Barnala urges scientists, researchers to popularise Noni's benefits

By TheHindu on 18 Mar 2017

Special Correspondent

Develop value-added health products, he says

CHENNAI: Governor S. S. Barnala on Saturday urged scientists, researchers and pharmacologists to popularise the health benefits of Noni, a plant grown in the southern States.

Inaugurating ‘NoniSearch 2007,’ a national symposium on ‘Noni for Health and Wellness,’ Mr. Barnala called for strategies for future research on the medicinal shrub popularly known as ‘Indian mulberry.’

The two-day symposium has been organised by the World Noni Research Foundation.

The Governor hoped that pharmacologists attending the event would concentrate on developing value-added health and wellness products with Noni and get these products registered in India and abroad.

The European Union had accepted Noni juice as a novel food, he said. Commercial interest in the plant had of late grown exponentially. There were 19 Noni product patents registered since 1976 in the US Patents and Trademark Office. He also expected the National and State Medicinal Plants Boards to look into the medicinal and preventive uses of the Noni and include the magical shrub in their inventory.

The Governor said the product development division of the Health India Laboratories had evolved over 168 wellness Noni products for nutrient supplementation and pharmaceutical and cosmetology applications. Practitioners of allopathy, Ayurveda and homoeopathy had brought out several instances of success in the management of disorders such as diabetes and arthritis with Noni extracts.

“Underutilised”

Though Noni was cultivated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, the shrub remained underexploited and underutilised. Awareness of the plant’s potential and its power to promote healthy life without depending on drugs was low in the country, he said.

He released a compendium of the proceedings of the first symposium held in Hyderabad in 2006 and a two-volume book on the horticultural crop.

Union Horticulture Commissioner M. L. Choudhary said as an important crop, Noni merited a concerted nationwide campaign to popularise its benefits.

Kirti Singh, foundation chairperson, who described Noni as the fruit of the 21st century, said one of the many unique aspects of the plant was that each of its parts—fruit, leaves or stem—had a specific benefit.