Morinda citrifolia, known commercially as noni, is widely grown throughout the pacific and is one of the most important sources of traditional medicines.
Scientific Name:Morinda citrifolia
Ethinc Names - Nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India) , dog dumpling (Barbados), mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia), Kumudu (Balinese), pace (Javanese), beach mulberry, cheese fruit, or noni (Hawaiian).
Origin - Most species of this genus originate in the area of Borneo, New Guinea, Northern Australia and New Caledonia.
Appearance - An irregularly shaped fleshy fruit type which is like a pale potato with lot of eyes. When it is completely matured and ripe, it has a very strong odor, at this stage the fruit is whitish to cream in colour.
- This fruit contains all the essential oils, digestive enzymes and phytonutrients.
- It contains specific phytonutrients known as glycoside, which is an effective anti oxidant.
- Extracts of this fruit contains anti fungal properties.
- It is very rich in vitamin C.
- In china, Japan and Hawaii, various parts of this fruit is used to make tonics for the treatment of fever.
- Leaves, flowers, fruits and the bark are used to treat eye problems, abscesses, throat problems, constipation etc.
- In Malaysia, its leaves are used to treat or relieve cough, cold and nausea by heating the leaves and kept on the chest.
- The fruit as such are used to treat asthma and dysentery in places of Indonesia.
- Ground unripe fruits are mixed with salt and is applied to cut and broken bones.
- The over ripe fruit is used to relieve menstrual pain and ease urinary problems.
Though these fruits are edible, their taste and smell is not that great. No one will like to have it as such, hence it has to be processed to be consumed. However, these fruits are eaten as famine food, in some of the pacific islands.
In places like Samoa and Fiji it is a staple food, where it is eaten raw or cooked. In Australia and indo china, it is eaten as a raw fruit or cooked as a curry. The young leaves of the plant can be cooked and eaten as vegetable. The seeds are roasted and eaten.
- It helps to normalize blood pressure levels.
- It supports the female reproductive system and minimizes the pain and discomfort due to menstrual cramping.
- It helps and supports joint health and mobility.
- It aids in good digestion.
- The bark of this great Morinda plant produces a purplish red and brown dye.
- This can be used in the textile industry and many other colours and dyes related industries.
- From the roots of this plant, yellow dye can be extracted.
- This tree is purposefully grown to provide support for pepper wines and good shade for coffee bushes.
This is a small shrub or tree, which has dark green lustrous leaves that are opposite to one and another, where a large stipule runs across the angular stem between the stem of the petioles. It has a bunch of fragrant white flowers, which is densely packed together, where they are fused together in their base.
This further develops into an irregularly shaped fleshy fruit type which is like a pale potato with lot of eyes. When it is completely matured and ripe, it has a very strong odor, at this stage the fruit is whitish to cream in colour. This strong odor of the fruit is associated with cheese, hence the name “cheese fruit”.
Morinda citrifolia, known commercially as noni, is widely grown throughout the pacific and is one of the most important sources of traditional medicines. It is a small evergreen shrub or tree, which is found grown in south eastern Asia especially in Indonesia and in Australia.