Botanical Gifts from Kaua'i Hawai'i

I just completed a veterinary eco-tour of Kaua'i with the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association (VBMA) and I brought back some goodies to share!

Have you been to Kaua'i Hawai'i?  It is a mystical and therapeutic garden island!  Besides experiencing several synchronicities on Kaua'i that boggle my mind I also had the pleasure of experiencing first hand the healing effects of two tropical botanical medicines.

I can hardly contain my excitement about Morinda citrifolia, also known as Noni!   

There must be an element of invincibility that people, myself included, tend to experience when they visit paradise.  Knowing better, but evidently not caring, I decided to pet and then massage an affectionate cow's head through the fence at the Sacred Rudraksha Forest at the Shiva Temple on Kaua'i.  This sweet cow decided I didn't have the bovine version of a deep tissue massage quite mastered yet, so she threw her weight into my arm, pinning it to the high tensile wire fence and fence post, with all the weight of her one ton body behind it.  My soft tissue injury prevented me from using my left wrist and hand, it swelled up and turned all sorts of shades of reds and blues, and bled from a few lacerations where the wire cut into my arm.  The imprint from the wire across my wrist looked like I tried to commit suicide and I was lucky the wire didn't cut any deeper.  I was in considerable pain, and being left handed with a non-functional left wrist, hand, and thumb and being  the only designated driver on the rental car policy made for some tricky traffic negotiating on our way home. (Looking back, had I not been under the influence of Paradise Island,  I would have gone to the ER.)

At our group dinner that night we arrived to find large leaves from the Noni tree as centerpieces on each of our tables as the evening's lecture was to be on Noni.  All during dinner I felt my arm throbbing in pain and getting progressively more red and swollen.  The lecturer described the pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects of Noni on both acute and chronic pain.  Guess who grabbed the Noni leaf centerpiece and wrapped it around her wrist.  Yours truly!

The effects amazed me and I would not have believed it could be possible had I not experienced it first hand.  By morning the throbbing and swelling were gone and I had complete range of motion of my wrist and thumb again.  It was still very tender and sore to the touch, but it didn't ache and even the discolorations were noticably diminished.  I didn't take any "over the counter" aspirins or other anti-inflammatories and I was effectively healed within 12 hours by a Noni leaf wrapped around my arm.

I will save the other botanical gift from this trip for a later blog post.  Until then, if you have a dog or cat in pain let's get it started on some Noni!  Oh, and the way in which the Noni is processed has an effect on its effectiveness.  I can help you find the right stuff!


Dr. B