Noni, Morinda citrifolia, is an interesting looking fruit that has been traditionally used for a broad range of conditions. A supportive addition to a horse’s diet, the fruit has been researched for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, anticancer and immune modulating effects.
Noni is also known as Indian Mulberry, Ba Ji Tian or Cheese Fruit; the last name makes sense, as it is stinky when ripe. The oblong somewhat knobby looking noni fruit turns white once ripe. Found in India, Australia, South East Asia and Hawaii, this evergreen shrub grows best in tropical conditions. For medicinal use, the fruit is harvested before maturity and then processed into a powder, fruit leather or juice.
The taste of Noni is sweet, while the energy of the fruit is neutral. In Chinese Medicine, Noni enters Kidney, Liver, Lung and Spleen meridians. Noni nourishes kidney and liver yin, supports building blood and qi as well as clearing heat and toxins and is considered a tonic food. Nutritionally Noni contains, Vitamin C, quercetin, rutin, Vitamin A, polysaccharides, Vitamin E, potassium and other trace elements.
Noni has antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, some research has shown Noni’s ability as a Cox-1 and Cox-2 inhibitor, making it a consideration in supporting horses with arthritis, chronic laminitis or Lyme disease.
Some research has been done showing Noni can be complementary as an antioxidant rich food for cancer support.
Noni has traditionally been used to enhance the immune system against bacterial infections. Research has shown Noni to be antimicrobial both internally and topically against a wide variety of microbes including Candida albicans, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, H. pylori and Staphylococcus areaus.
Ways to use Noni
The easiest way to use Noni for horses is the fruit leather which can be cut up into 2”x2” pieces and best fed preferably as a treat but can also be added to food. The average dose is two to four 2”x2” squares daily.
Topically, you can soak a square of the fruit leather in water, blend well and then apply this topically to your horse’s skin. Noni is helpful for speeding up healing and relieving pain from bug bites, scratches, rain rot and wounds. Premade Noni lotions are also available and include other skin healing ingredients.
Noni is considered non-toxic. However, it does contain potassium and should be considered in the overall diet if your horse has kidney issues. Beneficial noni products are from the green unmatured fruit. Look for a product that has not been processed with heat as this can destroy nutrients and enzymes. Also, be aware of where the noni is grown, soil and weather conditions play a big part in the quality of all medicinal plants including Noni.
Horses suffering from chronic laminitis, lyme disease, arthritis, or bacterial infections could benefit from the addition of Noni into their overall diet. Noni is a useful food tonic with a variety of phytochemicals and polysaccharides that can be supportive in enhancing wellness in your horse.