Products
NZ | AU | UK | CN
Twitter Google Plus facebook youtube Pinterest Instagram

Spotlight on Kawakawa

Testimonials

  • On Sunday we bought De-Stuff for our 3 year old daughter who has struggled with a cold all week. After 2 doses of it, along with the Chesty formula, she slept so well that night and woke up looking and sounding so much better. Now almost 3 days later her cold is all but gone. I wish I had have found out about it sooner.
    – Bridgette Robinson
  • Received a bottle of children's chest syrup to trial and what can I say it's magic in a bottle!! After a single dose they didn’t cough the whole night which meant a better sleep for everyone after two days they were so much better and they liked the taste which is great, can't wait to try more of your products
    – Daniella Bhagat
  • Brought a bottle of children's chest syrup and it works like magic no more coughing during the night. Also my son loves the taste
    – Philippa Quigley
  • I'm not often inspired enough to go seek out a brand's Facebook page just to give them my positive feedback - in fact this is the first time ever. I just wanted to express how much I love the children's cough syrup, it's always worked wonders on my kids - it's now taken to the next level with the inclusion of the syringe which is long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle - hurray! It's always been the bane of my mum-life trying to reach the medicine when the bottles have run low with syringes that aren't long enough - thank you!
    – Melissa White
  • I brought a bottle of De-stuff for my 11 month old daughter yesterday who has had a runny nose for the last 5 days, I've been wiping her nose constantly but after 2 doses of De-stuff I've only had to wipe her nose twice today. I wish I'd known about this sooner. I will be using this straight away in the future
    – Melissa Bayne
  • My wife and I have been using this product for years and they are amazing and work fantastic!!! We have the all the children's stuff including the echinature, chest syrup, throats syrup and the De-stuff!!! Absolutely amazing products We love them
    – Craig Hume
  • I love Kiwiherb! Finding something that worked so well, and was safe for my daughter when she was at an age where she couldn't have all other medicines, it was such a great help! And now I use nothing else
    – Alyssa Francis-King
  • Absolutely love baby balm. My 6 week old had flakey, dry skin and nothing I had tried was helping until I tried baby balm. Her skin is so much better. I can't believe how fast it worked. Thank you Kiwiherb!!!
    – Alex Lazzaro

Spotlight on Kawakawa

Spotlight on Kawakawa

Posted by

About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

posts by this author

The bright green heart-shaped leaves of Kawakawa (Macropiper exelsum) are a distinctive presence in the New Zealand bush, and Kawakawa’s medicinal properties are equally distinctive. Traditionally used by Maori not only as a medicine but also as a significant part of many ceremonies, Kawakawa is an important part of both the physical and spiritual worlds and revered for its innate power.

A cousin to the Polynesian Kava plant, Kawakawa’s similar leaf shape is thought to be the reason for its being christened Kawa-kawa by Maori settlers. While Kava root is drunk throughout Polynesia as a relaxing drink, and used by herbalists for anxiety and sleep disorders, Kawakawa is a different plant entirely, with quite different therapeutic uses like our Ginger & Kawakawa Tonic.

Kawakawa is an entire plant pharmacy in itself, capable of many different actions that make it useful for a wide array of conditions. The variety of active constituents in Kawakawa make it a complex and powerful medicine, but one that is readily accessible, as anyone who has made a fresh Kawakawa tea will tell you! It was used as a ‘tea’ by early European settlers who were awaiting shipments of black tea, and prized as a pick me up for these hard workers. While it doesn’t contain caffeine like tea does, it is known as a refreshing, rejuvenating and uplifting tonic to improve energy and stamina.

Some of the keys of Kawakawa are:

  • Reduces inflammation and irritation
  • Reduces cramping, spasm, bloating and digestive pain
  • Anti-microbial
  • Improves circulation

Reducing inflammation and irritation, Kawakawa is useful both internally and externally. Used internally it can be useful for inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract, as well as joint inflammation or arthritis. Used topically (on the skin), it can reduce the inflammation of common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and skin rashes and is found is our DermaCare Cream.

Anyone suffering digestive pain, cramping or bloating can benefit from the anti-spasmodic effects of Kawakawa, which also helps to move trapped wind through the body and has a relaxing and calming effect on the digestion. It makes a wonderful after-dinner drink like our Herbal Digestive Aid and Ginger & Kawakawa Tonic for over-indulgence, perfect for Christmas Day!

As an anti-microbial herb, Kawakawa has the capacity to kill bugs, making it a wonderful aid for treating any infections, internally or externally. This makes it useful for coughs and colds, but equally for skin conditions that tend to infection and why our Herbal Throat Spray is a great first line defence.

Kawakawa is known as the ‘pepper tree’, not to be confused with Horopito, which is also sometimes called ‘pepper tree’. The spiciness of both plants can’t be missed when the leaves are chewed, but whereas Horopito is HOT like cayenne, Kawakawa has a minty fresh peppery taste that is quite different and rather delicious. This heat makes Kawakawa a wonderful aid to circulation, and a useful ally for anyone who suffers from poor circulation or cold hands and feet. This makes it ideal for winter in colder climates, and has been used with much success for the treatment of chilblains.

And this is just a tiny taste of what Kawakawa is capable of! Like many of our New Zealand native plants, Kawakawa is entirely unique and a powerful addition to our herbal pharmacy.