Wednesday November 18, 2015
Traditional Uses for Noni Fruit
Have you experienced the health promoting benefits of noni fruit, also known as Morinda Citrifolia? Today, you will learn more about this amazing fruit, have some fun, and find out how noni fruit can help you in your daily life.
What is Noni Fruit?
For many people, noni fruit is an exotic, mysterious fruit. Many people haven’t even heard of it, much less know what it looks like or how it grows.
Here are a few key facts about Morinda Citrifolia
One of my pet peeves is seeing noni called a bush on Google. Noni is a tree, not a bush or shrub as many websites claim. A noni tree may reach 30-40 feet in height — definitely not a bush! The valley that is home to our 37 acre certified-organic farm has many such trees. Noni fruit grows in tropical regions around the globe, from sea level up to 2000 feet elevation. The noni trees grow happily in lush rainforests, but they also grow with almost no water; it’s an extremely hardy tree. Unlike most trees, noni fruit forms before flowering, not after. A noni tree puts out a fruit, and then 50-75 flowers emerge out of the noni fruit. Ethnobotanists, who have visited our farm to research Noni trees, believe that all the beneficial compounds found in a mature Noni fruit are due to the bees, pollen and air entering the noni fruit through the flowers. When noni fruit matures, it is hard and white in color. 2-3 days after picking, it ripens, becoming translucent white and soft like a ripe tomato. It develops the distinctive blue cheese smell that gives the fruit its nicknames: Cheesy Fruit or Stinky Fruit! Noni fruit was brought to Hawaii as a canoe plant by the ancient Polynesians, who, for thousands of years, have used the raw fruit as their medicine.
The History of Noni Fruit
Noni fruit has a long history as a natural preventative and medicine. Researchers are still working to understand the full history and potential of noni fruit, including evidence of its origins. For example, there is pictorial evidence that Aborigines in Australia were eating noni fruit 40,000 years ago, and the Rig-Veda, ancient Sanskrit hymns, mention noni fruit in ancient chants for Ayurvedic medicine. Ethno botanists from the University of Hawaii travelled for 6 years around Polynesia and Southeast Asia, researching Noni fruit. They believe Noni fruit originated in Northern Australia or Borneo. They concluded that early Polynesians ate the raw fruit daily as a natural preventative, and carried it with them everywhere they sailed, spreading noni fruit across the Pacific.
Noni fruit was traditionally eaten as raw food to promote overall good health, wellness and energy and used topically to soothe skin irritations.
Heating and processing noni fruit kills the beneficial compounds that make it so powerful, so to truly use noni fruit traditionally, it’s important to keep it raw. Our Noni Fruit Leather is low-heat processed to preserve the beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and other compounds that ancient Polynesians valued noni fruit for.
Mahalo from everyone on the farm!