The Noni Fruit
We all have heard the saying, “Nature is the Best Healer.” While the quote may refer to spending time in nature, it also has a literal meaning. Our earth is replete with plants, herbs, trees, and fruits that can nourish us and heal us. There are plenty of things in nature that have innumerable health benefits. This is how our ancestors lived in the past. With the introduction of modern medicine, several of these natural healing techniques have been lost to mankind. However, they do exist today. Ancient traditional forms like Ayurveda, Unani, and Homeopathy still look towards natural resources for healing several diseases. Noni is one such healing fruit. Here you will get to know all about the wonderful Noni fruit.
Different Names of Noni Fruit
Noni fruit comes from the tree Morinda Citrifolia, which belongs to the Rubiaceae (coffee) family. Some of the common English names for this fruit include Indian mulberry, great morinda, beach mulberry, cheese fruit, Canary wood, ice leaf, large-leaved morinda, pain-killer tree, and vomit fruit. As this fruit-bearing tree is abundantly found in India, it has different names in different Indian languages. Noni is called Nuna, Munja Pavatty, and Tunavu in Tamil, Ach in Bengali, Molagha and Madi Chetu in Telegu, Al or Achi in Hindi, Alita and Baratindiala in Marathi, Manmanatti and Katapitalavam in Malayalam, Achu and Pindra in Oriya, and Noni in Kannada.
Ideal Soil and Climate
The Noni tree is native to Southeast Asia, Australasia, and the Pacific Islands. It was widely naturalized by the Polynesian soldiers. Today, it is found almost all over the world, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. This is because the Noni tree can survive in almost all kinds of climate and soil conditions. When it comes to climate, this tree can survive in very dry to very wet climates. It can also grow in different kinds of soils, including acidic, infertile, and alkaline soils. It can withstand water logging, wind, fire, shaded conditions, and salt spray as well. Hence, you can find this tree in an array of habitats, including lava-strewn coasts, volcanic terrains, coralline atolls, and limestone outcrops. The reason for this is that the Noni tree has a deep taproot, which once set in the soil can become difficult to eradicate. In India, this tree can be found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha.
The Noni tree or Morinda Citrifolia is a small, crooked tree that grows up to the height of 3-10 meters. A distinctive characteristic of this tree is its conical crown. The bark of the tree is glabrous and shallowly fissured and appears yellowish-brown or greyish. Its branchlets are quadrangular. The leaves of this tree are pinnately nerved, glabrous, and simple. They grow up to the size of 10-15 cm X 5-17 cm. The flowers are tubular and white in colour. The noni fruits that grow on this tree are large (10-18 cm) in size and oval in shape. The fruits can be recognized by their pebbled surface. When unripe, the fruit has a green colour, which turns yellow and completely white when ripe. The fruit has a distinct odour, similar to cheese or even vomit, which is why it is called cheese fruit and even vomit fruit.
The Noni tree, especially the fruit, is used to make various medicines, thanks to its rich chemical properties. The fruit is home to an array of phytochemicals, including flavonoids, fatty acids, lignans, catechin, scopoletin, beta-sitosterol, beta carotene, oligo and polysaccharides, iridoids, flavonoid glycosides, anthraquinones, phenolics, coumarins, noniosides, and triterpenoids. It also contains carbohydrates, potassium, iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, sodium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, and fatty acids. It is rich in vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B3, i.e., biotin.
Noni fruit was a favourite amongst Polynesian healers for treating a host of diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, aches and pains, burns, arthritis, tumours, inflammation, parasitic infections, viral infections, and bacterial infections. The healing properties of Noni have been mentioned in Ayurvedic manuscripts as well. The Ayurvedic properties of Noni are as follows:
- Rasa (taste): Tikta (bitter) and Kashya (astringent)
- Guna (qualities): Laghu (light) and Tikshna (sharp)
- Veerya (potency): Ushna (hot)
- Vipaka (post-digestion effect): Katu (pungent)
Noni has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-tumour, antifungal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, and immune-enhancing effects. While Noni is commonly available in the form of juice, most commercially-available juices are mixed with aloe vera or grape juice, diluting the effect of Noni fruit. A better product will be Pure Noni Fruit Extract-Enzyme (PNFE), a product by Jaivik Farms. Here we present some of the most important medical benefits of PNFE.
Lowers Glucose Level
One of the major benefits of Noni or PNFE is that it helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Several studies as well as personal testimonies prove that PNFE is effective in regulating diabetes. The fruit has anti-diabetic properties that aid in improving glucose tolerance, reducing fasting glucose, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Rectifies Cellular Damage
Research has found a significant positive impact of Noni fruit on cellular damage caused by tobacco smoke. People who smoke experience oxidative damage, as tobacco smoke is made of carcinogens and chemicals that can cause damage to the DNA. It also generates a lot of free radicals in the body. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of Noni reduce the impact of free radicals and oxidation, thus reducing the risk of serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Enhances Skin and Hair Health
PNFE acts like an elixir for skin and hair health, mainly because it is loaded with vitamin C, biotin, zinc, copper, selenium, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The numerous beneficial ingredients of the fruit aid in decreasing skin dryness, removing fine lines, and moisturizing it naturally. It can act as a wonderful moisturizer, which not only repairs but also replenishes your skin. It also fights free radicals and flushes out toxins that can cause issues like acne, scars, fine lines, and ageing. In short, PNFE acts as an anti-ageing product as well.
Similarly, the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of Noni fruit offer essential benefits to the hair. When applied topically, it can help in getting rid of hair issues like dandruff, itching, flaking, etc. and give you smooth, silky, and strong hair.
