“Research Elevates Product Value”I am delighted to participate in the inauguration of 3rd Symposium “NONI SEARCH 2008” organized by World Noni Research Foundation, Chennai. My greetings to the organizers, Noni Researchers, Agriculture Scientists, Medical Technologists, Pharmacologists, nutritionists and distinguished guests participating in this Symposium. I came across an interesting observation that “Noni has the most powerful anti-oxidant properties. It protects our vital organs from deadly attack of three radicals“. It is essential to generate sufficient database linking anti-oxidant properties of Noni and cure of particular disease of human system following scientific principles and report in scientific journals. Today, I would like to talk on the topic “Research Challenges in Noni“.
Application of Noni
Noni’s reputation for uses in folk medicine extends back to several centuries. However, no medical applications has been scientifically verified so far. We are generally going by testimonial given by the patient who has the benefit of cure by using Noni in different forms. In China, Samoa, Japan, and Tahiti, various parts of the tree (leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, roots) serve as tonics and to contain fever, to treat eye and skin problems, gum and throat problems as well as constipation, stomach pain, or respiratory difficulties. In Malaysia, heated noni leaves applied to the chest are believed to relieve coughs, nausea. The noni fruit is taken, in Indochina especially, for asthma, lumbago, and dysentery. As for external uses, unripe fruits can be pounded, then mixed with salt and applied to cut or broken bones. In Hawaii, ripe fruits are applied to draw out pus from an infected boil. The green fruit, leaves and the root/rhizome have traditionally been used to treat menstrual cramps and irregularities. The root has also been used to treat urinary difficulties. Noni seed oil is abundant in linoleic acid which has useful properties when applied topically on skin for example anti-inflammation, acne reduction, moisture retention. The present research of World Noni Research Foundation has to take the lead from all these applications and carryout systematic scientific research for scientifically evaluation of Noni products.
Presently, I found that there are 199 products released by Health India Laboratory. To my surprise the main product named as divine Noni costs rupees 1250/- for 800 ml pack. That means, 1ml is costing over one and half rupees. The aim of Noni researchers from plantation to product should be to reduce this cost progressively and make it affordable to the common man in the country.
Development of Designer Crops<
I was going through the research paper presented during Noni Search 2007 by Shri Prashant Jagadale which brings out the potential of Noni to reduce the size of the tumor growth on liver cells and remove the obstructions of the portal vein and portal artery. As you are aware, relating the? genome? of the plant with? metabolome? is the emerging field of functional genomics, a successor of gene, which finds large scale application in medicinal and aromatic plants to develop designer crops which will specifically produce the drug molecules and accumulate them in large quantities for use by pharma industry. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) at Lucknow is working on the functional genomics research for highly important plants like anticancer plant, anti-malarial plant, pain therapeutics yielding plant, revitalizing immuno-modulator plant, traditionally most valued aromatic-cum-medicinal plant and the mint yielding aromatic plant, the plant which has also created history to place India on the top position for production and export of menthol competitively in the global market.
The World Noni Research Foundation can adopt genomic research for developing Noni plantation with designed, curative and nutritional molecules suitable for cultivation in marginal lands in many parts of the country and as a companion crop for bio-fuel plantation. This will be an important contribution World Noni Research Foundation for rural wellness and development. Now let me discuss bio-diversity technology prosperity matrix.
BIO DIVERSITY – TECHNOLOGY PROSPERITY MATRIX
One of the core competences of India is Bio Diversity. Bio Diversity and technology combined can yield value added products. Few countries like INDIA, CHINA, BRAZIL, INDONESIA, MEXICO, MALAYSIA are very rich in bio-diversity. Technology is needed for developing a genetically engineered seed or transforming a molecule extracted from the herb into a drug.
Today, technologically advanced nations in this field are USA, JAPAN, FRANCE, GERMANY, UK ETC., What we need is, high productivity in agriculture, biodiversity material and the integration of technology to produce value added products. There are some regions in desert nations where biodiversity and tech are poor. Globally, we can find four types of region. One is desert region where both biodiversity and technology are poor. Second is, where biodiversity is high and technology is poor. Third is, where technology is high and biodiversity is poor. India is in a position where biodiversity is already high. We can graduate to become technologically competent which will facilitate India to become a unique country possessing high bio-diversity and high technological competence leadership in the production of plant based medicines. The combination of both these core-competences will result in wealth generation of the nation. Institution like WNRF should work for realizing this goal. Now let me discuss about Ayurveda.
Ayurveda a best form of prevention of disease
Ayurveda?s basic foundation is consciousness. Originally, consciousness is flat — nothing is happening. It is unbounded and infinite. Eventually consciousness creates fluctuations. It creates those vibrations, and the original vibrations it creates are the laws of nature. This law of nature means acquisition of knowledge. These laws of nature are structured in consciousness, they are not man-made. They are eternal, they are everywhere. These laws of nature, function through the structure of DNA in different species. All DNA is basically the same, the same four bases that repeat themselves. But the majority of DNA are not active. The part which is active is activated through these laws of nature, through these vibrations. This will be different in different species. Then, as the consciousness is charging up the DNA, what happens? These vibrations, or fluctuations of consciousness, get materialized. That ultimately produces the body, whether it is an animal body, or plant body, or human body or the planets, the cosmos, or whatever. This is how it is produced, by the materialization of the fluctuations of consciousness.
