The Traditional Māori use of Kawakawa
It’s winter, and there’s nothing like a herbal infusion to keep warm and so we thought we’d share with you how easy it is to make Kawakawa tea.
Kawakawa tea is similar to peppermint tea, both in its flavour and function and both are recognised as digestive aids. Kawakawa soothes the stomach as a result of its anti-inflammatory content. This is what it was traditionally used for, and it is still used to treat digestive issues today
TRADITIONAL USE OF KAWAKAWA BY MAORI:
Kawakawa is revered among Maori as being super healing and restorative. There are so many amazing traditional stories of Kawakawa use. In battle, the old people would say that if there were injured warriors, they would rest on their return near a Kawakawa grove. They would then light a fire, pick Kawakawa and wave the branches of Kawakawa through the flames and embers so they would wilt. After the heat activates the healing plant agents, they would then case the injured warriors and their injuries in Kawakawa leaves. Maori have used Kawakawa for hundreds of years.
However it isn’t just anecdotal stories that pay homage to Kawakawa. In 2015, All Black Waisake Naholo broke his tibia. After the All Black doctors declared him unfit to play in the world cup which was 6 weeks away, Waisake flew home to his native Fiji and his villages doctor did what polynesians have always done. His leg was wrapped in Kawakawarau - Fiji’s species of Kawakawa - for 2 weeks, upon which his leg was entirely healed and he played a significant role in the Rugby World Cup.
THE SCIENCE. WHY IS KAWAKAWA SO GOOD?
The science behind Kawakawa increasingly supports these stories. Kawakawa is super high in anti-inflammatories and has an amazing analgesic content also. Once applied to the skin, the actives seep into the skin and heal congested and swollen skin, joints and tissue. It is extremely soothing to the skin, so much so that it was also chewed on to treat a toothache as it is a well-known analgesic.
We pick the Kawakawa leaves from our own land on Aotea. We make your balm 100% naturally by steeping the leaves for one week in sweet almond oil. After which we heat for 3-4 hours slowly to extract the high actives into the oil. We then take beeswax from our own beehives and infuse it into the oil making it a beautiful consistency after which it is bottled by hand.
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