Story: Rongoā – medicinal use of plants
Page 4 – Other medicinal plants
- The bark of the kōwhai tree was heated in a calabash with hot stones, and made into a poultice for wounds or to rub on a sore back.
- A person bitten in the face by a seal had wai kōwhai (kōwhai juice) applied to their wounds, and was well within days.
Most medicinal uses of kūmarahou were recorded in the 1900s.
- The leaves were boiled and used as a soothing and healing agent.
- The juice of the leaves was also used in baths.
- Drinking the liquid in which leaves had been boiled was said to be good for rheumatism and asthma.
- Ashes of mānuka were rubbed on the scalp to cure dandruff.
- Mānuka branches were used to splint broken limbs.
- Leaves were put in a calabash with water and hot stones, and the liquid was drunk to ease a fever.
- The bark was boiled in water, which was drunk to cure dysentery and diarrhoea.
Tētēaweka (muttonbird scrub) was found on the Tītī Islands, where muttonbirds are caught – hence its English name. This scented plant was used in steam ovens, for feverish patients.
- The inner bark of the rimu tree was beaten into pulp and put on burnt skin.
- The pulped bark was combined with water and hot stones in a calabash, and dabbed on ulcers or running sores.
- The bark of the young tree was used to stop wounds bleeding.