December 3rd, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) Noni (morinda citrifolia) is the fruit of a tropical plant originating from India, which belongs to the Rubiaceae, a family of flowering plants, sometimes called the “coffee family”, or “bedstraw family.”
The plant can reach up to 6 meters in height, and can live for up to 80 years.
The species is cultivated throughout the tropics, and has found the ideal soil and climate conditions in the Caribbean, where it produces its highest quality fruits.
Noni has been considered a sacred fruit by many cultures, and has been used by various healers and shamans in their rituals and therapeutic practices for thousands of years.
There has been knowledge of its use in Central America and the Caribbean since pre-Colombian times.
The fruit acts at a basic cellular level, where it possesses a wide variety of curative qualities.
Among the most known is its capacity for stimulating the immune system, increasing bodily energy, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, regulating sleep, bowel functions and blood pressure, and treating erectile dysfunction in men. The fruit also acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-histaminic agent and painkiller. It has also been used in the treatment of diabetes.
Noni is one of the few homeopathic treatments that is supported by both the scientific community and mainstream medicine, as well as homeopathy doctors, naturalists, and healers in many cultures. They all agree on the amazing curative properties of the fruit.
The plant today is extremely popular in Costa Rica, Tahiti, Hawaii, French Polynesia and Southeast Asia. The Costa Rican Noni is known to be very rich in excipients (active ingredients).
It is also used for its ability to ease stress while increasing endurance and energy, treat ailments like asthma, diabetes and sinus infection, as well as lessen the side effects of depression and insomnia.
Noni also makes a perfect dietary supplement, as it is high in antioxidants, amino acids and vitamin C, and has only 10 calories per fluid ounce when blended with water.
Although the fruit can be purchased in local markets and supermarkets throughout Costa Rica, several wholefood or macrobiotic stores also sell pre-made juices made from the fruit.
The downside? It is what many call an “acquired taste,” as it has a strong bitter flavor that most people find rather unpleasant – at least at first. However, its enormous health benefits inspire many around the world to overlook its unsavory taste, or to seek out combinations with fruit juices and honey to create a good – or at least acceptable – taste.