Noni fruit has been used for the treatment of digestive problems, respiratory ailments, strains, broken bones, deep cuts, head lice and boils. Noni fruit is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and Polynesia and grows on most tropical islands. Researchers have discovered that noni fruit was used to treat over 40 medical conditions.
"Noni" is the Polynesian name for Morinda citrifolia. The species is believed to be between 2000 and 3000 years old and was spread and cultivated by the Polynesians. Historically, all parts of the tree, including bark, roots, wood, fruit and flowers, were utilized.
Noni fruit has a bumpy, uneven texture and turns from bright green to white when ripened. The fruit is known to have a terrible taste and odor.
In ancient times, the fruit was picked when it was ripe and allowed to ferment, creating a juice. The juice was used to gargle for a sore throat, ingested for digestive or respiratory problems and often taken daily as a supplement. Other uses of the juice were to stimulate appetite and energy. The liquid was also used a shampoo to treat head lice.
Unripened noni fruit was used to create a paste. The paste was applied to boils and infected wounds to draw out pus. Mixed with salt, the paste was applied to strains, deep cuts and broken bones to accelerate healing.