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Rongoā Rākau- Learn about the amazing healing properties of our native plants that grow here in Aotearoa

Tutu, Tupakihi (Coriaria arborea var. arborea)

Tutu or Tupakihi 

Tutu (Coriaria arborea) is a plant native to New Zealand, and its leaves and bark have been used in traditional Māori medicine for various purposes. Some of the potential healing properties of Tutu include:
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: Studies have shown that Tutu extracts exhibit antibacterial and antifungal activity, making it a potential natural remedy for wound care and infection prevention.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Tutu has been traditionally used to treat inflammation and pain, and research suggests that it may have anti-inflammatory compounds that could be useful for conditions like arthritis.
  • Antioxidant properties: Tutu contains antioxidants, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress and cell damage.
  • Wound healing: The leaves and bark of Tutu have been used to treat wounds, cuts, and abrasions, and may have potential in promoting wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Digestive issues: Tutu has been used to treat digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.
It is important to note that while Tutu has been used in traditional medicine, its effectiveness and safety for certain health conditions have not been extensively scientifically studied. Additionally, the plant contains toxic compounds called tutin and coriamyrtin, which can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using Tutu for medicinal purposes.
Kawa Kawa (Piper excelsum​)
Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum) is a plant native to New Zealand, and its leaves and roots have been used in traditional Māori medicine for various purposes. Some of the potential healing properties of Kawakawa include:
  • Pain relief: Kawakawa has been traditionally used to treat pain, inflammation, and swelling, and research suggests that it may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Wound healing: The leaves and roots of Kawakawa have been used to treat wounds, cuts, and abrasions, and may have potential in promoting wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: Kawakawa extracts have shown antibacterial and antifungal activity, making it a potential natural remedy for infection prevention and treatment.
  • Digestive issues: Kawakawa has been used to treat digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.
  • Skin conditions: Kawakawa has been used to treat skin conditions like eczema, acne, and dermatitis.
  • Respiratory issues: Kawakawa has been used to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, and colds.
  • Antioxidant properties: Kawakawa contains antioxidants, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress and cell damage.
It is important to note that while Kawakawa has been used in traditional medicine, its effectiveness and safety for certain health conditions have not been extensively scientifically studied. Additionally, Kawakawa can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, so it's important to use it with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Traditional uses of Kawakawa include:
  • Infusions and decoctions made from the leaves and roots
  • Topical application of crushed leaves or roots to the skin
  • Poultices made from the leaves and roots
Modern uses of Kawakawa include:
  • Supplements and capsules containing Kawakawa extracts
  • Topical creams and ointments containing Kawakawa oil or extracts
  • Tea blends containing Kawakawa leaves
Please consult with a healthcare professional before using Kawakawa for medicinal purposes.
Kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectabile)
Kohekohe, also known as Dysoxylum spectabile, has been used by the Māori for medicinal purposes with the following healing benefits. 
  • Relieves symptoms of skin diseases
  • Used as a poultice for ulcers
  • Treats breast or chest ailments
  • Treats fever, bleeding, and bruising
  • Relieves coughs and colds
  • Assists with feminine balance and menstrual health
  • Assists with weight loss
  • Contains antibacterial properties
  • Contains antifungal properties

Mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium)

Manuka is a tree native to New Zealand, and it has been used for medicinal purposes with the following healing qualities:
  • Wound healing
  • Cough relief
  • Ulcer healing
  • Digestion
  • Oral health
  • Relieves pain and inflammation
  • Boosts immune system
  • Provides energy
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Antiviral properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antioxidant properties
 Kānuka (Kunzea ericoides)
Kanuka is a plant native to New Zealand, has the following healing benefits:
  • Relieves symptoms of skin infections
  • Treats pain in muscles
  • Treats symptoms of urinary complaints
  • Treats fevers and reduces them
  • Relieves inflammation and kills bacteria
  • Treats symptoms of eczema, rosacea and acne
  • Treats wounds, burns, cuts, bruises and grazes
  • Stimulates immune system responses
  • Treats internal complaints
  • Treats scalds and burns
  • Treats diarrhea and dysentery
Tataramoa- Bush Lawyer- (Rubus australis, R. cissoides)
Tātaramoa Healing properties and benefits 
  • Effective, calming and relaxing for our nervous system
  • Helps calm the mind when anxious
  • Enhances sleep quality
  • Assists with the female hormonal system
  • Aids in drug and alcohol rehabilitation
  • Helps with teething babies
  • Can be used to treat vomiting, stomach ache, abdominal pains, diarrhea and dysentery
  • Useful for dysmenorrhea
  • Helps dispel the placenta
  • Can be used in vapor baths and hot stones after deliver

