni fruit is shown in Figure 1, and 
the noni plant is shown in Figure-2. 

Plants are generally useful as medicine, one of 
which is the noni plant. Noni or pace (Morinda citrifolia 
L.) is a medicinal plant that has been in demand in 
recent years. Noni is a tropical and wild plant. Noni can 
grow on the beach to an altitude of 1500 masl (above 
sea level), both infertile and marginal lands. Its 
distribution is broad, covering the entire South Pacific 
archipelago, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, the 
Philippines, Vietnam, India, Africa, and the West Indies 

Fig-1: Fruits of Morinda citrifolia L [3] 

© 2020 Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy | Published by SAS Publishers, India 

Scientific classification [1] 
Kingdom: Plantae 

Subdivision: Angiosperms 

Class: eudicots 

Clade: Asteridae 

Order: Gentianales 

Family: Rubiaceae 

Genus: Morinda 

Species: M. citrifolia 

Binomial name: Morinda citrifolia 


In compiling this review article, the technique 
used is to use the literature study by finding sources or 

Fig-2: Plants of Morinda citrifolia L [4] 

Merisa Norma Ayunda et al., Sch Acad J Pharm, Dec, 2020; 9(12): 340-346 

literature in primary data or international journals in the 
last 20 years (2000-2020). In making this review article, 
the search for data used online media with the keywords 
Morinda citrifolia, phytochemical and pharmacological 
activities. Search for the primary references used in this 
review article through trusted websites such as 
Mendeley, NCBI, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and 
other published and reliable journals. 


The phytochemical content of noni plants is 
presented in Table-1 and Table-2 below. 

Table-1: The results of the qualitative analysis of phytochemical compounds in noni and their benefits [5] 

Plant parts _| Types of compounds 

Fruit Alkaloids (xeronin) Increase enzyme activity and protein structure, activate the immune 

Polysaccharides (glucuronic acid, | Immunostimulant, anticancer, antibacterial 


Dilates blood vessels, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, 
antiinflammatory, antihistamine 


Lowering cholesterol, binding fat, regulating blood sugar levels 
Deworming, tuberculosis 
Anticancer, antibacterial, antiseptic 

Table-2: Results of quantitative analysis of the phytochemical content of Morinda citrifolia L 

Plant Solvent Compound 


Ethanol Alkaloids, flavonoids, 
phenols, and terpenoids. 
Alkaloids, flavonoids, 
phenols, and steroids 

Ethyl acetate 

Leaf n-hexane, 

Other research discusses the medicinal plant 
Morinda citrifolia L containing various phytochemical 

© 2020 Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy | Published by SAS Publishers, India ! 341 

Wavelengt Test method 

mass spectrometry 

17.191 (mg/L) | Folin -Ciocalteu 

Alkaloids, flavonoids, Thin-layer 
and saponins. chromatography 

compounds and their pharmacological activities. 
Phytochemical compounds such _ as __ alkaloids, 

carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, glycosides, fats, 
steroids, triterpenoids, and tannins have been identified 
from various parts noni plant (Morinda citrifolia L) [9]. 
Another study showed that flavonoids were present in 
the ethanol extract of noni (Morinda citrifolia L) using 
thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with a mobile phase 


flavones flavonols 
OT r 
[ => oO. - = = 0 _—~ 
| | | 
oe ” i — ™~ 
O Oo 
flavanones flavanonols 
[| > cr 
T + Y 
Oo ‘e) 
isoflavones isoflavanones 

xanthones chaocones 

— OH /_\ 
(YT rv 


Merisa Norma Ayunda et al., Sch Acad J Pharm, Dec, 2020; 9(12): 340-346 

system of butanol-acetic acid glacial-water (3: 1: 1 
v/v/v). TLC test results showed the presence of 
flavonoids in the extract of noni (Morinda citrifolia L) 
[10]. Some of the structures of the noni fruit extract's 
flavonoid compounds are shown in Figure-3. 


anthocy anidins 

om —s o~ O. _CH3 
o Oo O 

furan chromones 


oO” ~~ ~oH 
a & 30 7 
ge > ocHs 


i ass 

a ole 8 


Fig-3: Chemical structure and classification of flavonoids contained in noni fruit extract [11] 

Phytochemical compounds that have been isolated from noni fruit can be seen in Table 3 below. 


