Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vomit fruit

Yes it does smell like vomit and who would have thought that you could actually eat them! Well I did...with salt....just like eating young mango!
Vomit fruit, cheese fruit, noni (Hawaii), Indian mulberry, beach mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Naidu, India) are some of the names given to mengkudu (Malaysia), Morinda citrifolia, a tree in the coffee family Rubiaceae, a native from South East Asia to Australia (from Wikipedia). The plant is shady, It bears flowers and fruit all year round with a pungent smell more like vomit when ripe.



My late father planted this tree so that he can have abundant supply of mengkudu leaves to wrap the tungku (hot brick) for his 4 daughters' post maternity confinement! The kampung folks knew so much about the medicinal benefits of this great plant. I started eating the young leaves with sambal belachan as ulam since in primary school when balik kampung for school holidays. Now we have more than one plants around the house, which are becoming a bit of a nuisance because they shed their leaves all the time, and the ripe fruits falling on the ground, are germinating new seedlings all over the garden!


ripe mengkudu fruits smelling like vomit falling on the ground, can
be a health hazard if you step on it and slip..



the not so ripe fruit can be eaten with salt just like mango..


young mengkudu fruit





mengkudu white flowers




my shady mengkudu tree where I can sit to rest
and a shady place for my new seedlings...




Here are some of the medicinal values of mengkudu plants. The young leaves although blanched in hot water are still bitter to eat but said to lower your blood pressure. The ripe fruits are blended and strained for the juice, a good healthy drink..must add a bit of sugar or you can't drink it! And you have to pinch your nose to drink it....Aptly named vomit fruit!

19 comments:

kitchen flavours said...

Your father was really thoughtful! There are a few trees around my neighbourhood. Always curious to know how the fruits tastes like. Now from your description, I'm not sure I look forward to trying it!

Stephanie said...

Good that your father taught you since young!

For me, even by the look of the fruit, I think I will not be able to adapt to the taste.

One said...

This is an interesting plant. I imagine it is sourish, right?

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Young mengkudu fruit taste, is it same with sourish young mango? I never known that it is use during pantang.

takaeko said...

Noni is now very famous in Japan as an ingredient of dietary supplement especially among women.

I've never have seen a tree and fruit of Noni and never known that terrible taste and smell....
Durian is well-known for that vomiting smell, I know.
Which one is better for you to eat?

Autumn Belle said...

I'm sure this tree has a special significance for you since it is planted by your dad. It was very thoughtful of him. Does the fruit really really smell like real vomit? If it does, I will vomit along when I am exposed to the fruit, so I don't know how I'm going to eat it. But if it smell like durian, then I'll all for it!

Malar said...

Now i know this fruit's name! I have seen them before back in my hometown.
Smell like vomit? oh...no....but it's nutritious too!

p3chandan said...

Kitchen flavours, Steph, One, MKG, Takaeko, Antumn Belle n Malar...mengkudu is aptly named vomit fruit bcos of its smell esp when very ripe! You have to have a strong stomach to eat it cos of its taste n smell even when not so ripe, sourish, bitter not like young mango or of cos not like our Fruit King, Durian! But it has many medicinal values, now its more commercialised where the juice is canned with no bitter taste or vomit smell.

During the 80's the town I live in was fast developing and green lungs are becoming so scarce where mengkudu tree used to grow. So luckily my dad was able to get some seeds and planted them at home for the pantang period. I loved the smell of burnt mengkudu leaves when they were used to wrap the hot brick..

James Missier said...

I remember that there was a great hype about this medicinal plant. Everyone was going crazy with this one but after awhile - there was a sudden silence.
I guess there are lots and lots of medicinal plants that we can actually cultivate - the problem is - they all have a terrible bad taste - just like medicine.

Helen Lewis said...

That is one very interesting fruit. It may smell disgusting but at least the leaves which are used for post-partum treatment are not. :) The hot bricks are also used in the Philippines but I think they use some other leaves to wrap them.

p3chandan said...

Hi Helen, the village folks can vouch the medicinal values of mengkudu plant cos they have long been relying on them. Im surprised that Filipinos also share the same traditional post-partum treatment regardless what leaves they use...

Rosey said...

I just lost my appetite for dinner!

But it was interesting to read about vomit fruit. It seems like the stinkier the plant, the more medicinal value it has. Maybe skunks are the cure for cancer. Ha

lotusleaf said...

Why do medicinal fruit have such bad taste, I wonder. Good that you got used to its taste and smell since childhood. I don't think I can eat it.

p3chandan said...

James, Rosey, Lotusleaf..true,at one time, mengkudu was a great hype, still is, now everybody knows abt its medicinal values as an alternative to doctor's prescription, but becos of its availability, you just to rely on whatever the market can offer. Well guys, medicine usually have a bad taste..you just have to swallow it!

Rosey..haha..who knows in the future skunk can be a cure for cancer, you have to get used to the stinking smell!

One said...

Hi! In reply to your question on collage, do you use Picasa? There is a Create Collage function there.

p3chandan said...

One..will try to figure it out, Im a bit blur when it comes to this..Thanks so much!

Carol said...

How curious! What a mystery there is in our world of plants. Of course some critters are attracted to that sort of smell. Yuck! ;>)

p3chandan said...

Carol...one man's meat is another man's poison! Thanks for dropping by my small garden and left your comment.

Sunray said...

Very interesting. The name is awful but obviously there are lots of good qualities about it.

Cher
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