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Morinda citrifolia as mosquito repellent

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With the rising number of mosquito borne illnesses spreading in the world, there are limited medications for the diseases brought by the mosquitoes. Despite the advent of medical and technological breakthroughs, mosquito population remains uncontrolled, especially in tropical countries like the Philippines. People cannot afford the great demand in the medicines whenever there are infected person caused by mosquitoes, and expenses in the hospitals.

The world faces a big problem from the mosquito. It is one of the deadliest insects, known to man. With the rising reported cases all over the world, mosquitoes, without a doubt, are a global problem.

Mosquito bite not only will result to allergic reaction, skin irritation, redness and itching, they can also bring about dangerous diseases. Mosquito disease contributes a great crisis on health and even in the economy. Mosquitoes are horrific pests that transmit hazardous viruses and bacteria, in which can cause disease like West Nile virus disease, malaria, and dengue fever. The viruses can cause illness and even death. (Anonymous, 2013)

Eastern Enquire Encephalitis (EEE) is very rare but a serious disease brought by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that are infected with the virus of EEE may affect the health of people and may infect all living things, horses, reptiles and amphibians. In the US, there are about 10 to 20 EEE human cases reported. These cases were reported on 2011 and occurred in Oswego and Onondaga countries. All the ten cases died. The greatest risk of developing of such severe disease is those over 50 years old and younger than 15 years old. The said disease is highest risk from late of July to September. (EEE, 2013)

The most popular disease brought by mosquitoes is dengue viruses occur in most tropical areas in the world. One thing everyone should understand is that these diseases are caused irresponsible activities in the society. Portuguese archipelago of Madeira reported 2,164 cases of dengue on February 2013.

The Public Health Directorate of Angola announced 6 cases of dengue on April 1, 2013 and a total of 517 suspected dengue cases in may 31. (Public Health Department, 2013)

In the Philippine, Metro Manila have been already recorded over 1500 dengue cases since January 2013. Even more worrisome is that there is no cure. There is no specific treatment or vaccine poor dengue fever. Treatment is only supportive care, but prevention is possible by preventing mosquito bites. (Public Health Department, 2013)

Not only dengue, but malaria, Japanese lymphatic, filariasis, kala-aza and chikungunya are transmitted by mosquitoes. With the slackness shown by the government in implementing routine mosquito control measures, the mosquito repellent industry has grown in to gigantic proportions. The market size of mosquito repellent is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. But these repellents are not totally safe. Mosquito repellent creams cause severe allergic rashes in suspected individuals. ( Vignesh, 2012)

Thus, this study of morinda citrifolia fruit as mosquito repellent aims to provide community folks with free natural, effective and alternative to commercial mosquito repellent. This may help save hundreds of lives from various mosquito borne-diseases and Morinda citrifolia plant is abundant in the Philippines.

Review of Related Literature

This review of related of literature will give an advance review to all the concepts about the study, ‘morinda citrifolia as mosquito repellent. Thus, this study or this review will be able to determine the other applications, nature of morinda citrifolia, foreign or local studies, problems about mosquitoes, and details about the study.

Mosquito Citrifolia

Vernaculant names of morinda citrifolia include nunaaki (Tamil Nadu, India) dog dumpling (Barbados) mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia) apatot (Philippines) kumulu (Bali) pace (Java).

Morinda citrifolia grows in shady forests, as well as on open rocky or sandy shores. It reaches maturity in about 18 months, then yields between 4 to 8 kg. of fruit every month, throughout the year. It is tolerant of saline soils, drought conditions and secondary soils. It is therefore found in a wide variety of habitats; volcanic terrains, lava-strewn coasts and clearings or limestone out drops as well as in coralline atolls. (Frias, 1999)

It can grow up to 9cm (30ft) tall and has large, simple, dark green, and shiny and deeply veined leaves. The plant bears flowers and fruit all the year. The fruit is multiple fruit that has a pungent odor, when ripening and is hence also known as cheese fruit, or even vomit fruit. It is oval in shape and reaches 10 to 18 cm size. At first green, the fruit turns to yellow then almost white as it ripens. (Frias, 1999)

It contains many seeds; it is sometimes called starvation fruit. Despite of its strong smell and bitter state in taste, the fruit is nevertheless eaten as a famine food and in some Pacific island, even a staple food either raw or cooked. Southeast Asians and Australian aborigines consume the fruit raw with salt or cooked it with curry. The seeds are edible when roasted. (Marton, 1992).

