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Family Rubiaceae
Morinda umbellata Linn.

Ji yan teng

Scientific names Common names
Guttenbergia umbellata (L.) Zoll. & Moritzi Halon (Tag.)
Gynochthodes umbellata (L.) Razafim. & B.Bremer Nino (Tag.)
Morinda boninensis Ohwi Climbing noni (Engl.)
Morinda padavara Juss. Common indian mulberry (Engl.)
Morinda padavara Juss. ex Schult.  
Morinda scortechinii (King & Gamble) Ridl.  
Morinda tetrandra Jack  
Morinda umbellata Linn.  
Halon is a common name shared by Amaranthus paniculatus Linn. and Morinda umbellata Linn.
Morinda umbellata L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ji yan teng, Yang jiao teng.
KANNADA: Maddibanne, Maddihambu, Maradarasina, Poppili.
INDIAN: Neyvalli, Kudalchurukki.
MALAY: Mengkudu akar, Mengkudu hutan, Mengkudu kecil.
SANSKRIT: Daruharidra, Klibapushpa, Pitadaru.
TAMIL: Mancanaari, Manjanattikkodi, Mattikoddi, Noona kai,
THAI:  Yo yaan.

Nino is a large, diffused shrub, climbing by long, hairy, slender branches. Leaves are elliptic, 8.5 to 13 centimeters long, 3.5 to 5 centimeters wide, smooth on the upper surface, hairy beneath, and pointed at both ends. Inflorescences occur in stalkless terminal umbels about 1.5 centimeter in diameter. Corolla is almost notched, with a bearded throat; the corolla-tube is short, being less than 5 millimeters long. Fruit is compound, 2 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter, and irregularly lobed.

- In Cagayan, Zambales, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro and Culion, In thickets and forests at low altitudes
- Also occurs in India to southern China and Malaya.

- Roots yield a yellow dye.
- Root-bark contains a glucoside, morindine, and the coloring matter, morindone.
- Various leaf extracts yielded flavonoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, steroids, tannins, and carbohydrates. (see study below) (4)

- Roots considered purgative.
- Studies have shown antibacterial, mast-cell stabilizing, anti-anaphylactic effect.

Parts used
Roots, leaves.


In India, fruit is eaten while green in curries, or when ripe, uncooked.
- Boiled roots applied for dropsy.
- In America, roots used as violent purgative.
- Leaves, in conjunction with certain aromatics, used as decoction for diarrhea and dysentery.
- Decoction of leaves and roots used as vermifuge for children.
- In Western Ghats region of Kerala used for treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle aches, and pains. (4)
- In traditional Indian medicine, decoction of roots and leaves used for treating intestinal pains, diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, syphilis, and gonorrhea. (4)
- In Vietnamese folk medicine, used for furuncles, dysentery and skin diseases. Aerial parts used for fever, cough, stomachaches, rheumatism, and acute hepatitis. (4)
- Rope: Stems serve as rough ropes in Ceylon.

Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study investigated the antibacterial activity of various leaf extracts of Morinda umbellata against ten different bacterial species, viz., Bacillus megaterium, B. subtilis, E. coli, K. pneumonia, M. luteus, P. aeruginosa, S. typhi, S. flexneri, S. aureus and S. epidermis. Solvents of ethanol and methanol extracts showed antibacterial activity against maximum number of bacterial species tested. (2)
• Mast Cell Stabilizing / Anti-Anaphylactic Effect / Leaves:
Study evaluated different solvent extracts of M. umbellata leaves for mast cell stabilizing and anti-anaphylactic effect. Leaf methanolic, n-hexane and chloroform extracts exhibited significant protection against egg albumin induced peritoneal and mesenteric mast cell degranulation. In active paw anaphylaxis, animals treated with ethanolic and n-hexane extracts exhibited significant reduction in ovalbumin induced paw edema. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids in leaves may have contributed to the inhibitory effect on antigen induced mast cell degranulation and active paw anaphylaxis in Wistar rats. (see constituents above) (4)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated May 2018 / May 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Morinda umbellata L. / PHOTO / Berlayar Creek; Mangrove edge; 2009. / The Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online / CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO PAGE SOURCE OF IMAGE / floraofsingapore.wordpress.com
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Morinda umbellata L. / PHOTO / Fruit / © / From Int J Curr Res Biosci Plant Bio, 2014 /

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Morinda names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
Antibacterial activity of Morinda umbellata L. (Rubiaceae) Leaves by Resazurin Redox Method / R. Nagaraj, M. Prakash, and N. Karmegam / Int. J. Curr. Res. Biosci. Plant Biol., 2014, 1(5): 53-57
Morinda umbellata / Synonyms / The Plant List
Effect of Morinda umbellata Linn. (Rubiaceae) Leaf Extracts on Antigen Induced Mast Cell Degranulation and Active Paw Anaphylaxis in Wistar rats / N M Krishnakumar, P G Latha, S R Suja / Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2017; 11(3): pp 228-234

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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