Noni is a tree that originated in South Asia and Australia, due to the buoyancy of its seeds, the plant has been able to migrate across the oceans and thrive in the tropics. Its scientific name is Morinda Citrifolia, but it is also known as: Indian blackberry, cheese fruit, beach anona, maroon soursop, among others.
The noni fruit is generally consumed in the form of juice and its healing and medicinal properties have been known for thousands of years. All parts of the plant are used to cure a variety of diseases. Among its benefits are: prevent cancer, help in diabetes and blood pressure problems, reduce inflammation, fight the flu and much more.
Characteristics of noni
There is a misconception that noni is a shrub, but it actually grows up to about 9 meters or even more. The leaves are bright and large, dark green and deeply veined with light green. You have white flowers and a peculiar fruit of whitish color.
The fruit is what makes the noni tree unusual, this is a syncarp, also known as multiple fruit. That means it is formed by the fruits of several white flowers that merge, as well as pineapple and jackfruit.
The approximate diameter of noni is 8 cm and as long as a potato. Its color is green, but when ripe, the fruit becomes translucent and gives off a pungent smell similar to stinky cheese. Its taste is also not pleasant, it can be described as something acidic and bitter at the same time.
Noni is propagated from seeds or stem cuttings. Germination takes 6 to 12 months or more, while stem cuttings can take root in about 1 to 2 months. Fresh seeds can be planted immediately after the extraction of the fruit.
Seedlings are usually grown for about nine months to a year before being transplanted into the field. To grow, select a site in full or partial sun with well-drained and aerated soil. Avoid heavy soils, compacted areas, and flood-prone sites.
The noni tree thrives on moderate irrigation and can survive prolonged periods of drought once established and mature. When the plants are less than 2-3 years old and the conditions are dry, water one or more times a week.
Pests and diseases
Many agricultural soils are infested with gall nematodes, and noni is highly susceptible to noni radical knot disease, caused by these microscopic parasitic worms.
In noni aphids are also observed, these are a pest of insects that cause growth problems in the tree and deformity of the leaves. In addition, in several crops the saprophyte fungus that causes “soot mold” has been observed.
Noni Side Effects
Possible liver damage has been observed, so people with kidney disease and unexplained potassium elevation should be careful with the use of noni because it can increase potassium levels. Noni is also known to be an alternative to abortion and breastfeeding mothers have been advised to stay away from the fruit.
Fruit can have negative interactions with certain medications, particularly those that affect the liver, kidneys, and blood pressure. It is worth mentioning that this fruit is not for the weak of stomach. Due to the uncertain effects of this fruit on humans, it is advisable that you consume it at your own risk.
Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.