Boosts Energy Levels
Noni is quite popular as an energy booster and has been used as a tonic for weakness since ancient times. The minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants present in the fruit help in boosting energy as well as improve the physical performance of the body. Studies have shown that drinking Noni juice before exercising not only improves endurance but also lessens muscle damage. It increases oxygen uptake as well as the time for someone to get tired while exercising.
Improves Heart Health
Noni fruit has the potential of improving heart health by improving blood flow in the arteries and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. The presence of high levels of potassium in the fruit makes it extremely helpful in getting rid of the symptoms of hypertension and maintaining electrolyte balance. Similarly, the polyphenols and antioxidants in Noni aid in improving the lipid profile, i.e. raising the good HDL (good) cholesterol and lessening the LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as lowering the C-reactive protein levels responsible for inflammation. Thus, by controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, Noni helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases, cardiac ailments, and atherosclerosis.
Prevents Cancer Risk
Research conducted by the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that Noni fruit can be effective in preventing cancer, as it possesses immune stimulating as well as tumour-fighting properties. Consuming the fruit stimulates nitric oxide production in the body, which prevents the cancerous replication of the cells. Regularly consuming Noni juice or fruit may stop, reverse, or even slow down the process of cancer in the body. Preliminary research on treating and preventing breast cancer with Noni juice was also conducted by The National Cancer Institute.
Apart from boosting energy, PNFE is also great for improving one’s immunity due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antihistamine properties. People who suffer from frequent illnesses like cold, cough, and seasonal allergies can benefit from the consumption of this fruit. The presence of high levels of vitamin C, phytochemicals, and antioxidants help in getting rid of the free radicals from the body, thus boosting immunity and overall health. Regular consumption of Noni juice can keep a person healthy.
Helps Weight Loss or Boosts Metabolism
Apart from boosting energy, Noni fruit also has the potential of aiding weight loss. The fruit is low in calories and also helps in increasing ghrelin levels in the body, which ensures that the stomach feels full. The different phytonutrients and antioxidants in the fruit help in decreasing visceral fat, body fat, and body weight, while ensuring that the body does not gain any extra weight. For best results, it is important to consume noni fruit or juice along with a low-calorie diet.
Noni is known as The Tree of Headache or The Painkiller Tree because it is used as a natural painkiller in traditional medicine. Apart from headaches and other general aches and pains, it is quite effective in relieving joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and gout, which are caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. The anti-inflammatory properties of PNFE help in reducing the uric acid in the blood, thus improving the flexibility of the connective tissues by lessening pain, reducing swelling, and getting rid of stiffness in the bones and joints.
Acts as an Antidepressant and Mood Stabilizer
Along with physical benefits, Noni fruit also offers several benefits to the mental health of a person. The consumption of this fruit helps in the secretion of melatonin and serotonin, hormones that are essential for stabilizing emotions, mood, and sleep. It helps in keeping your brain healthy and also prevents any kind of plaque buildup in the arteries connected to the brain. It makes sure that the brain is properly oxygenated, and that the blood supply to the brain is healthy.
Uses of Noni or PNFE
The easiest way of consuming Noni fruit is in the form of PNFE or Pure Noni Fruit Extract or Enzyme. An adult can consume 12 drops of PNFE in the morning (empty stomach) and 12 drops in the evening before dinner. If consuming noni juice, a person can consume around 3-4 ounces of Noni juice every day. The juice can be mixed with water and consumed on an empty stomach. Apart from this, Australian Aboriginals and Southeast Asians cook the fruit in curry and even eat it raw with salt. In Thai cuisine, Noni fruit is cooked with coconut milk and even included in a salad as a raw ingredient.
Noni juice is mostly safe and is not likely to cause any side effects. However, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid it, as there is a lack of research on how it affects them. Apart from this, kidney patients should also avoid this fruit, as the high level of potassium may not be suitable for them. Noni juice may interact with medications for high blood pressure and blood clotting. Hence, always consume this juice only after consulting a doctor. Moreover, ensure that the Noni juice you buy does not have any added sugar.
Planting and Harvesting
As the Noni tree can survive in different climates and soil conditions, its planting and cultivating processes are easy. The best method to propagate is through seeds and stem cuttings.
Seeds: If you are using seeds for propagation, it is important to pick fruit that is fully ripe and soft. You need to press the fruit against a screen to get the seeds off. Then the seeds need to be washed. To achieve the highest level of germination, the seeds need to be pre-treated. This can be achieved by pulsing the seeds in the blender to cut open the seed coat. A more time-taking method will be to clip off the tip of each seed.
When it comes to planting the seeds, you need to prepare a potting mix made of local forest soil, sand, and composted organic matter. Mulch made of sawdust, leaf litter, and sand can also be used for growing the seedlings in containers. These seedlings can be kept in deep shade to full sun to achieve germination. After 2 months, the sapling will be ready for transplantation.
Stem Cutting: To propagate using stem cutting, you need to take a stem cutting of 20-40 cm in length and plant them in soil. This will be ready for transplantation in 3-4 weeks.
Harvesting: An important point to note here is that the saplings will take at least 1 year to establish their roots and grow, due to transplant shock. Moreover, it will take 3 years for the plant to grow fruits and at least 5 years for it to provide a regular yield. The fruits can be harvested when they turn white from green, which means they are ripe. They also become soft and translucent and emit a characteristically odorous smell.
As Noni has so many benefits, you can easily find Noni products in the market that promise good health and overall well-being. Jaivik Farms, an agro company, is proud to announce its Pure Noni Fruit Extract. As Jaivik Farms is all about organic farming, we ensure that our product is made with pure ingredients and no chemicals. You can contact us to learn more about our product.