Borreriagenin (previously morindacin) 

Dehydromethox ygaertneroside 

68,7 B -Epoxy-8-epi-splendoside 
6a-Hydrox yadoxoside 

Table-3: Compounds isolated from the fruit of Morinda citrifolia 
Name of the compound 
1. Anthraquinones | Anthragallol 1,3-di-O-methyl ether 
Morindone-5-O-methy1 ether 
2-Methoxy-1,3,6-trihydrox yanthraquinone [13] 
1-n-Butyl-4-(5’-formyl-2'-furanyl) methyl 
1-n-Butyl-4-methyl-2-hydroxysuccinate [14] 
3. Flavonoids Kaempferol 
Quercetin [15] 
Rutin [16] 
4. Iridoid 
Diabetes mellitus is a hyperglycemia disease 
characterized by absolute insulin deficiency or 
decreased cell sensitivity to imsulin [18]. Diabetes is a 

6-Hydrox yanthragallol-1,3-di-O-methyl ether 
Anthragallol 1,3-di-O-methyl ether [12] [13] 
2. Esther 
Antidiabetic Activity 
metabolic disorder due to insulin failure. This study 

aimed to observe the antidiabetic effect of Morinda 
citrifolia fruit juice. The research was conducted on 
Wistar rats consisting of 48 tails from four groups taken 
for examination. Three groups of 36 mice induced 
diabetes by administering a single 1/ p 5% w/v alloxan 
monohydrate in normal saline. One group as a healthy 

© 2020 Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy | Published by SAS Publishers, India 

control (Group-I), and one as a diabetes control (Group- 
II), the comparison of the effects of noni juice 2 mg/kg 
BW (Group-IV), with the usual standard drug, 
metformin 100 mg/kg (Group -III). The drug is given 
by oral route. The parameters studied were serum 
glucose levels, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, 
LDL, and hemoglobin on days 1, 14, 28 after starting 
treatment. After the induction of diabetic serum glucose 
and elevated triglyceride concentration and _ total 
cholesterol, HDL, LDL _ concentration decreased 
statistically significantly where there was no statistical 
change in the hemoglobin level. The group given noni 
juice showed better results, but the best results were 
obtained with standard antidiabetic drugs [19]. 

Other researchers also conducted experiments 
by giving noni juice to Sprague-Dawley rats. Twenty 
adult male Sprague-Dawley mice weighing from 145 to 
230 g were used for the investigation. They were 
randomly divided into four groups consisting of five 
mice, each mouse. The first group (Group A) served as 
control and received standard rat food and water for the 
study duration. The second group (Group B) received 
pre-treatment with noni juice for four weeks before 
introducing diabetes. This group continued treatment 
with noni juice for the next four weeks of diabetes 
induction. Group C received noni juice treatment after 
diabetes induction for four weeks. Group D was given 
distilled water at a dose of 1 mL/150 mg body weight 
for four weeks before induction of diabetes with alloxan 
and distilled water at a quantity of 1 mL/150 mg body 
weight for four weeks after induction of diabetes with 
alloxan and distilled water at a dose of 1 mL/150 mg 
body weight for four weeks afterward induction of 
diabetes with alloxan. Animal glycemia levels in all 
four groups were monitored and compared. Mice that 
received prophylactic noni juice (group B) before 
induction of diabetes with alloxan had the best glycemic 
control and the best treatment results. However, 
discontinuation of treatment with noni juice resulted in 
the reversal of hyperglycemia. This study demonstrated 
that noni juice had blood-glucose-lowering activity after 
trial-induced diabetes in Sprague-Dawley rats [20]. 

In another study, an evaluation of the effect of 
noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) fruit extract in diabetic rats 
using glucose tolerance method in rats and alloxan- 
induced diabetic mice. Glucose tolerance test in mice 
showed a decrease in serum glucose levels 30, 60, and 
90 minutes after giving the extract at a dose of 500 
mg/kg BW, respectively 37.0 %, 27.4%, and 25.4%; 
and at a dose of 1000 mg/kg each of 28.8 %, 19.6 %, 
and 21.8 %. This study's results were noni fruit extract 
reduced serum glucose levels in rats by glucose 
tolerance method, but it was not statistically significant. 
In the diabetic mice test with alloxan, noni fruit extract 
showed significant antidiabetic activity at 500 and 1000 
mg/kg BW [21]. 

