Monday, March 23, 2009

What are the Benefits of Noni?

By William Kendricks

The Noni Fruit Tree originates in humid tropical climates. It is most native to the Islands of Hawaii, growing in black lava soil and along lava covered beaches. It has also been found in Tahiti, French Polynesia, Southeast Asia, the Dominican Republic and the Pacific Islands. It grows best in the black lava soil, but will also flourish on sandy rocky beaches, salty or saline soils, limestone out crops and in shady forest areas. It is related to the coffee family, Rubiaceae.

It has been called the starvation or famine fruit because it quite frankly tastes pretty bad on it's own. It has a knobby texture on the outside, very similar to that of a pineapple, and a white skin and is shaped like a gourd or heavy white potato. It has been called the Cheese fruit because it gives off an odor like curing cheese when it is ripening. The fruit itself is quite ugly and really doesn't look like a fruit at all. It has been known by many different names, including the Great Morinda, Indian Mulberry, Mengkudu, Beach Mulberry, Tahitian Noni, and Cheese fruit. Its scientific name is Morinda Citrifolia.

The main use of the fruit is the juice and ground powder. The powder itself is loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium with trace amounts of sodium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and carbohydrates. Noni is said to have boosting power for your metabolism. This fruit also contains a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids, flavanoids, polysaccharides, indoids and phytoestrogens.

Noni also has trace amounts of beta-sitosterol which is an anti-cholesterol agent. The fruit, leaves, and bark are all used in many health food manufacturers and countries for herbal and natural healing remedies. In China, Samoa, Japan and Tahiti, they use the flowers, fruit, bark, leaves, and roots for herbal remedies that treat or cure fever, eye problems, skin ailments, throat gum maladies, bowel and intestine problems and respiratory malfunctions.

The Malaysians make poultices from the leaves of the Noni Plant to aid in the relief of coughing, nausea, general colds and respiratory ailments. Indochinese make poultices for broken bones and sprains to relieve the pain. They also insist that parts of the plant help in lumbago and asthma.

When it was first discovered that the Noni plant had healing and health benefits, tribal chiefs and warriors would carry the fruit with them when moving from one area to another, going to war, or just traveling. It was given the nick name of the Canoe fruit while others simply called it the Queen fruit.

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