Morinda Citrifolia – Queen of herbs

 Watch the video of Morinda Citrifolia here : Pure Noni by Natural Styles

Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as Great morinda, Indian mulberry, Noni (from Hawaiian), Nono (in Tahiti), and Ach (in Hindi), is a shrub or small tree in the family Rubiaceae. Morinda citrifolia is native to Southeast Asia but has been extensively spread by man throughout India and into the Pacific islands as far as the islands of French Polynesian, of which Tahiti is the most prominent. It can also be found in parts of the West Indies.

Noni grows in shady forests as well as on open rocky or sandy shores. It reaches maturity in about 18 months and then yields between 4-8 kg of fruit every month throughout the year. It is tolerant of saline soils, drought conditions, and secondary soils. It is therefore found in a wide variety of habitats: volcanic terrains, lava-strewn coasts, and clearings or limestone outcrops. It can grow up to 9 m tall, and has large, simple, dark green, shiny and deeply veined leaves. The richest of the soils in which noni grows are found in French Polynesia.

The plant flowers and fruits all year round. The flowers are small and white. The fruit is a multiple fruit that has a pungent odor when ripening, and is hence also known as cheese fruit or even vomit fruit. It is oval and reaches 4-7 cm in size. At first green, the fruit turns yellow then almost white as it ripens. It contains many seeds. It 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.

The noni is especially attractive to weaver ants, which make nests out of the leaves of the tree. These ants protect the plant from some plant-parasitic insects. The smell of the fruit also attracts fruit bats, which aid in dispersing the seeds.

Uses

In China, Samoa, Japan, and Tahiti, various parts of the tree (leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, roots) serve as tonics and to contain fever, to treat eye and skin problems, gum and throat problems as well as constipation, stomach pain, or respiratory difficulties. In Malaysia, heated noni leaves applied to the chest are believed to relieve coughs, nausea, or colic.

The noni fruit is taken, in Indochina especially, for asthma, lumbago, and dysentery. As for external uses, unripe fruits can be pounded, then mixed with salt and applied to cut or broken bones. In Hawaii, ripe fruits are applied to draw out pus from an infected boil. The green fruit, leaves and the root/rhizome have traditionally been used to treat menstrual cramps and irregularities, among other symptoms, while the root has also been used to treat urinary difficulties

The bark of the great morinda produces a brownish-purplish dye for batik making; on the Indonesian island of Java, the trees are cultivated for this purpose. In Hawaii, yellowish dye is extracted from its root in order to dye cloth. In Surinam and different other countries, the tree serves as a wind-break, as support for vines and as shade trees for coffee bushes. The fruit is used as a shampoo in Malaysia, where it is said to be helpful against head lice.

There have been recent applications also for the use the oil from noni seeds. The noni seed oil is abundant in linoleic acid, found in products in the beauty industry, as research points to its affective properties when applied topically on the skin, ie. anti-inflammatory, acne reduction, moisture retention properties.

Scientific studies have investigated noni’s effect on the growth of cancerous tissue. One such study found that noni inhibited and reduced growth of the capillary vessels sprouting from human breast tumor explants and, at increased concentrations, the noni caused existing vessels to rapidly degenerate.

Another scientific study showed one brand of noni juice to have prevented formation of cancer cells in rats (using detection methods of bio-chemical markers called DNA adducts). It further showed to reduce the number of DNA adducts in rats induced with carcinogenic DMBA, in some cases, by up to 90%. The same study then also looked at the effective anti-oxidant properties of this Tahitian Noni brand of noni juice, (via LPO and TNB-SAR assays) comparing with the free-radical properties of vitamin C, grape seed powder (GSP), and pycnogenol (PYC) at the daily dose per serving level recommended by U.S. RDAs or manufacturers. This noni juice brand was shown to be more effective than all three. Their conclusion: “The results suggest that prevention of carcinogen-DNA adduct formation and the antioxidant activity of TNJ may contribute to the cancer preventive effect of Morinda citrifolia.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noni

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