Morinda officinalis

Morinda officinalis

The Indian mulberry (Morinda officinalis F. C. How) is a shrub species belonging to the Rubiaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta Division,
Magnoliopsida class,
Order Rubiales,
Rubiaceae family,
Subfamily Rubioideae,
Morindeae tribe,
Genus Morinda,
M. officinalis species.

Etymology –
The term Morinda comes from the contraction of morus mulberry and Indian indica, from India: reference to the common English name ‘Indian mulberry’ attributed to this plant due to the similarity of its fruits to those of the mulberry.
The specific epithet officinalis comes from a medieval laboratory workshop: plants usable in pharmaceuticals, herbal medicine, liqueurs, perfumery and the like.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Morinda officinalis has its highest biodiversity center in Southeast Asia, up to New Guinea, New Caledonia and Northern Australia.
Its habitat is represented by the tropical and warm temperate climate zones of Southeast Asia.

Description –
Morinda officinalis is a shrubby plant
It has elliptical or ovate leaves, large in size with dark green color on the upper side and lighter green in the lower one.
The flowers are hermaphrodite, with 5 or 6 petals, gathered in globose inflorescences.
The fruit is a syncarp, which derives from the merger of many small fruits into a single mass (such as mulberry blackberries).
The fruits are born on the same branch in later times so you can have ripe fruit, unripe fruit, fruit in bloom and buds that will give rise to new fruits.
The ripe fruit has a more or less intense orange color.

Cultivation –
Morinda officinalis is a plant that can be grown all over the world in a wide variety of tropical and warm-temperate ecosystems; the plant can resist up to -2 ° C but also + 32 ° C, while the optimal temperature for the growth of the plant is 20 ° C – 25 ° C.
As for rainfall, these can fluctuate between 250 and 4000 mm per year.
It also adapts to a wide range of soil conditions, being able to grow on all types of soils: acidic, neutral or alkaline, with a good ability to tolerate even brackish soils, which makes it also found near land close to marine coasts. .
It can also grow with both sunny and shady exposures.

Customs and Traditions –
The root of M. officinalis (Chinese: 巴戟 天; pinyin: ba ji tian) is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The plant was first described in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. In TCM it is indicated in case of renal yang deficiency and associated with impotence, weak tendons and bones and osteoarthritis.
The plant contains morindine.
The root of this plant is used to improve kidney function. It is also used to treat cancer, gallbladder disorders, hernia and back pain; and to stimulate the body’s defense system (the immune system). Increases the effect of serotonin in the brain. Treat impotence.
Furthermore, Morinda is often used to make wine, fry in soups and add to dishes. Some people stew chicken with Morinda. Morinda is said to be a delicious dish for men.
From a medicinal point of view, a kind of anti-leukocyte substance can be extracted from Morinda officinalis, which can effectively control the deterioration and growth of leukocytes and can inhibit viral activity. Therefore.

Preparation Method –
Both the root and the whole plant are used from Morinda officinalis both in the food field and for medicinal uses, both in traditional Chinese medicine and in modern herbal medicine.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




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