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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Noni - 'Morinda citrifolia ' - fam: Rubiaceae

The Noni, morinda citrifolia, is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Its native range extends through Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the species is now cultivated throughout the tropics and widely naturalized. Among some 100 names for the fruit across different regions are the more common English names, Great Morinda, Indian Mulberry, Noni, Beach Mulberry, and Cheese, or Vomit fruit.

The plant bears flowers and fruits, all year round. The fruit is a multiple fruit that has a pungent odour when ripening, and is hence also known as Cheese fruit, or even Vomit fruit. It is oval in shape and reaches 10–18 cms (3.9–7.1 ins) size. Green at first, the fruit turns yellow then almost white, as it ripens. It contains many seeds. 1

A variety of beverages (juice drinks), and powders are made from dried, ripe, or unripe fruits. Cosmetic products (lotions, soaps), oil (from seeds), and leaf powders (for encapsulation, or pills) have been introduced into the consumer market. Noni is sometimes called starvation fruit. Despite its strong smell and bitter taste, the fruit is nevertheless eaten as a famine food, and, in some Pacific islands, even a staple food, either raw or cooked. Southeast Asians, and Australian Aborigines, consume the fruit raw with salt, or cook it with curry. The seeds are edible when roasted. In Thai cuisine, the leaves, known as bai-yo, are used as a green vegetable, the kaeng bai yo, in which the leaves are cooked with coconut milk. The fruit, luk-yo, is added as a salad ingredient to some versions of somtam, the Green Papaya salad. 1

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. 2

Some other outrageous claims for the healing properties of the various parts of the plant, are:

The Stem - Jaundice, hypertension

The Leaves - flowers, fruit, bark - eye conditions, skin wounds, abscesses, gum and throat disease, respiratory ailments, constipation, fever, laxative, 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.

The 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. 2

The Seeds - Scalp insecticide, insect repellant.

There is no scientific evidence to support these claims. 2

Today, Noni fruit, leaves, flowers, stems, bark, and roots are still used to make medicine for a long list of ailments. However, the effectiveness of Noni for these uses has not been proven. A study of Noni freeze-dried fruit extract is underway at The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (USA), but the results are not yet in. In the meantime, the FDA has issued multiple warnings to Noni manufacturers about health claims that aren’t backed up by fact. 3

REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 ebay article 2 WebMD 3


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