What is Kūmarahou good for?

On the shelf of native herbal healing products, a New Zealand plant that often gets overlooked is the mighty Kūmarahou. It is a ‘mighty’ plant with good reason. Kūmarahou contains saponins - natural surfactants, which when agitated, saponify and produce a foamy lather which can be used to clean your hands and your body in a gentle and soft way.

 

What is kūmarahou good for?

 As a result of these saponins, kūmarahou is fantastic for cleaning skin. In the 19th century, bushmen found that when its flowers are rubbed with water they foam into a natural lather, which they could use to clean the kauri gum off their skin. As a result, kūmarahou is often nicknamed ‘gum-diggers’ or ‘bushmans’ soap.

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Kūmarahou is good for all-round health, containing valuable flavonols - Quercetin and Kampferol, plus ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables. Bioflavonoids promote digestive health. Quercetin helps seasonal health, addressing symptoms like congestion and inflammation.

Kūmarahou is also rather good for the elderly or those with general worsening health and chemical clogging and build-up in their body’s natural systems, as it is a gentle detoxifier. A sympathetic blood purifier, it detoxes your lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, lymphatic and urinary system. This is why it often features in natural health clinic tinctures.

Traditionally Māori used kūmarahou for bronchial complaints and digestive disorders. They took it as a decoction or tonic. When brewed as a tea, the extremely bitter drink is thought to aid the respiratory system and boost immunity.

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How do we make our kūmarahou soap and what’s in it?

We make our kūmarahou soap by first steeping the yellow flowers and leave. We use a cold, followed by a heat extraction process. After we have extracted the beneficial saponins, we add mānuka oil for it’s antibacterial properties. From here we include a bunch of natural ingredients such as manuka hydrosol and vegetable glycerine to create a gel/soap like texture. Our kūmarahou hand and body wash is 100% natural soap and a great alternative to artificial/chemical surfactants.