Merisa Norma Ayunda et al., Sch Acad J Pharm, Dec, 2020; 9(12): 340-346 

Antiinflammatory Activity 

Utilization of the fruit of the noni (Morinda 
citrifolia L.) plant to treat inflammatory diseases such 
as arthritis was common in the ancient South Pacific 
[22]. Another study was also conducted by someone 
with noni juice experiments on people with gingivitis. 
This inflammatory process is caused by several species 
of bacteria in the dental plaque. In vivo and in vitro 
experiments were prepared. Patients from the in vivo 
group were divided into noni and control groups. Both 
groups consisted of patients suffering from 
gingivitis/periodontitis who were introduced _ to 
excellent and standardized oral hygiene practices. 
Patients in the noni group also used noni juice to wash 
their mouths with their mouths twice a day. The 
Papillae-Bleeding-Index (PBI) was evaluated by 
comparing the inflammation status in the two groups. 
Bacterial probes were isolated from the patient's 
gingival pouch for species identification and performed 
in vitro experiments for possible antimicrobial effects 
of noni juice. Papillae-Bleeding-Index (PBI) noni group 
experienced a very significant increase from a mean of 
2.25 at the start of the observation period (to) to 1.01 
after four weeks of noni treatment (t1), compared with a 
change of 2.11 at tg to 1.95 m tl in the control group. 
Comparing the difference in PBI values (t0-t1) between 
the noni group and the control group was very 
significant using the t-test at the level of p = 0.01. Only 
small zones of inhibition were observed in agar 
diffusion tests on agar plates coated with aerobic, 
anaerobic, and Candida cultures isolated from the 
patient's gingival pouch after treatment with real or 
neutralized noni juice in different concentrations. The 
weak bacteriostatic effect occurred in the agar dilution 
experiment with noni juice in higher concentrations 
(original and balanced noni juice). This study has 
shown that a combination of good oral hygiene and 
noni juice administration is a promising treatment for 
gingivitis and periodontitis. Additional therapy with 
noni juice significantly reduced gingival inflammation 

Antifungal Activity 

Morinda citrifolia juice extract was used in the 
antifungal test. The antifungal properties of Morinda 
citrifolia fruit extract against Candida albicans were 
tested in vitro at various concentrations and at different 
times. The inhibitory effect of Morinda citrifolia extract 
on Candida albicans was determined by culture and 
broth dilution test. Using culture was that the growth of 
Candida albicans was not detected with 50 mg/mL 
extract at 30 minutes contact time or with 60 mg/mL 
extract at 15 minutes contact time. With the broth 
dilution test, the minimum fungicide concentration of 
the extract against Candida albicans was 40 mg/mL at a 
contact time of 90 minutes or with 50 mg/mL at 15 
minutes. This study indicated that the Morinda citrifolia 
fruit extract had an antifungal effect against Candida 
albicans and the inhibitory effect varied in 
concentration and contact time [24]. 

© 2020 Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy | Published by SAS Publishers, India 343 

Antioxidant Activity 

One of the antioxidant activity of noni fruit 
ethanol extract is the presence of flavonoids and 
phenolic compounds. Antioxidants are electron-giving 
compounds (electron donors) that play a role in 
inhibiting oxygen-mediated oxidation. Antioxidant 
compounds can prevent the harmful effects caused by 
free radical compounds, so they play an essential role in 
the body's defense against disease. In this experiment, 
the antiradical activity test used the DPPH (1,1- 
diphenyl-2- picrylhydrazyl) method. The DPPH method 
is an effective and fast colorimetric method for 
estimating antiradical activity. Antioxidant activity is 
expressed by IC50, which is the concentration required 
to produce a 50% decrease in DPPH activity. The 
smaller the [Cs , the stronger the antioxidant activity. 
From the calculation, it was obtained that the [C59 value 
for comparison was 10.56 + 0.42 ug/mL and the [Cs 
for the ethanol extract of noni fruit was 104.73 + 4.56 
ug/mL. Based on the level of antioxidant strength, 
Rutin has extreme antioxidant activity (ICso < 50 
ug/mL), while the ethanol extract of noni fruit has 
moderate antioxidant activity (ICs) 101 - 250 ug/mL). 
One of the antioxidant activity of noni fruit ethanol 
extract is the presence of flavonoids and phenolic 
compounds. As an antioxidant, these compounds can 
stabilize free radicals by complementing the lack of 
electrons that free radicals have, and inhibiting chain 
reactions from forming free radicals [25]. 

