Kawakawa (macropiper excelsum) is a herbaceous shrub with knobbly joints and branching stems native to New Zealand. It has large heart shaped leaves that are a dark green, and sometimes slightly glossy. There are a couple of offshore island species of macropiper, one which lives in the Kermadecs, and another which lives on Three Kings Island. Kawakawa leaves were traditionally used to brew herbal remedies or concoctions. A dissolution of leaves in hot water would bring out the flavours, aromas and essential natural minerals.
Getting down to the science, phytochemical (plant chemical) analysis of kawakawa has found that the plant contains two active chemical compounds, diayangambin and myristicin. The process by which these chemicals were identified in the plant was reverse-phase liquid chromatography.
These chemicals have epic and very interesting properties. Myristicin is psychoactive and anti-inflammatory, which means that it removes toxic inflammatory chemicals such as nitric oxides in human cells; making it perfect to treat eczema, insect bites and swelling. Diayangambin is an immunosuppressant. This means it is a useful treatment for auto immune disorders, where the body's immune system attacks the body's own useful, living tissue. Two common anti-immune disorders that kawakawa has been proven to treat are rheumatism and psoriasis. And lastly there are also bio-active alkaloids including piperchabamide and these have gastroprotective properties; pretty much that when made as a tea Kawakawa can help digestion.
MĀNUKA / KĀNUKA
Mānuka (Leptospermum Scoparium) is indigenous to New Zealand. It is found across the country, as it is a sturdy plant that can grow in a wide variety of conditions, from alpine to coastal and from groves to cliff-faces.
Mānuka oil is a key healing ingredient in most of our range of natural health products. This wonderfully nourishing essential oil, rich in triketones and flavonoids is a natural powerhouse of antibacterial and anti fungal properties and helpful in the treatment and prevention of a range of skin conditions.
While its nourishing and restorative healing properties help contribute to smooth and supple skin, Mānuka Oil helps alleviate many common skin ailments. Its soothing and calming antiseptic properties are useful to treat acne, dry and itchy skin including dandruff, insect bites and stings, chafing, sunburn, minor grazes and infections, and helps heal scars and reduce wrinkles and age lines.
The extraction process to get the oil from the Mānuka Plant is distillation. We have built our own distillery on Aotea. This vaporises the oil in the leaf sacs, which then condenses in a condenser and is separated from the rest of the plant matter before being bottled.
Harakeke is one of the most well-known species in our New Zealand native flora. It is called flax in English. Flaxes are one of the few plant species that reproduce from a rhizome or underground root stock but are not pests. The leaves spread outwards in a fan-like growth from the underground root system. Flax grows in places with exposure to sunlight and average soil quality.
This unique flax seed oil contains 4 healing ingredients, linoleic acid, phytosterols and the fatty acids omega 3and omega 6. Linoleic acid is famously 'nature’s great moisturiser'. The benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 are that they are antioxidants.
The benefit of antioxidants is the reduce toxic ageing of your skin.