Noni: At a Glance
Despite its pungent, cheese-like odor and bitter taste, the Indian mulberry plant, better known today as noni, has a long history of use by peoples from all over the globe.
The ripe noni fruit has a plethora of healing properties; it is antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-cancer, and anti-tumor, just to name a few.
Noni powder is a much more palatable form of the plant that can be added to juice, shakes, and smoothies to take advantage of its incredible healing properties.
Cooking with Noni
Every part of the noni tree – seeds, fruit, leaves, stem, bark, and roots – has been used for centuries both as food and as medicine. Today, the fruit of the noni tree has become extremely popular among proponents of natural health remedies.
While some of the medical claims made about noni have yet to be scientifically verified, a growing body of scientific evidence indicates that noni is effective in treating health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
The noni fruit and other parts of the plant contain a veritable storehouse of nutritious ingredients, including essential vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides, and amino and fatty acids. Here are a few ways to cook with and consume noni to get these nutrients in your diet:
- Fresh Noni Fruit: Its tart, sour flavor may be an acquired taste for some, but you can eat the fruit in its raw, natural, and unfermented form. Cut in small, thin slices, the fruit can also be added to stir-fry recipes. Its flavor also lends the right kind of tang for salad dressings.
- Noni Leaves: In addition to the fruit itself, you can add fresh noni leaves to your favorite salad or greens recipe.
- Noni Juice: Intrepid souls can make noni juice by placing it in a sterile jar of water and allowing it to decompose for a period of six to eight weeks. This fermented mixture is then strained and stored in the refrigerator. Consume it in small amounts, preferably on an empty stomach, before meals.
- Noni Powder: Fortunately, there is an easier way to take advantage of the health benefits of this “miracle fruit,” and that is noni powder. Mix it in water with a sweetener or with fruit juice for a great-tasting drink. You can also add this nutrient-dense powder to smoothies, shakes, and sweetened yogurt for a satisfying morning meal.
The ways you can use the noni plant and powder in recipes are limited only by your imagination.
Noni: History and Origination
The Noni plant (Morinda citrifolia) has a long history of use, dating back at least 1,000 and, perhaps, as many as 3,000 years. It is believed to have originated somewhere in southeast Asia in the countries of Borneo, New Guinea, northern Australia, and New Caledonia.
It must have traveled further east to India, or perhaps even originated there, because Ayurvedic practitioners, impressed with its healing properties, referred to it as Ashyuka or “longevity” in ancient Sanskrit texts.
From southeast Asia, noni traveled to Polynesia where the new inhabitants of Tahiti and the Marquesas first domesticated and cultivated it. At some point in the annals of history, these intrepid explorers stocked their canoes with this precious cargo and brought noni with them across the vast Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian islands where it is revered as a magical plant.
Today, you can find noni flourishing in tropical climates around the world, including in the western hemisphere, in countries like South America, the West Indies, the Caribbean, and the southern U.S.
Cultivation of Noni
The noni plant is a small, evergreen, shrub-like tree that can be propagated from seeds or stem cuttings and harvested throughout the year. Noni seeds require a hot environment in which to germinate, a process that can take up to 12 months. Growing noni from stem cuttings, on the other hand, only takes about two months. However, the easiest way to grow it is to start with a small tree.
Noni can grow in a wide range of soil conditions, including the mineral-rich, lava-rock soil found in the Hawaiian islands. It can also survive droughts lasting up to six months. If you live in Department of Agriculture zones 11 and 12, you should be able to successfully grow a noni plant. Give it full sunlight for best results. In cooler climates, take it indoors when the weather dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The noni fruit is harvested when it turns from green to yellow and is hard to the touch. Bring it inside to finish ripening where it won’t attract rats, slugs, and fruit flies.
About Our Noni Powder
We create Noni Powder from only the highest-quality noni fruit. Our noni comes from small family farms located in India where noni has been grown for centuries. The fruit is harvested and delivered for processing at the peak of its potency. The whole fruit is then carefully dried at low temperatures to ensure it retains all of the nutritional value this health-giving plant has to offer.