Many types of fruits and essential oils are used to make nutritional supplements and cosmetic products more effective, flavorful, aromatic and nourishing. One popular ingredient of these products is noni, the fruit of a tree that grows throughout Polynesia called Morinda citrifolia. Even though as of 2011 the fruit has not proven officially effective at anything besides being nutritious for humans, products like noni shampoo are regularly touted as moisture- and health-restoring concoctions for the scalp and mane.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), animal studies have proven this nutrient to have anti-cancer and antioxidant qualities that also can stimulate immune and cardiovascular health. The NIH still laments a lack of definitive research with human subjects, however. These types of studies are needed for a more official declaration of effectiveness — studies that are underway, as of 2011, by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the NIH concerning noni's potential role in fighting breast and prostate cancers.
These are just a few of the alleged uses for noni. Other indigenous traditions use the fruit to quell inflammation of the joints, treat diabetes, and prevent against illness. Many also hail noni's moisturizing and protein-synthesizing capabilities, primarily due to the enzymes proxeronine and xeronin.
Noni is most often reduced to powder form and packed into capsules as nutritional supplements, or dropped into hot water for tea. Another common preparation is to make a noni juice, which can be mixed with other juices for sale on the health food market. Other preparations include not just the noni shampoo, but also noni conditioner, lotion and soap.
Noni is a powerful dye to turn hair black. Some types of noni shampoo like a BSY Noni Black Hair Magic® include not just darkening noni but also ingredients like ginseng and the red mushroom known as Ganoderma lucidum. Another type of noni shampoo and conditioner is not designed to darken hair at all, just maintain hair's natural moisture and vitality. Often, as in the case with the Enlight-n-Scent® brand of noni shampoo, noni is combined with other health-giving foods like pineapple to add even more supportive antioxidants and enzymes as well as imbue the shampoos with a pleasing aroma — a preference for most shampoo buyers.