Morinda Citrifolia is especially attractive to waver ants which make nest from the leaves of the tree. These ants protect the plant from some plant parasitic insect. A type of fruit fly, drosophila sechellia, feeds exclusive on these fruit. (Jones, 2000)

Nutrients and Special constituents

The morinda citrifolia contains many vitamins, minerals, enzymes and beneficial alkaloids. In fact, it contains a very special alkali, xeronine. Xeronine is found in all the cells of microorganism, plants, animals and humans. This alkaloid plays a fundamental role in the function of all body cell and allows protein to carry out all their individual duties. (Fletcher, 2011)

The xeronine works with endorphins to ease pain and cause a sense of euphoria; it is the body’s supreme pain killer and a rather effective sedative. Though many people acquire xeronine in their diet, some scientist worry that this may not be enough. Many nutrients acquire from foods where being lost due to poor soil and unhealthy crops, and a lack of this alkali that is essential can cause illness. Not only this plant contains xeronine, but also proxeronine, which is better. (McClatchy, 2002)

Proxeronine is the precursor to xeronine and allows the body to control how much xeronine is produce, while the rest is lost as waste. This allows the protein in the body what they were designed to do. Morinda citrifolia also contains essential amino acids in its roots and leaves. (Palu, 2009)

Morinda citrifolia also contains a chemical called damnacanthal in its roots. Damnacanthal has been found to be effective in successfully changing cancer cells back to normal cell, supposedly. (Brown, 2012)

Morinda citrifolia fruit contains carbohydrate and dietary fiber, in moderate amounts. These macronutrients evidently reside in the fruit pulp, as morinda citrifolia juice has spear nutrient content. The main macronutrients of morinda citrifolia pulp, powder include vitamin c, niacin (vitamin B3) , iron and potassium, vitamin A, calcium and sodium are present in moderate amounts. (Scot, 2006)

When morinda citrifolia fruit juice alone analyzed and compares to pulp powder, only the vitamin C is retained in an amount that is about half the content of a raw navel orange. Sodium levels in morinda citrifolia juice (3% of Dietary Reference Intake) are high compared to an orange and potassium content is moderate. (Scot, 2006)

Morinda citrifolia fruit contains a number of phytochemicals, including lignans, oligo and polysaccharides, flavonoids, irridoids, fatty acids, scopoletin, catecilin, beta-sitosterol, damnacanthal and alkaloids. Although these substances have been studied for bioactivity, current research is insufficient to conclude anything about their effects on human health. (Saleem et al, 2005)

Other Uses and Applications:

Over the last decades, a growing number of people have been become interested in the medicinal uses of morinda citrifolia fruit, or the Indian mulberry of the south pacific island of Tahiti, and more recently from Hawaii. Morinda citrifolia has been used in folk remedies by Polynesians for over 2000 years and is reported to have a broad range of therapeutic effects, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumor, antihelmia, analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing effects. (Brett et al, 2008)

The green fruit, leaves and roots/rhizomes were traditionally used in Polynesians culture to treat menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities, diabetes, liver diseases and urinary treat infections. (Wang, 2002)

The bark of the great morinda citrifolia produces a brownish-purplish dye for batik making. In Hawaii, yellowish dye is extracted from its roots to dye cloth. These have been an recent applications for the use of morinda citrifolia (seed oil) which contains linoleic acid possibly useful when applied typically to skin e.g. Anti-inflammatory, acne production or moisture retention. (Dermatologishche Monateschrift 179, 1993)


Antitumor of a polysaccharide-rich substance from the fruit of morinda citrifolia (juice) on sarcoma 180 ascites tumor in mice. (Phytother, 2003)

Reductions in total cholesterol and triglycerides have been seen smokers when drank a product containing juice from morinda citrifolia fruit, everyday for a month. (Wang, 1999)

In java, morinda citrifolia has been part of the treatment for diabetes; most of the folks use it for diabetes involves chewing the leaves or a combination of the plant and leaves. Chewing mulberry leaves release and activates large amounts of mucilage or insoluble dietary fiber. The fiber may slow the absorption of simple from the gut. (Lutfiyya, 2009)

Infections are the most common applications of morinda species. The extract from the leaves of morinda citrifolia displayed a moderate suppression of ascaris lumbricoides (intestinal nematodes) growth in test tube. However, morinda citrifolia juice has not been shown to improve infections acne symptoms have manifested, although there are anecdotal reports of patients feelings better from mild, infections after using morinda. Decoction of the leaves or roots or related mulberry species may have the same suppressive effects on parasitic infections. (Angiogenesis, 2003)


Painful inflammation and swelling are the second most common usage of morinda citrifolia. Studies in mice have been demonstrated that extracts from the roots of morinda citrifolia have some pain relieving and sedative activity. (Angionesis, 2003)


The mosquitos are family of small, midge like flies, the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful living vertebrates, including humanity. The females of many species of mosquito are blood-eating pests. In feeding on blood, some of them transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and filariasis. Some authorities’ argue accordingly that mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on earth. (Jaeger, 1959)

