21 June 2012

Noni tree in my garden

Yes right here in Ipoh, Malaysia - in my unassuming humble garden, there grows a noni tree!

The noni fruit, famed for its anti-oxidant properties and purported ability to cure anything from diabetes to joint pains, has been known to the Polynesians for centuries.

The tree that grows, unidentified, in my garden was here even before our house was built. We saved it, as we have saved half a dozen old trees that grew on our land before we moved here. We designed our house around the old trees and only removed those that were in the way of the construction.

My maid from Indonesia, and hailing from a farming background, had looked hard at this tree and claimed that it was the same fruit that makes up one of the main ingredients of an expensive imported fruit juice we use as a supplement for our kids. Of course I didn't believe her.

I said noni only grew in Hawaii. Ha! How naive. I read up on it on her insistence, because she also claimed that at the major roundabout leading into town, there was also a noni tree standing on one of the empty parcels of land there.

Well, well, - it turns out that the noni tree is native to South East Asia (that's us!), tropical India and the Pacific islands. I scanned for images of the fruit and tree and voila! It's a match.

Our country's geographic location and climate makes it a treasure trove for plants and trees bearing unique and useful fruits, flowers and leaves, which medical science is today only discovering the quantum of health values within them! But all too often, our native fruits are naturalised elsewhere or commercially produced abroad where more advanced R&D turn them into something looking entirely different from their original physical appearance. These products are then marketed worldwide (and back to us!) with the economic gains also going to these more advanced countries.

Malaysia should harness our country's natural bounty and step up government investment into R&D to transform these resources into world-class products, that will then generate employment and GDP for Malaysia.

So, look hard at the wild trees in your own backyard, there may be a noni or two there!

I am going to pamper my wild noni with affection and fertilizer this very evening, and hope to be rewarded with lots of noni fruit to be blended for my family's consumption.

(Images used are from my online search for information on noni and not my own photographs - credit to simplythaiherbs.storenvy.com, taiwantrade.com.tw, treesandshrubs.about.com,tradewindsfruit.com)


  1. Hello, this is Rozibul from Bangladesh, I would like to get this plant and also want to visit you in the month of Aug. Would you please give me your detail contact address. Please mail me rozibul@gmail.com. Thanks and waiting for your prompt reply.

    Thanking you,

    1. Hi,Roz,
      In Malaysia..you can see it everywhere and can pick it from any plant as it's strewn all over the ground..we hardly use it as it has quite a smell but the leaves are good to eat.
      I think you can find this in bangladesh as many workers from your country work here.

  2. Hi Rozibul, thanks for dropping by my blog.

    Gardening is one of my hobbies but I'm sorry I don't sell/ supply plants. Perhaps you could visit a nursery close to you to enquire about the plant. Good luck!