Morinda officinalis (Radix Morindae Officinalis, ba ji tian, 巴戟天,
morinda root, hagekiten)

Morinda Officinalis can be found in East China. Traditionally, it has been used for certain kidney and
sexual conditions such as impotence, premature ejaculation, frequent urination, incontinence,
weakness, chronic inflammation of nerves, muscular atrophy, and rheumatoid arthritis. It contains
morindin, vitamin C,asperuloside tetraacetate, resin, monotrpein, isoalizarins, rubiadian, rubiadin-1-
methyl-ether, anthraquinones, acid, simple sugars and some minerals. [4]

Research Studies

In test-tube, it showed its antioxidant and anti-cancer activities. It may benefit people suffered from
cancer. But, clinical studies are needed to prove this hypothesis and its traditional health claims.

Korean researchers from Kyung Hee University demonstrated the antioxidant-actvities of Morinda
officinalis in a cell study. Morinda officinalis (Morindae radix) showed a 47.8% 2,2-diphenyl-1-
picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging effect in cultured mouse TM3 cells with no significant cytotoxicity. [1]

Koo BS and co-workers from Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea reported Radix Morindae
officinalis is one of the key ingredients in a traditional herbal medicine - Paeng-Jo-Yeon-Nyeon-Baek-Ja-
In-Hwan. This medicine also contains Semen Biotae, Fructus  Torilis seu cnidii, Fructus Rubi, Herba
Dendrobii, Radix Morindae officinalis,
Cortex Eucommiae, Radix Aspragi, Radix Polygalae, Radix Dipsaci, Ramulus Cinnamomi, Rhizoma Acori
graminei, Rhizoma Alismatis, Rhizoma Dioscoreae, Radix Ginseng, Radix Rehmanniae preparata, Fructus
corni, Fructus Schisandrae and Herba Cistanches. Pretreatment of hydrogen peroxide-damaged rat PC
12 cells with this medicine increased the survival rate significantly. The researchers believe that this
medicine has potential benefit for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. [2] Another
group, but in the U.S.A., formulated a supplement called Equiguard. Equiguard is claimed to contain
Herba epimedium brevicornum Maxim (stem and leaves), Radix morindae officinalis (root), Fructus rosa
laevigatae michx (fruit), Rubus chingii Hu (fruit), Schisandra chinensis (Turz.) Baill (fruit), Ligustrum
lucidum Ait (fruit), Cuscuta chinensis Lam (seed), Psoralea corylifolia L. (fruit), and Astragalus
membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge (root). The researchers claimed Equiguard significantly reduced cancer cell
growth, induced apoptosis, suppressed expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and lowered
intracellular and secreted prostate specific antigen (PSA), and almost completely abolished colony
forming abilities of prostate cancer cells in a cell study. [3]


[1] Chang MS, Kim WN, Yang WM, Kim HY, Oh JH, Park SK. Cytoprotective effects of Morinda officinalis
against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in Leydig TM3 cells. Asian J Androl. 2008 Jul;10(4):
667-74. [2] Koo BS, Kim YK, Park KS, Chung KH, Kim CH. Attenuating effect of a traditional korean
formulation, Paeng-Jo-Yeon-Nyeon-Baek-Ja-In-Hwan (PJBH), on hydrogen peroxide-induced injury in
PC12 cells. Phytother Res. 2004 Jun;18(6):488-93. [3] Hsieh TC, Lu X, Guo J, Xiong W, Kunicki J,
Darzynkiewicz Z, Wu JM. Effects of herbal preparation Equiguard on hormone-responsive and hormone-
refractory prostate carcinoma cells: mechanistic studies.
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
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