Masters of Health Magazine August 2022 | Page 81

If you should have the good fortune to spend a vacation in the Garden Isle of Kauai, Hawaii, be sure not to miss the free two-and-a-half-hour tour of the Hawaiian Organic Noni Farm on the North Shore. Steve Frailey and his wife Richele have been harvesting Noni (Morinda citrifolia) on this farm since 1982, when they purchased just 20 acres to begin their adventure.

Steve had studied organic farming methods in Missouri in the 1960s, and he had been harvesting fruits on his organic farm in San Diego before coming to Kauai. His Noni farm, now nestled in 70 acres of a beautiful deep valley and a bluff overlooking the ocean, is one of the best examples you will find of how to grow food not only organically but also using basic principles derived from nature.

And the organic Noni Fruit Leather that is his primary product is rich in phytochemicals called iridoids, metabolites that have been shown to have neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic activities. Micronutrients include vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin, manganese, and selenium, but its iridoid phytochemical, deacetylasperulosidic acid, is believed to be a key contributor to its medicinal value.

Steve discovered that Noni trees were growing wild in his valley when he originally bought the land. At the time, he was unaware of their rich history. He learned that the trees had originally been brought to Hawaii by Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.

The Polynesians had valued the fruit for its medicinal properties to help heal skin irritations, arthritis and many other ailments for over 2,000 years. In times of famine, the raw food was eaten to nourish the body. In fact,

Noni is native to a large area from South Asia to South East Asia to Australia and across the South Pacific Islands. All traditional cultures valued it for its extensive medicinal properties.

Figure 1:

Noni trees can grow up to 40 feet tall. They thrive best when they are in an area with full sun exposure.