Kumarahou (Pomaderris kumerahou)

Kumarahou ( Pomaderris elliptica ) is a plant native to New Zealand, and it has been used in traditional Māori medicine for various purposes. Some of the healing benefits of Kumarahou include:
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Kumarahou has been traditionally used to treat inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  • Antibacterial properties: The plant has been shown to have antibacterial activity, making it effective against infections.
  • Wound healing: Kumarahou has been used to treat wounds, cuts, and abrasions, promoting healing and tissue repair.
  • Skin conditions: The plant has been used to treat various skin conditions, including eczema, acne, and dermatitis.
  • Respiratory issues: Kumarahou has been used to treat respiratory problems, such as bronchitis, asthma, and colds.
  • Digestive issues: The plant has been used to treat digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.
  • Antioxidant properties: Kumarahou contains antioxidants, which help protect the body from oxidative stress and cell damage.
  • Menstrual health: Kumarahou has been used to treat menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, and other menstrual disorders.
It is important to note that while Kumarahou has been used in traditional medicine, its effectiveness and safety for certain health conditions have not been extensively scientifically studied. As with any herbal remedy, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using Kumarahou for medicinal purposes.

 

Angiangi (Usnea Barbata)

Angiangi, also known as “The Lungs of the Forest”, has the following healing benefits:
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Antiviral properties
  • Antimicrobial properties
  • Treats lung infections
  • Treats skin infections
  • Treats bladder and vaginal infections
  • Treats athlete's foot
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Treats wounds
  • Treats cellulitis or infected wounds
  • Treats yeast infections
  • Treats bacterial vaginosis
  • Treats chlamydia
  • Treats antifungal infections
  • Treats Candida
  • Used in cosmetic production as a preservative and deodorant
  • Used in mouthwashes, gargles and lozenges

Harakeke- Phormium tenax

Harakeke, also known as New Zealand flax, has several healing benefits. Here are some of them:
Wound Healing: Harakeke has been used traditionally to treat wounds, burns, and cuts. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help prevent infection and promote healing.
Anti-Inflammatory: The gel of the harakeke plant has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing swelling and pain.
Antiviral Properties: Harakeke has been shown to have antiviral properties, making it effective against viral infections such as cold sores and herpes.
Skin Conditions: The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of harakeke make it effective in treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and dermatitis.
Pain Relief: Harakeke has been traditionally used to treat pain, including joint pain and arthritis.
Digestive Issues: Harakeke has been used to treat digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Antifungal properties: Horopito's antifungal properties inhibit the growth of many species of fungi, including Candida albicans, which causes vaginal thrush.
  • Antibacterial properties: Horopito's antibacterial properties make it effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Horopito's anti-inflammatory properties make it effective in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Antiviral properties: Horopito can kill the virus that causes cold sores (Herpes Simplex Virus-1).
  • Natural candida support: Horopito is effective in combating Candida overgrowth and restoring balance to the body.
  • Gut health support: Horopito is effective in treating digestive ailments.
  • Immune system support: Horopito is effective in boosting the immune system.

Pātete- Schefflera digitata

Pātete Healing benefits

  • Ringworm treatment: The sap of the tree has medicinal uses and has been used to treat ringworm and sores on the skin.
  • Fungal skin problems: The patete plant can be used externally to treat fungal skin problems.
  • Weight management: The plant also supports weight management.

Karamū- Coprosma robusta

 

Karamū- Coprosma robusta

Here are some healing benefits of the karamuramu plant ¹:
  • Vapor baths using the leaves can help with inflammation
  • The young shoots can be boiled and drank to help with bladder issues
  • The bark can be used to help with stomach aches and vomiting
  • Boiled leaves can help with kidney troubles
  • The plant can be used to help with detoxification and overall health and wellness

Koromiko- Hebe stricta

The koromiko plant has several healing properties:
  • Relieves constipation: Eating young koromiko leaves will bring about more regular bowel movements.
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Facilitates easy labor
  • Treats dysentery, diarrhea, piles, varicose veins, headaches, kidney and bladder troubles
  • Treats stomach aches
  • Treats ulcers and rheumatism
  • Treats hemorrhaging