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27 May 2018, Edition - 1048, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Promoting Noni as a healing plant

Covai Post Network

The tribes in Polynesian Islands who use noni ( Morinda Citrifola) are said to be healthy. Our ancient medical literature in Tamil too reportedly mentions the plant as Nunakaai.

A farmer in Coimbatore too is cultivating the plant, whose fruit he says is useful to alleviate constipation and correct hormonal imbalance in women. It is also used to purify blood and controls blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol. Regular use of the fruit extract can also delay ageing. It also contains vitamin C, which is useful for daily life.

“Although, the bark and leaf of the plant can be used medically, I am focusing on the fruit right now. Its extract is very good for overall health,” says Rajarathinam, who has been growing the commonly called Indian mulberry at Eden Nursery Garden at Mettupalayam.

“The plant takes three years to bear fruit and now is the right time to take the extract out of the fruit,” he says adding that officials at the Agri Business Incubator at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University provided the necessary expertise to raise the plant.

Rajarathinam is raising noni in one acre of land. He is receiving expert help from TNAU to store the extract. He is also raising guava, jasmine and mulberry.

“Many of noni’s health benefits have been well documented. Rajarathinam came to us to make juice out of noni. We helped him. We cannot ascertain the health benefits of using noni. For instance, we have to test patients to check if noni works positively on a diabetic. That is outside the scope of TNAU,” says R. Murugesan, who heads the Agri Business Incubator at TNAU.

Rajarathinam is the only farmer raising noni in Coimbatore. He says noni is an antioxidant and can be used as such in curing a number of ailments.

Rajarathinam’s organic nursery is the first certified organic nursery in Coimbatore. He started the nursery in 1998. He hopes that noni will bring him cheer and rich dividends.