Noni Tropical Tea

In just one decade, the noni or Morinda citrifolia has taken that big step into the global health market. Once an obscure tropical tree and fruit, noni is now the raw material of popular beauty and health products, though noni juice is still the most in demand. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, the noni tree can now be found in the Pacific Islands, French Polynesia and the Dominican Republic. It is an extremely adaptable and hardy plant, and thrives under shade or out in full sunlight, along shorelines and in a volcanic habitat, in sandy and infertile soil, and under extremes of wet and dry.

It is a relatively small tree (up to 9 meters) and bears white flowers that develop into oval yellow fruit with an unusual aroma and taste, which probably earned it the name, cheese fruit By the time the tree is two years old and two meters tall, it bears fruit all year round which is harvested every two weeks. The fruit is eaten raw with salt or cooked and added to curries or mixed with coconut. Tender leaves are used as a vegetable while mature ones are used to wrap fish before it is cooked.

The medicinal uses of noni have been known for centuries in countries where noni trees grow wild or are cultivated. Its leaves and fruit are dried to make herbal infusions or teas that are reported to reduce common aches and pains and make people feel better. The tea has also been used for other illnesses and health problems such as fever, malaria and hypertension. In 1972 scientist Maria Stewart published her observations on the native Hawaiians' use of noni juice for their health. Two decades of studies by a Hawaiian University professor isolated the active ingredient believed responsible for health benefits from the noni fruit. In 2003, noni juice was declared safe for human consumption by the European Commission, which approved its entry into the European market as a novel food.

Neuleaf Noni Tea, one of Neuleaf's Age Defying and Beautifying teas, is made from the noni fruit, a good source of antioxidant Vitamins A and C as well as fiber, complex carbohydrates and minerals.