Other studies were also conducted to evaluate 
noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) fruit extracts’ antioxidant 
activity, including leaves, fruits, and roots. The solvents 
used were methanol and ethyl acetate, and the 
antioxidant effect was measured by the Ferric 
thiocyanate method (FTC) and thiobarbituric acid test 
(TBA). The methanol extract of noni root showed high 
antioxidant activity, which was not significantly 
different (P < 0.05) with a-tocopherol or butylated 
hydroxyl toluene (BHT). In contrast, the methanol 
extract of fruit and leaves showed negligible activity. 
On the other hand, the ethyl acetate extract from all 
noni parts showed significant antioxidant activity, 
comparable to a-tocopherol and BHT. Antioxidant 
activity was observed using the FTC or TBA method. 
The highest antioxidant activity is found in the roots. 
The results showed that several compounds contributed 
to the antioxidant activity in various parts of noni. 
Training in the seeds may be due to polar and non-polar 
compounds but, in leaves and fruit, only to non-polar 
compounds [26]. 

Immunostimulant Activity 

The alkaloid fraction from the dried noni fruit 
was known to have immunostimulant activity at all test 
concentrations [27]. Another study was designed to 
verify the stimulating effect of the Morinda citrifolia 
fruit extract and fraction on the adaptive immune 
system's important components such as T lymphocytes 
and B lymphocytes. The effect of plant extracts on 

Merisa Norma Ayunda et al., Sch Acad J Pharm, Dec, 2020; 9(12): 340-346 

lymphocytes was tested using in vitro (MTT test) and in 
vivo (cell response) methods. The results of the MTT 
study showed that hydroalcoholic extracts (0.5 and 1.0 
mg/mL) and water extracts (0.5 and 1.0 mg/mL) 
significantly (p < 0.05) increased the extent of 
splenocyte proliferation in vitro 43.6, 54.5, 32.7, and 
36.4 % respectively. In addition, hydroalcoholic extract 
(200 mg / kg) and aqueous extract (200 mg/kg) 
significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced cell-mediated immune 
response to levels of 33.52 and 18.56 %, respectively. 
Fraction I, Fraction II, and Fraction III failed to obtain 
lymphocyte stimulating effect in vitro and in vivo 
studies. The effect of Morinda citrifolia fruit extraction 
on B cells was measured by the delayed-type 
hypersensitivity method. Thus, this study shows that 
Morinda citrifolia L. fruit stimulates the adaptive 
immune system's main components, namely T cells, and 
B cells [28]. 

Anaphylactic Activity 

This study aims to prove that the n-hexane 
extract of noni fruit can inhibit anaphylactic reactions in 
male Wistar rats induced by the hepatitis B vaccine. 
This study used an active cutaneous anaphylaxis 
method, followed by histopathological observations. A 
functional cutaneous anaphylaxis test was performed 
for two weeks. The test animals were divided into five 
groups, namely the control group without treatment, 
treatment with n-hexane extract of noni fruit at a dose 
of 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg/kg BW rats. The group 
was given chromolin at a dose of 2.16 mg/kg BW rats 
as control positive. The test animals were sensitized 
twice (once per week) with hepatitis B vaccine (dose 
145 ug/kg BW rats) subcutaneously on the back. In the 
second week, four animals were taken randomly from 
each group to be sacrificed, and their skin tissue and 
liver tissue were taken. The tissue was made as a 
histopathological preparation with hematoxylin-eosin 
staming. The results showed that administering n- 
hexane extract of noni fruit at a dose of 50 mg, 100 mg, 
and 200 mg/kg BW to Wistar male rats induced by the 
hepatitis B vaccine could inhibit active cutaneous 
anaphylactic reactions [29]. 

