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Singh A.K.,Md University | Singh K.,World Noni Research Foundation | Peter P.I.,World Noni Research Foundation
Plant Genetic Resources: Characterisation and Utilisation | Year: 2011

Based on the distribution, molecular similarity and use of Morinda citrifolia L., and occurrence of a wild Morinda species, Southeast Asia and Micronesia have been suggested to be the places where noni originated. The present article discusses the indices used by Vavilov and subsequent authorities on the origin of crop plants to argue that South Asia (Southeast India) has a greater probability of being the centre of domestication/origin for noni than Southeast Asia or Micronesia. The basic reasoning is that economically important plant cannot originate without richness in biodiversity and ingenuity of local people. India with rich floristic diversity, one of the centres of origin of crop plants with a natural distribution of Morinda species, including M. citrifolia L. and its immediate ancestors, has the oldest reference of occurrence, use and cultivation (Vedic literature); therefore, it appears to be the more probable centre of noni's origin. The ancient history of the expansion of Indian culture, religion and trade to Southeast Asian countries corroborate the possible role of Indians in the introduction of noni or knowledge regarding its value to Southeast Asia, from which it was carried to Micronesia and Polynesia, which provided a more favourable environmental niche for perpetuation and use. © Copyright NIAB 2011.

Singh A.K.,World Noni Research Foundation | Peter P.,World Noni Research Foundation | Singh K.,World Noni Research Foundation
Asian Agri-History | Year: 2011

Noni is a small evergreen shrub or tree, native to South, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Presently, the distribution is pantropical. Though, it is a shy plant, yet it persists well even under adverse conditions. All parts of the plant have traditional and/or modern uses. Roots and bark are used for dyes and medicine; trunks for firewood and tools; and leaves and fruits for food and medicine. Agriculturally, it is well suited for intercropping within traditional agroforestry subsistence farming systems. A renewed interest in studying botanicals that were used in traditional healing systems has brought Noni in the forefront for further bio-prospecting and use. Scientific studies have shown that Noni consists of more than 160 phytochemicals with potential to stimulate the immune system, purify the blood, inhibit tumor growth, regulate proper cell function, regenerate damaged cells, etc. In light of these developments, the present article discusses in detail, the history, botany, origin and distribution, potential use, and future perspective of Noni plant in agriculture as a crop to supplement food, nutraceuticals for health care and a medicine for curing a range of diseases, and in production of large number of other by-products, thereby increasing farmers' income and human wellness.

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