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Blog Entry 07/08/2007:

The Amazing Noni Plant � Morinda citrifolia

This plant for sale

With all the hype and talk about this plant the past few months I thought I would address some of the myths and facts about this plant.  Regardless if you believe this is a cure all fruit or a hoax, the plant and fruit itself is amazing.

Some of the basic common names for this fruit are:  noni fruit, Indian mulberry, Morinda, hog apple, meng koedoe, mora de la India, ruibarbo caribe, wild pine

The Scientific or Medical name is: Morinda citrifolia

First, let preface this entry with the following statement.  There is no scientific evidence that noni juice is effective in preventing or treating cancer or any other disease in humans. Although animal and laboratory studies have shown some positive effects, human studies are just getting started. Research is also going on to isolate various compounds found in the noni plant so that further testing can be done to find out if they may be useful in humans.  Proponents claim that the noni fruit and its juice can be used to treat cancer, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, HIV, rheumatism, psoriasis, allergies, infection, and inflammation. Some believe that the fruit can relieve sinus infections, menstrual cramps, arthritis, ulcers, sprains, injuries, depression, senility, poor digestion, atherosclerosis, addiction, colds, flu, and headaches. It is further claimed that the juice can heal scratches on the cornea of the eye. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

In saying this, many countries have been using this plant for centuries for holistic treatments and cures. In India, proponents use noni as a remedy for asthma and dysentery, and folk healers in the Pacific islands use it for many types of illness. In the United States, some noni juice distributors promote it as a general tonic, stress reliever, facial and body cleanser, and a dietary and nutritional supplement.

The Noni plant is a tropical evergreen tree that grows to about 10 feet tall in Tahiti, Pacific Islands, Asia, Australia, South America, Philippines, Caribbean and Southern States of the United States of America.

The history of the Noni plant is also unique.  It is assumed to have originated in Asia and was distributed throughout the Pacific Islands by natural and man-made means.  About 2000 years ago, ancient people of French Polynesia brought the Noni plant with them as a source of food and medicine, so it is assumed, when the colonized the islands around them.  Even Captain James Cook in the 1700�s wrote and observed the fruit was consumed in Tahiti and other small islands.  It seems other publications in Fiji, Roratango, Australia, India, Roratango and the Philippines were eaten and used for medical purposes.  The roots and bark of the Noni plant were scraped and pounded to form a yellow and red dye used to color clothes and clothing, and the leaves, bark and fruit were used for many different ailments.

No part of this plant seemed to go wasted, and is used as some form of medicine or food.  Witch doctors and healers use the Noni leaves as bandages for wounds helping the healing to take place faster.  Green fruits are crushed and the juice extracted as a remedy for lesions or sores.  Root and bark is used to treat inflammation and infections.  Each country had their own unique way of using this amazing plant for the people�s needs and wants.  Stories of fevers, skin disease, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal issues, menstrual and urinary problems, diabetes and venereal diseases are just a few of the ailments that this fruit is said to cure.

Here is a small list of traditional uses that these countries use and claim.

Plant Part Used

Traditional Medical Use

Stem

Jaundice, hypertension

Leaves, flowers, fruit, bark

Eye conditions, skin wounds, abscesses, gum and throat disease, respiratory ailments, constipation, fever, laxative

Fruit

Lumbago, asthma, dysentery (Indochina), head lice (Hawaii), wound poultice, broken bones, sores or scabs, sore throat, peeling and cracking of toes and feet, cuts, wounds, abscesses, mouth and gum infections, toothaches, appetite and brain stimulant food, boils, carbuncles, tuberculosis, sprains, deep bruises, rheumatism, stomach ulcers, hypertension, Philippines this is used for acne and skin problems.

Leaves

Relieves cough, nausea, colic (Malaysia), tuberculosis, sprains, deep bruising, rheumatism, bone fractures, dislocations, hypertension, stomach ache, diabetes, loss of appetite, urinary tract ailments, abdominal swelling, hernias, vitamin A  deficiency

Stem

Jaundice, hypertension

Seed

Scalp insecticide, insect repellant

Fruit juice

Regulate menstrual flow, urinary tract problems, arthritis

Flowers

Sties

Modern Uses of Noni

ADD/ADHD, addictions, allergies, arthritis, asthma, brain problems, burns, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, diabetes, digestive problems, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, gout, hypertension, immune deficiency, infection, inflammation, jet lag, multiple sclerosis, muscle and joint pain, polio, rheumatism, severed fingers, sinus, veterinary medicine.

The smell and taste of this plant is sometimes overwhelming, however the uses and medicinal value surely overcomes this distaste.  The juice can be mixed with other juices to hide the taste and smell.

The plant itself grows well in almost any soil condition including sandy or rocky soil.  The areas though, it seems to grow the best are on the volcanic mountain areas of the Pacific Islands.    The flowers are small and white, and grow from the structure of the plant.  It would seem the nectar is preferred by other honey eating insects.  It will bloom year around when conditions are right.  The fruit are 3-8 inches in length.  The fruit starts our green then turns light yellow or even white when it ripens.  The fruit is edible but again have a horrific smell and taste.  Grows well in a container, seems to tolerate shade and will bear large amounts of fruit in a pot.  If kept indoors the flowers must be hand pollinated for fruit.  This plant can NOT take cold temps below 55F, so you must protect it during the winter.  If it goes below 55 but stays about 32 the leaves fall of but the roots stay alive and the plant will grow once the weather turns warm and will still fruit the same year.  We water ours once a day, but this is not necessary.  We have an automatic water system for our plants to help the growing process.

 

 

 

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