Types of Mosquitoes

There are more than 3500 species of mosquitoes in the world and there are 13 mosquitos’ genres, which live in the United States, 3 of these genres, most mosquitoes belong:

Aedes, they are sometimes called floodwater mosquitoes, because flooding is important for their eggs to hatch. Aedes mosquitoes have abdomens with pointed tip. They include such species as the yellow fever, and the Asian tiger mosquito (aedes mosquito, albopictus). They are strong flies, capable of travelling great distance (up to 75 miles/121 km) from their breeding sites. They persistently bite mammals (especially humans), mainly at dawn and in the early morning. Their bites are painful. (Anonymous, 2011)

Anopheles, these tend to breed in bodies of permanent freshwater. Anopheles mosquitoes also have abdomen with pointed tips. They include several species, such as the common malaria mosquito (anopheles quadrimaculatus) that can spread malaria to humans. (Anonymous, 2011)

Culex, these tend to breed in quiet, stagnant water. Culex mosquitoes have mosquito’s abdomens with tips. They include several species such as the northern house mosquito (culex pipiens). They are weak fliers and tend to live for only a few weeks during the summer months. They persistently bite and attack at dawn or after dusk. Their bite is painful. (Sawabe, 2000).

Some mosquitoes, such as the cattail mosquito (coquilettidia perturbans) are becoming more prevalent pests as human invade their habitat. Scientists do know that genetics account for a whopping 85% of the susceptibility to mosquito bites. They have also identified certain elements of the body chemistry that, when found in excess on the skins surface make mosquitoes swarm closer. (Clement, 1992).

People with high concentrations of steroids as cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes. The people simply may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the by products of which remains on the skin surface. (Butler, 2012).

Mosquitoes also target people who produced excess amounts of acids, such as uric acid. These substances can trigger mosquitos’ sense of smell, living them land on unsuspecting victims. This process of attractions, begin long before handing. Mosquitoes can smell their dinner from an impressive distance of up to 50cm. (Edman, 2012)

Any type of carbon dioxide is attractive even over a long distance. Large people tend to give off more carbon dioxide which is why mosquitoes typically prefer munching on adults to small children. Pregnant woman are also at increased risk, as they produce a greater-than-normal amount of exhaled carbon dioxide. Movement and heat attract mosquitoes. (Conlon, 2012).

Viral fever is transmitted by the bite of a particular group of mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The diseases affecting infants, young children and adults incapacities the patient with the abrupt onset on high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints pains and skin rashes. DHF is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, abdominal pain, often with enlargement of the liver and bleeding tendencies and in severe cases; it causes circulatory failure and death. There is no a specific treatment or vaccine for dengue fever. (Vignesh, 2012)

Not only dengue, but malaria, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, kala-azar and chikungunya as transmitted by mosquito. (DHF, 2012).

Related Studies

Aspergillus Niger and Aspergillus Flavus. The result shows that there is an effect to the microbes, the use of 100% of concentration of morinda citrifolia to the different strains, will give an effective result. Most of the effective results were observed on Escherichia Coli.


This study aims to find out the effectiveness of Morinda citrifolia fruit as mosquito repellent. Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions:

1. Does the concentrations of Morinda citrifolia fruit in liquid solution affect its repellency time against mosquitoes?

2. Is there a significant difference on the concentrations of Morinda citrifolia on its repellency time against mosquitoes?


The study shall provide answers based on the statement of the problem.

1. The concentrations of Morinda citrifolia fruit in a liquid solution does not affect the repellency time against mosquitoes.

2. There is no significant difference on the concentration of Morinda citrifolia on the repellency time against mosquitoes.

Significance of the Study

Determining the efficacy of morinda citrifolia as mosquito repellent is the main goal of the study.

This study can help formulate ideas for further research on morinda citrifolia fruit. It will also make people understand that mosquito bite can possibly generate serious damage in our system.

When proven to be effective, the fruit used in the study can provide community folks with free natural and effective alternative to commercial mosquito repellent.

If successful, this alternative mosquito repellent might help save hundreds or even all lives from various lives threatening diseases that mosquito had brought. The study can provide a mosquito repellent that is safe, effective and environment-friendly. It can also be economical because the material used, morinda citrifolia fruit or apatot is abundant in the Philippines.

Employing mathematical processes, this study hopes for further enhance understanding on mosquito repellent process. It findings can help people that have businesses in terms of medical professionals, other researchers, and the society, in general.

Scope and Limitation

The study will be limited only in determining the effectiveness of Morinda Citrifolia as mosquito repellent.

The investigation of the effect of the different concentration of Morinda Citrifolia extract serve as the independent variable of the study. On the other hand, the repelling time against mosquitoes by the different concentrations serves as the dependent variable of the study. The study will be conducted at Tuban, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, from June to September, 2013.

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