Noni In Our Garden

It was by chance we fell in love with our Noni plant. At first I did not realize her value because we where busy moving in and getting settled. So without paying attention to this plant, Noni thrived, and we paid a kid to cut it back. He did a great job the first time. I was going to call a second time but stopped and really took a look at this giant bush, blossoming without any assistance. I mentally slapped myself for not realizing the value of this healer. Noni has proven to be instrumental in my quest of farming with your fork because she provides me with homegrown medicine I can incorporate into my wellness routine. And, I gain comfort from knowing the source!

Fresh Noni

All Photos by Kim Mendoza

Morinda Citrifolia is commonly known as Noni (and Indian Mulberry). The plant is native to many South-East Asian countries, Australia, the Pacific islands, the Caribbean, Africa, and Central and South America. It is considered an important traditional medicinal plant to many around the globe.

Noni has been used for over 2000 years in Polynesia. Polynesians utilized the whole Noni plant in their medicinal remedies and also in the preparation of dye for some of their traditional clothing. During times of famine this plant helped communities survive. Polynesian sailors thought it was an important plant to have on their travels and they planted many seeds while on their travels.

Most parts of the Noni plant contains medicinal properties. The roots, stem, bark, leaves, flowers, and fruits of the plant are used in various combinations – in almost 40 known and recorded herbal remedies. The fruit pulp is juicy, bitter, and whitish in color. The ripe fruits give off a strong rancid smell. Honestly, the smell and taste is a HUGE turn-off, in my humble opinion the fruit smells like a heavily used porta-potty the morning after the burn at Burning Man. For those of us who have attended Burning Man – this is a very very specific smell that stays with you.

Traditional Uses Of Noni

  • On the Andaman and Nicobar islands it is applied to cuts and wounds for 3-4 days and they have found it effective in promoting blood clotting.
  • Some Pacific Islanders eat the seeds once a year with the belief that it promotes health.
  • In the Philippines and Hawaii, Noni is used as an effective insecticide.
  • The Polynesians utilized the whole plant for preparing herbal remedies. They use roots as a cathartic and febrifuge.
  • Leaves are made into a tonic and used to treat wounds, ulcers, and gout externally.
  • The charred leaves is made into a decoction with mustard and is a homemade remedy for infantile diarrhea.
  • Noni fruit juice is widely used for spongy gums, throat complaints, dysentery, leucorrhoea, and sapraemia.
  • The fruit juice is in high demand for medical research into the treatment of illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle aches, pains, menstrual difficulties, headache, heart diseases, mental depression, poor digestion, atherosclerosis, cancer, AIDS and drug addiction.

How We Use The Noni Plant

Realizing the amazing healing properties of this “weed” in our yard I started harvesting, dehydrating, and grinding the fruit into a powder to incorporate into my health care routine. Since the taste and smell was a huge turn-off, this is the best way for us to utilize our gift of Noni. We add the Noni powder to smoothies and food…And the smell and taste is much more inviting than the raw version of Noni.

Introducing our NONI OF THE YARD.

After harvesting the ripe fruits we wash, cut into pieces, and dehydrate. After about 9 hours in the dehydrator, we grind it into a powder. This Noni preserving project is part of Five Steps To Farming With Your Fork. The health of our communities begins at home and in our gardens.

Do you have a plant in your garden you utilize as part of your self care regiment? Please share with us by leaving a comment.


  1. What a beautiful post. Great writing. Great pictures. And full of motivation for being in the garden and outdoors. Thanks, Dovanna!
    In answer to your question, I think all the food we grow in our garden counts as self-care. As my good friend, Farmer John says, “fresh is a flavor.” Currently, our kale is my favorite, but as soon as the tomatoes come they will be the big winner for me.

    1. Thank YOU! Farmer John sounds like a wise being! Kale and tomatoes… Halshop you will have to share your pics ( and meal pics) for more inspiration.

  2. Wow, Dovanna, you really know how to inspire us. You have me looking at every “weed” in the garden for some hidden value. Overall, not a bad thing. Plus, this is a beautiful post in every way: Images, ideas and instructions for how to make the mysterious accessible to all. Thank you.

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