Active Herbs

Kawakawa

Macropiper excelsum

Native to Aotearoa, New Zealand

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Kawakawa has an extensive variety of medicinal properties. It is an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, anti-dyspeptic, expectorant and antidepressant to name a few. It’s externally used to treat many skin conditions including eczema, cuts, and wounds. Internally it acts a stimulant, improves circulation, treats indigestion, coughs, colds, improves energy levels, purifies the blood and helps to detoxify the kidneys. It also helps to regulates female hormones and treat gonorrhea and inflammation of the uterus.Historical NotesIt has been called ‘the pharmacy of the forest’ for its many healing properties. It is a native New Zealand herb which remains a significant medicinal plant for the Māori. It is sacred for it’s use throughout one's life from conception to passing on into the spiritual realm. 


An infusion of the leaves or roots was traditionally used cuts for toothache, wounds, boils, boils, arthritis, stomach and bladder problems or as a general tonic. Older men also took it as an aphrodisiac. The fruit or seeds are more powerful and were eaten as a diuretic, chewed for toothache or added to cooking as a substitute for pepper. The leaves were used to cover wounds and infections for healing. The leaves were also worn as a head wreath at tangis (traditional maori funeral) or thrown into the fire to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

Kūmarahou

Pomaderris kumeraho

Native to Aotearoa, New Zealand

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Topical antiseptic and soothing skin healer for wounds, sores, rashes, eczema and skin cancers. Infusions of the leaves taken internally strengthens lungs and the respiratory system and helps with colds, coughs, flu and bronchitis. It works by reducing the mucous production and as well as encouraging the mucous expulsion. It also aids the elimination of toxins from the body (a blood purifier, liver and kidney cleanser and tonic) therefore suitable for all skin conditions and can help with arthritis and rheumatism. It also relieves constipation and indigestion.

Historical Notes

Kūmarahou is a bush native to New Zealand. The name is derived from Māori, meaning ‘kumara planting time’ when the plant flowers in early spring. It was used in Rongoā Māori (traditional Māori medicine) both internally and externally. Wounds and skin irritations were bathed in extract collected from boiling the leaves and also fresh leaves applied directly on the injury. Leaves were also steeped in bathing water to sooth skin irritations and ease arthritis and rheumatism. Internally it was taken as a general health tonic for cleansing the liver and kidneys and to treat tuberculosis. In early colonial times it was used by the gum-diggers in Northland, New Zealand. The flowers and leaves were crushed and mixed with water to create a soapy lather, hence the name ‘Gumdiggers soap’.

Calendula

Calendula officinalis

Indigenous to Eastern Europe

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Antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant skin healer. Treats a wide range of skin conditions and promotes skin regeneration. Used for cuts and grazes, infection, bruising, eczema, varicose veins and broken capillaries, rashes, sunburn and other minor burns. Internally it is used for inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract.Historical

Notes

Calendula is indigenous to Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and has be used medicinally since ancient times including Greek, Arabic and Indian cultures.

Comfrey

Symphystum officinale

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Anti-inflammatory, cell proliferant, antiseptic (mild), astringent, hemostatic (helps to stop bleeding) and demulcent. The presence of allantoin stimulates cell proliferation, thereby accelerating wound-healing both internally and externally. Allantoin is able to diffuse through the skin and tissues which helps to relieve and treat musculoskeletal injuries, arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. It can prevent prevent scar formation and heals clean wounds blisters, bruises, sprains, fractures, varicose ulcers, hernias.

Historical Notes

Traditionally known as ‘boneset’ or ‘knitbone’ for its external application for the treatment of bone fractures. It was also historically used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from bronchial problems, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions.