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Macropiper excelsum subsp. excelsum
Kawakawa is used in the production of sweet Ti-toki
You can purchase ready made kawakawa tea or make your
own. Pick 2 or 3 leaves and place in a
cup of boiled water. Leave to infuse for a minute or two, then drink. Good with
lemongrass and ginger added or sweeten if you wish, try it iced in the summer.
House-hold: Dried and
burnt leaves are used as an insect repellent. Was used for treating the inside
of dwellings and kumara patches.
wear wreaths of kawakawa on the head as a sign of mourning. Host people of a
marae wave leaves of kawakawa to welcome guests especially at a tangi.
Medicinal The fruit, bark and leaves of the kawakawa all
have medicinal properties. One of the
most important healing herbs used by Maori and still widely used today.
The leaves were chewed or made into an infusion to treat
stomach ailments, bladder problems, the fruits were eaten as a diuretic. The
leaves are chewed for toothache.
Externally used to heal cuts, boils, bruises, rheumatism,
and nettle stings.
Leaves and bark are boiled in water and the resulting
infusion used for the treatment of skin problems such as eczema.
Kawakawa’s stimulating and rejuvenating properties made a
Constituents Kawakawa contains myrsticin, related to
eugenol, which is a mild antiseptic and dental pain reliever.
The presence of lignans in the smoke generated from burning
kawakawa leaves and stems kills insects.
Research MAF Biosecurity NZ have been conducting research
since 2008 into the decline of Kawakawa. It is an important shrub for our ecology and is used in coastal
Side effects Do not overindulge as kawakawa has laxative
properties and is mildly sedative.