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How to Use Noni Fruit the Traditional Way

By: Steve Frailey Friday September 11, 2015 comments Tags: noni history, canoe plants, raw food noni, polynesians

Polynesians and native Hawaiians have known for centuries that noni is a powerful plant for promoting good health. The Polynesians brought noni as one of their 27 “canoe plants” when they first came to settle the Hawaiian islands, and since then, it’s uses have been passed down through generations.

We learned about noni when we moved to our farm on Kauai from California back in 1982. Over time, we saw its ability to promote health and wellness. Over the years, the testimonials we’ve gotten from our customers and friends has been further proof to us: noni promotes good health.

But we think a lot of people don’t really understand what noni’s about. They drink the juice, fermented, diluted, and usually sweetened. Countless studies have shown that noni juice contains barely a fraction of the beneficial compounds of the raw noni fruit.

Traditionally, noni fruit wasn’t fermented and turned into juice as some people do by placing it in glass jars. I always challenge people to visit Bishop Museum in Honolulu and look for a glass jar from even just 150 years ago. They didn’t have them, and they didn’t need them. They ate noni fresh from the tree, year-round.

We stick to that tradition at Hawaiian Organic Noni, because we trust the ancient wisdom of those explorers who brought noni with them as a precious commodity from faraway islands. Here’s what you can learn about noni from the ways it was traditionally used as part of daily life.

Fresh, Raw, and Unfermented

Our goal is to bring you as close as possible to picking the noni right off the tree and eating it fresh—because that’s the way it was meant to be eaten. We make our noni products from raw, organic, unfermented noni pulp.

Challenges of Preserving Noni

Noni has a preservation problem, which is why traditional use was to eat the fresh raw fruit. People began fermenting and preserving it as a matter of convenience. Within hours of being picked, the white mature fruit begins to undergo a slow ripening process and when totally ripe only lasts for 6 to 8 hours before it rots and ferments. Fermentation turns sugars into alcohol, alters enzyme structures, and damages many of the beneficial compounds.

We were determined to find a way to preserve noni without damaging the beneficial nutrients of the raw fruit.

Innovative Process, Traditional Results

After a lot of experimentation, we found that removing the water from noni halted the fermentation process. We developed our unique low-heat dehydration system, to turn raw noni pulp into 100% pure noni fruit leather.

We encourage you to come visit us on Kauai to try fresh noni right from the tree and see what the true traditional experience is like. But if you don’t have access to noni trees every day, you can rest assured that our products are as close to the raw fruit as you can get.

Noni as Raw Food

This is where the real work gets done: when you let noni promote good health from the inside out. Taking noni internally helps the beneficial compounds in the fruit make the most difference on your body’s systems.

Evidence shows that noni was traditionally eaten daily to support overall good health, wellness and energy. Ancient Polynesians valued the noni fruit in large part because of its ability to keep them vital and healthy. It was eaten daily to promote good health.

Addressing Persistent Conditions

Eating noni can also take action against persistent conditions. When ancient Polynesians needed to improve health and energy, they upped their daily noni intake while they got back to good health.

We recommend taking two to four 2x2 inch pieces per day of Noni Fruit Leather for addressing persistent conditions. 

Applying Noni Topically

Topical noni application is another widely known traditional use. Raw fruit was often applied to the skin for various reasons. Noni Lavender Lotion applied topically helps promote clear, healthy skin and IcyHeat Noni Lotion provides soothing pain and inflammation relief.

Promotes Long-Term Skin Health

One reason ancient Polynesians applied noni to the skin was for a long-term benefit. Applied daily, noni provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage, soothes irritated skin and promotes skin clarity.

You might not be able to apply fresh noni fruit to your skin each day, but our Noni Lavender Lotion is made of just noni pulp, water, lavender, and a little grapefruit seed extract. The Noni Lavender Lotion is 99.2% organic noni pulp.

Relieving Pain Symptoms

Persistent pain relief was another traditional use of noni. Noni fruit was applied to inflamed, bruised, strained, or otherwise painful areas to bring relief while promoting a healthy response to inflammation.

Professional athletes use noni to keep pain at bay so they’re ready perform—ancient Polynesians did the same thing.

We created two formulas using menthol and camphor to take the pain relief to the next level: our IcyHeat Noni Lotion and our IcyHeat Sports Formula are for quickness of response.

Recovering from Acute Injuries

Noni was also used on more acute injuries to speed recovery, soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. It was a crucial part of ancient Polynesian first aid. For my family and for our customers, Noni Lavender Lotion is where we turn first to address skin irritations. The IcyHeat Noni Lotion and IcyHeat Sports Formula Lotion are wonderful for acute pain and inflammation relief.

Noni is a part of our daily lives, just as it was for ancient Polynesians. We are honored to uphold such a long-lived tradition of using noni and to spread it around the world.

How is noni a part of your daily life? Let us know in the comments!


Steve Frailey

About the Author: Steve Frailey

My wife and I (Steve Frailey) moved to Kauai, Hawaii in 1982 from our organic farm in California. There were no roads, electricity, water or buildings but lots of Noni trees (Morinda Citrifolia) in our valley. We also developed a deep relationship with Noni that was growing all through our valley.  Today we run our Hawaiian Organic Noni farm, and share the gift of health with people throughout the world.