Antiulcer Activity 

This study aims to analyze ethyl acetate 
extract's antiulcer activity from the fruit extract of 
Morinda citrifolia Linn (Rubiaceae) using different 
gastric and duodenal ulceration models in rats. The 
work was carried out by inducing gastric ulcers with 
oral administration of ethanol, aspirin by pyloric 
ligation, and duodenal ulcers caused by oral cysteine 
HCl. The extract was administered at 200 and 400 
mg/kg orally 30 minutes before ulcer induction. The 
reference standard used is ranitidine (50 mg/kg). The 
antiulcer activity was tested by determining and 
comparing the test group's ulcer index with the standard 
drug treatment group. Gastric volume, total acid, and 
free acid were estimated in pylorus-bound mice. 
Morinda citrifolia (400 mg/kg) showed maximum 

© 2020 Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy | Published by SAS Publishers, India 344 

inhibition of gastric acid, free acid, and total acid to 
53.54 %, 52.55 %, and 30.30 %, respectively. The ulcer 
index in the animals treated with Morinda citrifolia was 
much less than the standard cases treated with the drug. 
The results showed that Morinda citrifolia has 
significant antiulcer properties, which could be due to 
the drug's cytoprotective action or strengthening of the 
gastric and duodenal mucosa by increasing mucosal 
defences [30]. 

Antihypertensive activity 

This study aims to examine the effect of 
Morinda citrifolia on hypertension in the elderly group. 
The noni fruit from generation to generation has been 
known as a traditional medicine to treat hypertension. 
This research is an experimental study with a pretest- 
posttest randomized control group design. The research 
subjects were 30 people. The statistical analysis test for 
systolic blood pressure is that there is a decrease in 
systolic blood pressure before and after drinking 
Morinda citrifolia extract capsules. Likewise, with 
diastolic blood pressure, there was decreased diastolic 
blood pressure before and after drinking Morinda 
citrifolia extract capsules. The results showed a 
decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the 
elderly who routinely took Morinda citrifolia extract 
capsules regularly [31]. 

Other researchers also revealed a decrease in 
blood pressure by consuming processed noni fruit and 
the effect of back massage in patients with hypertension 
aged 60-74 years. The average reduction in systolic area 
was 10.46 mmHg with p-value = 0.001, diastolic 3.23 
mmHg with p-value = 0.003. Both treatments are 
known to have the same effect as vasodilation of blood 
vessels [32]. 

Antibacterial Activity 

This study studied the antibacterial activity of 
noni leaf, fruit, and seed extracts in vitro using the 
diffusion disc method. Five different accessions of the 
Morinda citrifolia plant were randomly selected and 
screened for antibacterial activity against five other 
bacterial pathogens. The overall analysis of the various 
extracts' antibacterial activity revealed that the best 
inhibitory activity was produced by seed extracts (12.23 
mm) compared to leaf and fruit extracts. All extracts 
inhibited E. coli and Pseudomonas. However, 
Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella 
were not deterred by all extracts. The antibacterial 
activity analysis in all accessions showed the best 
antibacterial activity was produced by acquisitions 5, 
followed by accessions 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively [33]. 

Other studies have also revealed that noni leaf 
processing has antibacterial effects. Noni leaf 
processing is carried out using flour, blending, juicing, 
and decoction. However, it did not show any inhibition 
against Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium 
using the diffusion well test (negative). Liquid extract 

Merisa Norma Ayunda et al., Sch Acad J Pharm, Dec, 2020; 9(12): 340-346 

of noni leaf flour is obtained by extracting flour using 
different solvents, namely water, ethanol, ethyl acetate, 
and hexane, then macerated for 24 hours, used for well 
testing. The liquid extract of noni leaf meal, which was 
macerated for 24 hours, was unable to inhibit the 
pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella 
typhimurium but macerated using ethanol and ethyl 
acetate for 48 hours. There was an inhibitory power 
against the growth of Salmonella typhimurium bacteria 


Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) has _ several 
bioactive components related to health benefits such as 
alkaloids, saponins, carbohydrates, proteins, tannins, 
flavonoids, steroids, and glycosides. Therefore, noni has 
biological activities such as analgesic, antipyretic, 
antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, 
antimicrobial, antiulcer, anaphylaxis, immunostimulant, 
and antidiabetic. Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) has also 
been shown to have vigorous antihypertensive activity 
and may help develop new antihypertensive therapies. 
Because of that, the noni plant can be grown into 


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