Noni or Indian mulberry is a subtropical plant with large fruits. However, you will not easily find the fruit at the regular fruit and vegetable store. The fruit is usually not consumed for its delicious taste, but because it is said to have health-promoting properties. For that reason, you are more likely to find noni in the naturopathic store in tablet form or as juice. What kind of fruit grows on this large plant, where does the plant grow and how do you use the fruit in a healthy diet?
Where does noni come from and what kind of plant is it?
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Noni belongs to the ornamental leaves (Rubiaceae) and is related to the coffee plant. The Latin name for this plant is Morinda Citrifolia. The plant originally comes from Panama, but can now be found in many more Central American countries. The noni can also be found in Suriname, Southeast Asia, Australia and even in Hawaii. The plant can be found in the wild but is also cultivated, especially in subtropical coastal areas.
It is an evergreen shrub that can grow quite large. The height of the plant can reach up to about 6 meters. The leaves are large, they can grow up to 30 centimeters long and 15 centimeters wide. The leaf is shiny and somewhat egg-shaped with a clearly visible vein on the leaf. The small flowers are white in color. The plant has a high ornamental value in the garden.
The fruit is about 15 centimeters in size, generally oval but not uniform in shape. The color of the peel is creamy white to pale green. The large seeds in the fruit are surrounded by pulp. The flesh looks a bit glassy and feels very soft. The taste of the flesh can be quite bitter. Some people find the flesh to have a bit of a cheesy taste.
There are various things that the use of noni would be beneficial for, namely:
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- a natural anti-inflammatory
- different types of cancer (preventive)
- home problems such as allergies and burns (for example due to the sun) or cuts
- fungal infections
- sleep disorders
- mental instability (mood swings, confusion, depression)
- intestinal problems
- lowering blood pressure
Although there is no scientific basis, the noni is very popular in natural medicine. Both the ripe and unripe fruit are said to have health-promoting properties, according to naturopaths. Noni is a fruit and not a medicine, but this fruit is said to have positive results in support or prevention on quite a few things
Restorative capacity of the body
Every body is naturally programmed in such a way that it automatically starts working as soon as foreign substances present themselves. This concerns viruses, parasites, bacteria, etc. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the body knows how to clean up everything that does not belong in the body. There could be all kinds of causes for this.
However, a strong immune system is essential to be able to resist as many of these ‘invaders’ as possible. Strengthening the immune system, which must be activated for this purpose, is therefore always good. Noni is said to have a positive effect on stimulating the functioning of the immune system.
Vitamins and minerals
Noni is rich in fiber, which is good for the functioning of the intestines. Furthermore, noni contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Noni as part of the meal or as a nutritional supplement
Depending on your taste and application, you take noni as a fruit (or parts of the fruit) or you take it as a nutritional supplement.
Part of the meal
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Noni can be eaten straight out of the box, but it is not tasty for most people. This is because of its rather bitter taste. Australia seems to be an exception, because on this continent the noni is sometimes eaten straight from the fist.
This fruit is also used in fruit cocktails. Often in combination with a number of sweet fruits such as strawberries, pineapple and banana (in summer, possibly with some ice cubes). Noni is also sometimes processed in this way in a smoothie.
In various Asian countries, noni is used more widely. The fruit is used in various curries and the seeds of the fruit are often roasted.
What many people find easier is to consume an extract of the fruit either in tablet form or in a specially prepared drink. In this way it is relatively easy to use the supposed effect of this fruit and you will at least get quite a few vitamins and minerals.
It is best to take the tablets or drink half an hour before a meal. The costs of the tablets and drinks from the specialty store vary from €25 to around €35. The products are available at most organic and natural medicine stores and some shops stock the drink.
Although it is possible, noni is not really a fruit that is often eaten because of its delicious taste. The fruit fits well into a healthy diet, but most people will take it in juice or tablet form. Furthermore, according to naturopaths, this fruit has a disinfectant and preventive effect on various physical and mental problems.