That subject header may be confusing you. Don’t worry, it’s meant to. Unless you’re one of those freaky hippy health nuts, or a resident of Hawaii, in which case, good on you.
As you may already be aware, I share my first name with Morinda citrifolia. This plant is also known as the great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai, dog dumpling, mengkudu, Kumudu, pace, beach mulberry, cheese fruit or, probably most commonly, the noni fruit.
There are many reasons why I am not particularly delighted about this particular plant being my namesake.
First, let’s just take the completely shallow angle on the issue. This mofo is UGLY.
I mean, that’s a fruit not even a mother could love. It looks like it’s covered in festering pustules, and could be mildly contagious.
Then there’s the various other point about the fruit that aren’t that appealing:
- The fruit is a multiple fruit that has a pungent odour when ripening, and is hence also known as cheese fruit or even vomit fruit. VOMIT FRUIT. Wow, there’s a species to name your child after!
- It contains many seeds. It is sometimes called starvation fruit. Wow. If you don’t gag on the smell or the bitter taste, YOU MIGHT CHOKE ON A SEED!
But there are some pretty cool things about this fruit.
- It has been used in trials to treat cancer. It has however proven to be completely useless.
- There is quite a high level of Vitamin C in the fruit. But not as much as in a raw orange. Also, it’s much higher in Sodium than oranges, so probably not the best option…
- The green fruit, leaves and the root/rhizome were traditionally used to treat menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities, used to treat diabetes,liver diseases and urinary tract infections. Which is cool, but not quite curing cancer, is it? (Also, let’s be frank, they’re all pretty gross things to be able to cure…)
CONCLUSION: The Noni fruit is a shitty plant to share a name with. It’s fugly beyond imagining, is full of seeds, and is pretty much useless medicinally. (Because lets face it, nobody wants to be named after a plant that treats “bowel irregularities”.) If I didn’t like my name so much, I think I’d wanna be an Apple. At least then I’d be rich, famous, and my dad would be in Coldplay.
(The Doll, not the Fruit)
PS. If you want to know more about Noni, then http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noni is where I stole all my stuff from. Wikipedia FTW.