Morinda citrifolia


Plant Family: Belongs to the Rubiaceae or Coffee family, which includes Ixora (Ixora coccinea), the diminutive Langue Poule (Oldenlandia corymbosa), and obviously, Coffee (Coffea arabica).


Description: Source of folk medicine’s famous Noni Juice; small tree, up to 6 m tall (20 ft); young branches 4-angled, stem light gray to tan, up to 30 cm diameter (12 in), with branches coming off low on stem; leaves opposite, large, simple, ovate, shiny dark green, and deeply veined, up to 45 x 24 cm (17.5 x 9.4 in); flowers small and white, in axillary inflorescence with united ovaries; compound fruit an ovoid, irregularly bumpy, fleshy syncarp, green at first, then off-white when ripe, with pungent, fetid odor, medium sized, 12 x 8 cm (4.7 x 3.1 in); flesh also off-white, with numerous seeds, roughly 10 x 5 mm (0.2 x 0.1 in); flowering and fruiting year round; one specimen in southern part of Gardens on slope near large Velvet Tamarind tree.


Origin and Natural HabitatNative of Southeast Asia and found in wide variety of habitats, especially shady or secondary forests and open, rocky or sandy sea shores; tolerates drought and saline soils. Common near beaches in St.Vincent.

 Distribution: now extensively distributed throughout India, the tropical Pacific and Caribbean.


Cultural Uses: traditional healers have used noni for decades to help treat numerous ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and pains. The fruit is used to treat burns, arthritis, inflammation, the efforts of aging and infections. The older, rotting fruit is said to be more effective. The leaves are also though to have medicinal value as they are poured and placed on the forehead to soothe headaches. The plant is also used in contemporary medicine as it is used in juices and capsules.  



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