Noni, the feel good fruit.

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Morinda Citrifolia popularly called Noni was a less known fruit in the America’s but very popular in south Asia and Polynesia. 

Many years ago, islanders from the South Pacific used the fruit, bark, leaves, and roots of the Noni for many different ailments including such problems as joint discomfort and arthritis, depression and sleep-loss, to topical solutions for irritations and bites.  It is said that Polynesian Islanders first cultivated and domesticated the Noni tree over 2,000 years ago. Fresh Noni fruit smells very pungent, and not an aroma one normally associates with fruit and the riper the fruit it, the stronger the smell.

In the last ten years, since the western world discovered this fruit, some marketers have come under fire for ascribing miraculous cure-all properties to Noni fruit, claiming that it can single-handedly prevent, treat, or cure everything imaginable, including arthritis, burns, cancer, cold, diabetes, drug addiction, fever, fractures, gingivitis, headaches, heart disease, immune weakness, indigestion, malaria, menstrual cramps, ringworm, sprains, stroke, and wounds. 

Scientists in both the public and private sectors have widely demonstrated that the health benefits of Noni fruit, while often wildly exaggerated, are not to be dismissed. In 1972, a scientist named Maria Stewart reported that the native Hawaiians solved many of their medical problems by drinking Noni fruit juice and after a 20 year study by the University of Hawaii the existence of an unknown molecule was discovered to be responsible for the Noni’s health benefit – since then people in the western world began paying more attention to the fruit. The Cancer Research Center of Hawaii has spent the last two years studying the Noni Juice health benefits with regard to cancer treatments, since a 1999 study suggested that Noni Juice helped to stop the growth of tumors.

With all the studies and research done the results show that it is not a cure-all and that the Noni fruit benefits health in a general way. Scientific studies have shown that the Noni fruit contain a polysaccharide-rich substance called “Noni-ppt” helps correct the immune system and fight tumors.

There have also been different claims about where the best Noni fruit is grown, the main competitors in this are Tahitian Noni and Hawaiian Noni. This juice has the same beneficial health properties no matter where it is grown on these small tropical islands. Both the sun and level of rain these islands receive are perfect growing conditions for these plants and fruit production.

Consuming fresh Noni fruit is the healthiest way to benefit from its properties but in contemporary Western civilizations, fresh Noni fruit is hard to come by and for those of us who are unable to obtain fresh Noni fruit, it is available world wide in both capsules and juice. To make Noni fruit available in capsule form, the fruit is dehydrated, irradiated and ground up to be packed into capsules, usually made of plant-derived cellulose. Capsules contain many of the health benefits of Noni juice, without the strong taste.

When the fruit is ripe they fall to the ground, as they are saturated in juice. For juicing, the fruit is harvested by gathering the fruit off the ground, throwing it onto large screens, and letting the juice drain through the screens into large tubs.  The juice can be bottled with or without pasteurization. Harsh chemicals simply aren't necessary to produce the perfect Hawaiian Noni Juice.

The packaging used for Noni juice is also important. Some manufacturers use plastic containers while others prefer glass, both have advantages, depending on the method of manufacture.

Most Noni juice producers bottle their products in either clear glass or clear plastic bottles. Glass is preferred to plastic for longer shelf life and quality control, as plastics may allow some oxygen to enter the container. However, glass is heavier and more expensive to ship than plastic. Dark glass is often used because light and oxygen tend to diminish a product’s shelf life, so the choice of bottling container should be a significant consideration when choosing which product to buy.

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