Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as noni (in the Hawaiian language) is a small tree of the Rubiaceae family native from Southeast Asia, it has been transported by man through South Asia, Pacific Islands, French Polynesia and more recently, from Cento-American countries.
The tree grows up to 9 meters high, both in tropical forests as in rocky or sandy soils. It is tolerant to saline soils and to some drought conditions, so it is found in a variety of habitats.
It has simple thin leaves of light green color with wrinkled venation. This plant produces flowers and fruits throughout the year. The flowers are small and white, and the fruit is oval and reaches 4-7 cm in size. When they just appears display a green color changing to yellow, and finally become almost white. They have a strong odor when harvested and contains many seeds usually consumed after roasting.
Benefits of Noni
Different medicinal and therapeutic virtues are attributed to the fruit and its components, popularly in different cultures.
A recent study found that the noni fruit is 40 times more potent than sulforaphane, a compound against cancer and antimicrobial. It also inhibits the “bad” cholesterol, and it is a natural anti-inflammatory also having antidepressant effect.
In Indochina, the noni fruit is used to treat dysentery and asthma. For external use, the fruit is peeled, crushed, mixed with salt and then applied to bone fractures.
In Hawaii, ripe fruits are applied to furuncles to extract the pus, and the fruit extract may also regulate menstruation or urinary difficulties; in the United States and Canada, the noni is known as a dietary product
In China, Japan and Tahiti, various parts of the tree (flowers, leaves, fruits and trunk) are used to treat fever, skin problems and eye treatment, gingivitis, constipation, stomach pains, or breathing difficulties. In Malaysia, it is believed that the heated flowers of this plant
When applied to the chest, heal cramps, nausea and coughing. In Philippines, the juice is extracted from the leaves as a treatment for arthritis.