Morinda citrifolia or Noni fruit
Morinda citrifolia or Noni fruit and its powder has excellent levels of carbohydrates and dietary
fiber, a good source of protein (12% DRI) and noni pulp is low in total fats (4%
DRI). Noni is native to Southeast Asia but has been extensively found throughout India and into the Pacific islands, French
Polynesia and in some parts of the West Indies. Noni is a hot item in health food stores around the USA
and prepared as a food supplement, either as a liquid, dehydrated capsule or in a nutrient-rich encapsulated form.
In China, Japan and Tahiti, various parts of the tree (leaves, flowers, fruits, bark) serve as tonics,
used in fever, to treat eye and skin problems, gum and throat problems as well as constipation, stomach pain, or respiratory difficulties.
In some countries it is used to relieve coughs, nausea or colic and its juice is used for the treatment for arthritis.
Latin: Morinda citrifolia L.
Common: Great morinda, Indian mulberry, Beach mulberry,
Tahitian Noni, Noni (from Hawaiian), Nono
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) also called as Indian mulberry is a small evergreen tree
that grows to a height of 10-12 feet. The fruits are used in the manufacture of fruit drinks, medicines and dyes.
In India the tree is predominantly grown in coastal Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
It can grow up to 9 m tall, and has large, simple, dark green, shiny and deeply veined leaves.
The plant flowers and fruits all year round and produces a small white flower.
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.
Noni grows in shady forests as well as on open rocky or sandy shores.
Noni is propagated through seedlings and can be cultivated in all soil types though loamy soils are ideal.
The ideal season for planting is June to October. About 290 seedlings are required for planting in an acre.
The seedlings are to be planted at a spacing of about 12x 12 feet.
Morinda citrifolia or Noni plant
The crop can survive with moderate irrigation and can survive even in drought conditions.
But it is advisable for farmers to irrigate the crop during the early stages of growth. Similar to other crops weeding has to be done manually as and when required.
The tree is free from major pests and disease infestations. In case of any pest or
infestations organic practices can be used to effectively control them. It can be ideally grown in tsunami affected coastal areas.
Noni fruit has excellent levels of
carbohydrates and dietary fiber and a good source of protein (12%
DRI). Noni pulp is low in total fats (4% DRI) and its pulp powder include exceptional vitamin
C content (10x DRI) and substantial amounts of niacin (vitamin B3), iron and
potassium. Vitamin A, calcium and sodium are present in moderate amounts.
Research indicates that noni stimulates the immune system, regulating cell function and cellular regeneration of damaged cells.
It lowers high blood pressure, help to regulate sleep, temperature and mood
cycles, increases body energy, acts as anti-inflammatory and anti-histaminic agent and alleviates pain.
A substance found in liquid noni is proxeronine, which is converted by the body into xeronine, a critical biochemical
compound involved in a wide range of normal human biochemical reactions.
It is reported that xeronine, a key ingredient in noni, has the ability to help normalize abnormal protein and subsequent cellular function, including brain function, where pain originates.
Noni has antibacterial properties that can protect against digestive and heart damage.
It inhibits precancer function and growth of cancer tumors. Noni stimulates the production of T-cells in the immune system. T-cells play a pivotal role in fighting disease.
Noni acts to enhance the immune system involving macrophages and/or lymphocytes, which are a vital part of your body's natural defenses. Noni has been shown to combat many types of
bacteria and has unique anti-pain effects. Noni inhibits precancer function and the growth of cancer tumors by allowing abnormal cells to function more normally.
It stabilizes blood sugar, reduces menstrual cramping, and lessens the need for men to urinate at night due to the swelling of their prostate.
It has been accepted that one of noni's major benefits is its relief of most types of pain.
Side-effects: Consumers of noni juice are advised to carefully
check labels for warnings which may say, "Not safe for pregnant women" or "Keep
out of reach of children." The potential for toxicity caused by noni juices remains under surveillance by
the European Food Safety Authority, individual food safety authorities in
France, Finland and Ireland, and medical investigators in Germany.
There are now approximately 300 companies marketing noni juice in a global
market estimated at more than $2 billion annually. About Rs 29,000 is the investment required for planting
and the crop yields an income of around Rs.22,500 per hectare.The fruits can be harvested in about 24 months after
planting and the tree can be maintained even for a period of more than 20 years if taken care of properly.
A noni tree yields 50-150 fruits. Each fruit weighs 5-15 kg. At present the fruits are priced at Rs.5 per kg.
Ripe fruits can be stored for up to 10 days and juice extracted within that time. The Chennai based World Noni Research Foundation (WNRF),
is promoting noni cultivation with an assured buy back arrangement of Rs.8 per kg.