Noni and corossol fruits have been used in alternative medicine in their respective geographical areas, but they differ in many ways. The noni fruit's Latin name is Morinda citrifolia but it is also known as the "Indian mulberry," the "Great Morinda" or by the moniker "Cheesefruit." The corossol fruit's Latin name is Annona muricata, but it may also be called a "Soursop," a "Durian Blanda" or a "Custard Apple."
The noni fruit is native to Australia, but it also grows in other countries on the edge of the Pacific, such as Indonesia. The corossol originally grew all over South America, Latin America and the Caribbean islands. However, the plant is now grown in areas such as the United States, Southeast Asia and in many countries in Africa. Both of the fruits can be commercially grown.
The noni fruit grows from an evergreen shrub or small tree with crooked branches. The plant has a ridged gray or light-brown bark. The corossol grows on a tall, slim evergreen tree with a smooth grayish bark, although the bark does become rougher as the tree ages.
The corossol fruit is heart shaped and dark green when ripe. It is also covered in little spikes. When the noni fruit is ripe, it is yellowy-white in color and is an oval shape. The noni is covered in non-spiky bumps.
A ripe noni fruit smells of cheese, and the flesh inside the fruit contains acids that produce the unpleasant smell and adversely affect the taste of the fruit. Noni aficionados eat the fruit raw or cooked. A corossol tastes more like a regular fruit and can be eaten raw, although Javanese people sometimes blend it with milk to make fruit smoothies. They also puree it and use the puree to make juices or sweet dessert confections. People living in the Philippines also cook the young fruits as vegetables.
Both fruits play a role as herbal remedies in various countries. The noni fruit may be used as a laxative or a diuretic; a tonic; an antiseptic; or for relief of joint inflammation. In Vietnam, the roots of the noni tree are even used to treat tetanus. The seeds of a corossol fruit have been used to treat gastrointestinal ailments. The young fruits have also been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
The acid in the noni fruit has also be used to clean hair. The corossol tree has insect-killing properties, and some people use powdered seeds, or seed oil, from the fruit to kill bedbugs and other insects.
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