Story: Plant extracts

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Pukatea

Pukatea

Māori used the bark of the tall pukatea (Laurelia novae-zelandiae tree as a painkiller, boiling the inner layer to make a decoction. Pulped inner bark was also held in the mouth to ease toothache. Pukatea bark contains pukateine, which has a chemical structure similar to morphine. It was first isolated in 1910 by Bernard Aston, the first chemist at the Department of Agriculture.

About this item

Private collection
Photographs by Maggy Wassilieff; Jeremy Rolfe (inset)

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How to cite this page:

Nigel Perry. 'Plant extracts - Unique plants and chemicals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 8-Jul-13
URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/14459/pukatea