Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Morinda citrifolia

Also known as Noni Tree, this tree is native to Australia, India, Indochina, and Southeast Asia. 

Noni is a small evergreen tree thats to about 5 to 9m tall. 

The dark and shiny leaves are large and simple. They are deeply veined.

The small and white flowers grow from a fleshy structure, blooming and fruity all year round. 

The fruits are about 4 to 7cm and have smelly pulp. They are green at first and turn light yellow or white when ripe. The fruit has numerous seeds.

This tree was first cultivated by the Polynesians and can be foundalong rivers and coastal habitats. The Noni fruit is extremely smelly when ripe and can be eaten or made into juice used to make dyes or fed to livestock. The tree is also useful for its antiseptic qualities and it is used in traditional medicine.

In Chinese medicine, it is used to contain fever and as a tonic. The plant is similarly used in Japan. A Southeast Asian plant, it is commonly used in native medicines of the region. In Malaysia, the heated leaves are applied to the chest and abdomen to treat coughs nausea, colic and enlarged spleen. In Philippines, the juice of the leaves is given for arthritis. In Indochina, the fruit are prescribed for lumbago, asthma and dysentery.

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