Paititi Plant Profile #001: Noni (with bonus recipe of “The Upliftertjie”, favourite smoothie at Paititi)

posted by Faanito on December 17th, 2012

So I’ve decided to start writing regular articles on some of our resident plant friends here at Paititi. Being a daily consumer and die-hard fan of this BLLLLLESSED fruit, I couldn’t help but start with my good friend Morinda citrifolia – the Noni fruit 🙂

The taste has most often been described as spicy blue cheese and the cliche goes like this: The first time you try it you hate it, the second time you’re ambivalent and by your third taste you’re hooked…Well, from my personal experience this doesn’t seem to always hold true, most of our visitors here find it pretty much horrendous no matter how many times they try it. But in my case, and for some other people who connect with the power of this fruit, it certainly holds true.

The Noni tree (Morinda citrifolia) hails from the Rubiaceae family along with coffee. It is a small evergreen tree, reaching up to about 10m in height. At maturity, the tree can produce between 4 and 8kg of fruit every month! Noni is tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions and can be found in a wide variety of habitats.

Noni is indigenous to India and Southeast Asia. A traditional source of food and medicine in Hawaii and certain parts of India, it is especially popular in the Pacific Islands.The fruit superficially resemble large, white mulberries, hence the alternative common name of “Indian mulberry”. Yellow dye from the root has also been traditionally used in Hawaii to dye cloth.

Trees can be grown from cuttings and require tropical conditions to thrive. A number of plantations have jumped up around the globe in recent years as it has become popular “health food” available in specialty stores in developed countries. David Wolfe (“Oh-my-god I LOVE SUPERFEWWWWWDS!”) gives it an honorary mention in his book titled “Superfoods”, and mentions it to be a source of a psychoactive high with no subsequent low – I can certainly attest to this. Fruit are either juiced, eaten raw or subjected to a special fermentation process. The fermented juice is GREAT with kombucha!

The fruit are a good source of fiber and carbohydrates, additionally they are rich in vitamins A,B,C, niacin and iron, and contain substantial amounts of other vitamins. In traditional medicine they are thought to aid in sexual performance, combat urinary tract infections, aid in skin beautification (due to the presence of linoleum acid) and is speculated to have anti-cancer properties. This is due to the presence of morindin and anthraquinones, as well as other biologically active enzymes and proteins.

Love it or hate it, the Noni fruit is a potent gift from MADRE GAEA and with six resident trees it’ll surely be savored for many years to come here at Paititi!



BONUS: Recipe of our potent regular smoothie – “The Upliftertjie”.

I invented this smoothie a couple of months ago, and it’s been a great hit here at Paititi – it not only tastes great but is packed with so much nutritional prowess I had to name it “The Upliftertjie” (-tjie is the Afrikaans suffix for ‘little’).

Exact quantities are not my thing, so I’ll be relaying my recipe in a relative fashion.

For one full Vitamix jug of this delicious green goodness blend the following:

4-6 Noni fruits

You can blend the fruit with water and strain the seeds prior to adding the other ingredients for a smoother drink, but FYI – the seeds have potent anti-parasitic properties.

Then fill the rest of the space up with banana and pineapple until the jug is about 75% full.

Add a fistful of green leaves of your choice – here at Paititi we’re currently love Moringa tree, Malabar spinach, Quailgrass and collard leaves.

Add a spoonful of spirulina.

Add two spoons of honey.

Top it up with water.



Congratulations, if you can’t yet tell, you have now reached the next level 🙂