Now, in the human body, different Vedas, or different laws of nature materialize at different rates, and that creates different structures. Like a liver, or a kidney. Each one of them is working at a different vibration. If these fluctuations or vibrations are distorted, and they are not in the right frequency, either due to psychic disturbances in the mind, or due to food, drink, the environment, or other influences — whatever it is — it distorts the vibrations of these organs. When the vibrations do not work properly as per the structure originally formed and has different vibrations, it becomes diseased.
I understand, there are two types of formulas in Ayurveda. The first is the rasayanas, which are generalized rejuvenation and longevity enhancers. According to the texts, these rasayanas are supposed to suppress aging, enhance immunity, and create homeostasis. The second type involves special formulas for different disorders. You can think of the rasayanas as vitamins, but they are much more than that.
Health can be maintained and disease can be prevented. Though technology is advancing, people are still falling sick. Health care costs keep on increasing, and there is no way to reduce that unless you introduce prevention. The best prevention is through Ayurveda, because it is a very comprehensive system, since it is based on natural medicine, which is devoid of toxicity. It is indeed a challenge to Ayurveda.
<p”>Hence, the challenges lies before us, how Ayurveda can be used to prevent the diseases by understanding the disease pattern, its genetic formations and its DNA structure by carrying out integrated research with the modern biotechnology, proteomics, genetics research on medicinal and aromatic plants so that the appropriate medicinal formation can be evolved in the form of drugs to prevent the major diseases from the childhood or from the mothers womb. I would suggest the researchers assembled here to undertake such an approach for Noni, so that Noni products can be used for preventing a disease.
When I think of Noni, I am reminded of my experience with SEABUCKTHORN, now known as Leh-Berry. Seabuckthorn is largely unknown and fascinating and amazing plant species in the world. It is also now known as wonder plant, being storehouse of nutrition, bioactive molecules capable of preventing and curing several diseases of man and animal. It has got unique nitrogen fixing capability to enrich soil and great potentials of checking soil erosion caused by wind and water. This plant is fodder for certain animal species and excellent fuel in temperate region. Several health foods having seabuckthorn fruits, leaves and seeds constituents have been developed which are getting popular. Fruit juice has high freezing point worth exploiting to keep stores in liquid form in frozen areas. Particularly in Leh area where night temperature goes to -350C everything freezes including diesel in the prime movers. If we add seabuckthorn, it acts as an anti-freezing agent. I came to know about this plant when I was the Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri. Defence Scientists, particularly from Defence Institute of High Altitude Research have been working on this plant for over the last fifteen years. They have developed the agro-technology for mass multiplication of seabuckthorn in cold desert area and developed several products out of its fruit and leaves. Herbal tea made out of seabuckthorn leaves is a favoured items of troops in high altitude area.
Many Science department in the country are collectively working in the development and application aspects of seabuckthorn under the leadership of Life Science Scientists of DRDO. The research has led to production of seabuckthorn juice, oil and leaf components and is marketed by private sector. Its cultivation and utilization on scientific lines is bringing prosperity to the people of cold desert region and health benefit to the users at an affordable cost. Now I would like to discuss about standardization product needed for enhancing international competitiveness.
Standardization of Ginger
I came across a book called “Ginger” written by an American, who is a friend of India. The author feels that the drug based on Ginger will replace aspirin with no side effects and his mission is to propagate Ginger as a drug. After I finished reading the book I asked him, you are a friend of India, why your company is purchasing Ginger from Indonesia and Brazil for making the drugs. He answered that there are twelve ingredients in Ginger, out of which six are very important from medicinal point of view. Indian ginger when analyzed, we find that four of these ingredients are missing. According to him, the reasons for this are, even though India produces large amount of ginger, farmers have not been trained about the right time of cultivation during the year, right soil characteristics, right duration of the crop, right nutrient to be added during its growth and the right type of water management and finally the right timing of harvesting. The quality of Ginger crop as a function of all the above parameters is required to be made known to all the farmers. Similarly, WNRF should standardize the cultivation procedures for Noni plantation, so that they can get internationally competitive Noni product from their plantation. Now I would like to talk about certain research areas.
Since, I am in the midst of researchers, scientists, businessmen (Noni Army) and farmers, I would like to WNRF to concentrate on following research areas:
A) Develop an internationally acceptable standard for Noni composition from cultivation to fruit stage.
B) Certification of Noni products as an approved food supplement by accrediting agencies.
C) Evolution of Noni plant varieties which will have high yield and also specific bio-molecules against specific diseases such as diabetes, cancer and HIV, so that these molecules can be converted as drugs for specific diseases.
D) Development of appropriate agro-technology for cultivation of Noni in marginal land of hot humid climate, without dilution of standard.
E) Development of post harvest technologies such as plucking, handling, storage, extraction of juice and value addition to maximize the return to the farmer.
F) Scientific validation of the claims of the Noni users in India and abroad to convert Noni formulation as a medically approved product for treatment of various diseases after going through systematic trials.
G) Finding methods of using Noni plantation as a companion crop with eucalyptus, coconut and other fruit bearing trees.
With these words, I inaugurate the Symposium “Noni Search 2008”. My best wishes to all the members of Noni family for success in their mission of developing a healthy India through intensive use of cost effective Noni products.
May God Bless You.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,