Foraging in the Caribbean 

Coco Noni Smoothie
Coco Noni Smoothie

I love foraging!  I believe it is important to eat local foods of wherever you are (whether visiting or residing) for many reasons.  Local foods often have medicinal antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral power specific to where they are grown.  Of course there can also be a zero carbon footprint associated with local foods and a ton more vitamins and phyto-energy in vegetables and fruits when they are fresh.  This year on vacation I got to make a Coco Noni smoothie!

In the past every time that I have encountered the Noni I have been slightly deterred by the ripe “smell”.  This year I decided to work through it and combine it with coconut water.  Coconut can spruce up anything and is one of my favorite foods! The meat of the coconut has a high caprylic acid content that is also good for balancing beneficial intestinal flora.

I ripened two Nonis to where they were soft and translucent.  Often if you find some on the ground that are not decayed these are perfect to use.  Then I pulverized them in a blender combining them with fresh coconut water.  I then strained the seeds from the Noni and had a frothy, healthy, tropical smoothie – voila!  Here is my creation in the photos!

I am reading a remarkable book called Secrets of Your Cells.  Since the Noni looks like a cell on the outside and repairs on the inside I thought it was appropriate timing to get to know this remarkable plant and its fruit.

The Noni’s scientific name is Morinda Citrifolia.  It grows all over Hawaii, the Carribean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands in countries like Tahiti and Fiji.  It also can be found anywhere with a muggy climate like Florida!

The Noni is eaten by people with diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal issues, and general health issues.  Drinking fresh Noni juice instantly revitalizes the mind, body, and spirit.

Some of the benefit of the Noni fruit are:

  1. Analgesic – Noni has the nicknames of “The Tree For Headaches” or “The Painkiller Tree”. Studies have shown that noni reduced pain comparable to the drugs tramadol and hydrocortisone, making it effective for arthritic and other joint pains.
  2. Immune system booster – Noni activates macrophages and strengthens the immune system, which then produces more lymphocytes. It also contains antibacterial agents that fight infectious bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
  3. Antidepressant/sedative – Noni stimulates seratonin and melatonin, two very important hormones. Seratonin affects mood, emotions, and sleep; imbalance in levels of serotonin may contribute to depression. Melatonin regulates the Circadian rhythm, which helps you sleep; keeping this regular will help you get a good night’s rest, also improving your mood.
  4. Skincare/hair – Noni’s properties are useful on skin and scalp conditions, such as eczema and ringworm; also rubbed on scalp for lustrous hair; and will keep your skin young. Just rub some juice on affected skin/scalp, leave on for 15 minutes, rinse off. Ingestion of juice may help your nails to grow stronger.
  5. Anti-tumor/anti-cancer – Noni stimulates the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an extremely useful substance, one that is at the base of many of noni’s benefits. In this case, it reduces tumor growth and helps your body fight against the cancerous replication of cells. It also contains an immunomodulatory polysaccharide rich substance known as noni-ppt that further fights cancer. The immune boosting properties I mentioned in an above section are also a great help. One more thing that’s important are the amount of phytochemicals in noni that fight cancer. Phytochemicals are found in vegetables and herbs, if eaten regularly will build up preventive amounts. In the case of cancer already being present, noni and other plants with high amounts will slow, stop, or totally reverse the cancer process.
  6. Hypertension – Noni is high in phytonutrients, selenium, and vitamin C, which fights free radical damage on blood vessel walls; scopoletin, a compound that may lower blood pressure; it is alkaline, which keeps bodily fluids from becoming too acidic, therefore hurting free radicals. It also has proxeronine, which is needed for the body to produce xeronine. xeronine helps coordinate the cells to work harmonious, lowering stress and in turn, blood pressure. Also has the amino acid, tryptophan. When tryptophan enters the blood stream and goes to cells, it helps produce other substances that are important, such as even more seratonin, which is great for lowering blood pressure by way of its relaxing effect.
  7. Cholesterol – Noni prevents the absorption of LDL cholesterol, thus reducing plaque in arteries, keeping you healthy and alive longer.
  8. Memory – Noni, as mentioned before, prevents absorption of cholesterol by way of its large amount of phytosterols. This directly helps your brain stay healthier, and plaque does not build up in arteries feeding the brain, keeping it properly oxygenated.
  9. Irritable Bowel Syndrome/constipation – Noni is high in soluble fiber, which helps ease the strain on your intestines and softens stool. Also has necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your intestines healthy.
  10. Antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral – Noni has properties to fight infections comparable to that of prescription drugs. It contains anthraquinones, scopoletin, and terpenes, among others all work together to fight diseases.

Cheers, love, & gratitude for Noni!