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Letters From Steve Oct 2014

By: Steve Frailey Thursday October 2, 2014 comments Tags: morinda citrifolia, noni tree, noni health benefits, polynesians, noni history

What is noni fruit and its history?

Noni, Morinda citrifolia, is in the family Rubiaceae, which includes such notables as Coffee, Gardenia, and Cinchona, the quinine tree. It is one of perhaps 80 species in the genus Morinda, spread worldwide through the tropics. Many of these species have origins in the area that includes Borneo, New Guinea, Northern Australia, and New Caledonia: it is out of this population that Morinda citrifolia is thought to have evolved and spread.

Noni was eaten and used as medicine by the Australian Aborigines, a people who have lived in the same place for perhaps 40,000 years. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine, and Morinda is mentioned in the chants of the Rig-Veda from ancient India, one of the first writings ever, transcribed from oral traditions and thought to be as old as 14,000 years. Noni is a very salt-tolerant tree that thrives in wet or dry conditions. A Noni tree is typically 20 feet tall, although it has been know to grow in excess of 40 feet tall. The leaves are a large and rich deeply veined green. The fruit starts out as a small green fruit and matures into a large white fruit that may be between 3-4 inches in diameter.

Noni trees are one of the unique species in the whole plant kingdom that does not use a flower to produce a fruit. A Noni tree produces a small marble sized fruit that flowers come out of after the tree has produced the fruit!

The Polynesian People are perhaps the principal method of spreading Noni throughout its known range. It was spread from Africa to India and Southern China all through the South Pacific to Central and South America. They were some of the finest sailors from the beginnings of time. Their ingenious craft rivaled the speediest of today, and they explored and settled all through the Pacific and related oceans. The Polynesians carried with them essential plants to sustain them in unknown situations. Noni was chosen for its medicinal value and perhaps its use as a famine food as well. Noni was eaten raw, as one would eat a ripe tomato. It was used as a raw food to maintain good health.


The list of traditional uses for Noni is very impressive. The ancients found applications for Noni for many of their persistent conditions and for good reason. Noni is filled with active beneficial enzymes, over 165 compounds have been found already, making it very versatile and powerful.  Recent Laboratory tests have shown Noni Fruit Leather to have the highest level of antioxidants of any food or essential oil. One 2x2 in serving size of Noni Fruit Leather has 6024 ORAC.

Noni has stood the test of time as a traditional medicine for many cultures throughout history. With the surge of investigation by today’s science and medicine, even more appreciations of its potency and potential are emerging. This ensures that Noni, one of humanity’s first known medicines, will continue to help to promote good health in cultures to come.

Mahalo from everyone on the farm!

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.