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Pulmonary anti-inflammatory effects and spasmolytic properties of Costa Rican noni juice (Morinda citrifolia L.)

Morinda citrifolia L. (Rubiaceae) is a small tropical tree that grows widely in Polynesia. Commonly called noni, the fruits have been used as folk medicine in Polynesia, Australia, China and Ha-waii, for 2000 years for its medicinal properties. In traditional Pharmacopeia, therapeutic claims include: anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-in-flammatory, anti-asthma, analgesic, stimulation of the immune system and anti-cancer. Cur-rently, the market of noni juice is continuously increasing and noni fruits have been reported to exhibit antioxidant, anticancer activ-ities and anti-inflammatory activities. In addition, re-cently a case report of the effect of Noni juice on Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder was published. Fur-thermore Noni was demonstrated to be analgesic in a mouse model of colic pain suggesting central effect. This model involving intestinal spasms, peripheral analgesic effects through spasmolytic activity may contribute to pain relieve.