History & Traditional Uses
Noni is believed to have arrived in the South Pacific at least 1500 years ago, coming eastwards from asia and the surrounding regions. Who brought the plant to Fiji? Though it is not known for sure, experts believe that it could have been immigrants from the Marquesas islands that introduced it. There is ample evidence to suggest that these ancient Polynesians (as well as their decendants) used Noni for food, for cloth dye and most importantly for its medicinal properties.
Numerous papers, citing hundreds of references, show Noni to be an extreemly popular plant among tropical cultures across the world. In fact, the Noni plant became so popular that it eventually was cultivated as a field crop, used for all parts of the plant.
Most of the plant is reported to posses medicinal properties. The root is used as a cathartic and febrifuge (fever-reducing agent), and applied externally to relieve the pain of gout. Leaves are considered a tonic and febrifuge, they are used as healing application for wounds and ulcers, the juice of the leaves is also externally applied for gout. Fruits are used for spongy gums, throat complaints, dysentry, leucorrhea (abnormal menstrual bleeding) and sapraemia (poisoning of the blood by bacterial putrefaction).
In Fiji the fruit is eaten either raw or cooked. The fruit is sometimes used internally in various preparations for swollen spleen, liver diseases, coughs and a slightly laxative preparation.