Morinda root
Feb 19 2014 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Morinda officinalis roots have been used in China since ancient times. In Chinese medicine, morinda is known as Bajitian. For a list of herbs used in Chinese medicine, see Chinese Herbs including another species called morinda citrifolia.

Substances in morinda herb
Many compounds are found in this plant including beta-sitosterol, anthraquinones, rubiadin-1-methyl ether, 24-ethylcholesterol and others listed below

Antidepressant activity
Five compounds having antidepressant activities have been isolated from the roots of Morinda officinalis, a Chinese traditional Yang-tonic drug. These compounds were identified as succinic acid, nystose, 1F-fructofuranosylnystose, inulin-type hexasaccharide and heptasaccharide.

Anti-Stress properties of Morinda
Studies in rodents indicate that morinda has anti-stress activity.

Additional benefits of Morinda herb
Morinda has antioxidant properties. In Chinese Medicine, morinda is used to improve sperm function. We have not seen studies to determine whether it enhances
libido.

Morinda studies
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2013 May. Protective effect of oligosaccharides from Morinda officinalis on beta-amyloid-induced dementia rats.

The effect of Morinda officinalis How, a Chinese traditional medicinal plant, on the DRL 72-s schedule in rats and the forced swimming test in mice.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002.
The present study observed the antidepressant-like action of the medicinal plant Morinda officinalis. The plant extract (25-50 mg/kg), similar to clinically effective antidepressant drug desipramine (5-10 mg/kg), significantly reduced response rate and efficiency ratio while at the same time increasing reinforcement rate. In the forced swimming test in mice, the plant extract (50 mg/kg), like the effect of desipramine (20 mg/kg), also elicited a significant reduction in the duration of immobility. A tendency to this phenomenon could be seen at the dose of 100 mg/kg. Meanwhile, Morinda officinalis extract, in the effective doses for the forced swimming test, had no effects on spontaneous motor activity in mice.

Evaluation of the hypoglycemic and anti-oxidant activities of Morinda officinalis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Singapore Med J. 2002.
The aim was to investigate the hypoglycemic and anti-oxidant activities of the dried roots of Morinda officinalis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. An ethanolic extract of the dried roots of Morinda officinalis and its three fractions (ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water) were obtained. We evaluated the hypoglycemic effects of three different single doses of the crude extract and its fractions in normal and diabetic rats for three hours after administration. Administration of the extract at 150 mg/kg twice daily for 10 days to the diabetic rats was also carried out.The effects of the 10-day treatment on the fasting serum glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, body weight, food intake, fluid intake, hepatic superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) activities, reduced glutathione (GSH), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and renal TBARS levels were monitored. In the three-hour dose response study, the crude ethanolic extract reduced the fasting serum glucose levels of the diabetic rats significantly at 150 mg/kg but increased those of the normal rats significantly at 600 mg/kg only. The water fraction demonstrated a dose dependent hypoglycemic effect in the diabetic rats whereas the n-butanol fraction increased the fasting serum glucose levels of the diabetic rats significantly at 50 mg/kg only within three hours after administration.The 10-day oral administration of the extract reduced the fasting serum glucose, hepatic and renal TBARS level and significantly increased the hepatic SOD and CAT activities as well as GSH levels. The results indicate that the dried roots of Morinda officinalis possess hypoglycemic, hyperglycemic and anti-oxidant properties.

Antistress effect of oligosaccharides extracted from Morinda officinalis in mice and rats.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2001.
AIM: To explore the antistress effect of Morinda officinalis (Chinese medicine Bajitian oligosaccharides (MW-97) in mice. Male mice and rats were subjected to a variety of unpredictable stressors on a daily basis over 15 d period and then the Vidiomex-V image pattern analytic system was used to observe the spontaneous motor activity. Meanwhile, regular method was used to prepare pathologic section of adrenal gland and blood cells analytic system was used to detect white blood cell (WBC) count (including relative WBC percentages) in peripheral blood. On the end, the serum level of stress hormone was detected using radioimmunoassay. Chronic stress resulted in diffuse hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex and atrophy of the adrenal medulla in mice, which suggested that stress-adaption failure of the adrenal gland occurred, while adrenal gland of the mice pretreated with MW-97 (100 mg/kg, ip) prior to each stressor for 15 d did not occur any pathologic changes. In addition, chronic stress also significantly reduced the WBC count and relative WBC percentages in the peripheral blood, including the percentage of lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, however, MW-97 reversed these changes and raised WBC count, along with relative WBC percentages significantly. Furthermore, the serum concentration of testosterone was decreased and corticosterone was increased significantly in chronically stressed animals. MW-97 also declined the serum level of corticosterone and raised level of testosterone. MW-97 had no effects on the spontaneous motor activity in the stressed mice. MW-97 had antistress effect against chronic stress, moreover, MW-97 had no excitatory or inhibitory effects on the CNS, which suggested that MW-97 might become a new kind of antistress agent.

Chemical constituents of Chinese natural medicine, morindae radix, the dried roots of morinda officinalis how.: structures of morindolide and morofficinaloside.
Chem Pharm Bull 1995.
A new iridoid lactone, morindolide, and a new iridoid glucoside, morofficinaloside, have been isolated from a Chinese natural medicine, Morindae Radix, the dried root of Morinda officinalis How. together with a number of known compounds: five anthraquinones, four iridoid glucosides, a monoterpene glycoside, two sterols, an ursane-type triterpene, and a lactone compound. The chemical structures of the new compounds were determined on the basis of chemical and physicochemical evidence.

Antidepressant active constituents in the roots of Morinda officinalis
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1995.
Five compounds having antidepressant activities have been isolated from the roots of Morinda officinalis, a Chinese traditional Yang-tonic drug. These compounds were identified as succinic acid, nystose, 1F-fructofuranosylnystose, inulin-type hexasaccharide and heptasaccharide.