How to make Kawakawa Oil
Kawakawa oil is a great oil with a lot of benefits, such as healing skin conditions, making digestive process run naturally, and sealing up wounds. Kawakawa oil is found naturally in the leaves of the Kawakawa tree, which is a dark green native shrub with a fresh, minty peppery taste.
First question: How do we make Kawakawa oil?
We make Kawakawa oil through a cold infusion process - somewhat like infusing tea leaves. The difference is we leave it for three weeks cold. We source the leaves on Māori land.We put kawakawa branchlets with leaves on them in "sweet almond" oil. After three weeks, we make the balm. We add heat to the infusion for two hours to extract the higher actives, and then strain out the leaves and plant matter. We then mix the oil in with mānuka oil and our own beeswax. The resultant mixture is poured into glass jars, and upon cooling, is a balm.
This is super easy for anyone to do, and if you follow these steps you can end up with your own balm and oil! Feel free to sub out the sweet almond oil for a household oil like olive oil and you don’t need the beeswax (we use it to give it body and act as a sealant for grazes / cuts to keep dirt particles out) as it will work wonders as just a soothing anti-inflammatory oil also!
What’s it good for?
Apply Kawakawa balm to itchy spots, grazes and scrapes, cuts and rashes or inflammations.Kawakawa balm also is a vital treatment for skin conditions that can be more serious, like eczema, psoriasis and rash.
Kawakawa has some metabolites called diayangambin, elemicin, myristicin, and lignans and amides. Myristicin is a bioactive molecule which removes nitric oxides in cells. On the surface, this is seen as a reduction in inflammation all around the wound. Myristicin is also anti-bacterial. Diayangambin is a warrior against psoriasis. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder, where the body’s immune system malfunctions and attacks its own living tissue. Diayangambin suppresses this overactive immune response. The lignans and amides are beneficial for cell repair and restoration. We also believe that the fast heat extraction process we use at the end, and the three full weeks we give it to infuse with the sweet almond oil ensures the actives are most effective against cell problems. The spiritual power of kawakawa was revered in Māori rongoā, and it was used traditionally to aid circulation, relieve stomach pains and cure toothaches and fight against a range of other issues. Furthermore, the skin has the natural ability to heal itself. Kawakawa balm ensures this ability can be exercised by protecting the wound. It allows oxygen to reach the wound while preventing the entrance of bacteria, which would cause an infection.
An amazing oil that can be made at home, kawakawa is prolific and grows all over the north island and the top half of the south island. It even grows on the side of the Auckland western motorway. Keep an eye out for her and you’ll be able to make your own anti-inflammatory oil!
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