A favorite vegetable called "Kopakopa" used primarily as a first aid remedy. Like most plants and shrubs, Maori always found a way to fully utilize the products of nature for food, health, healing and protection. Our task today is to remember which ones did what, why and how.
Lacebark (Hoheria populnea) derives its common name from its inner layer of bark, which is perforated and has a lacy appearance. The veins on its oval leaves are prominent.Traditional Maori Rongoa (medicine) hugely effective when used for treating burns, from fire or scalding water. The bark or the leaves could be used as a poultice or as a wash. Contains tannic acid, giving it astringent properties.
This is the Kawakawa plant that is a medicine, a healing and soothing plant when heated and the leaves applied to the body, a flavouring, and tonic drink thirst quencher that is superb to relax and enjoy the aromas of nature that the early Maori would enjoy.
Poroporo,Parts used; berries, leaves, inner bark.The berries are poisonous when eaten green but safe when ripe. The leaf was used for the itch, a poultice for sores, chronic eczema, and psoriasis,sores and ulcers.Internally as an effective contraceptive. A factory was established at Waitara in 1978 for extracting the steroid hormone extract to be added to contraceptive pills and for treating rheumatoid arthritis however the plant closed in 1981.
Pip Williams, a retired pharmacist living in Northland, has spent his life observing and recording the use by local Maori of native plants for medicinal purposes. Te Rongoa Maori brings together his observations on 43 New Zealand plants and the health problems they were used to treat, colourfully interspersed with anecdotal evidence and beautifully illustrated with watercolours and engravings.