20 In Recipes/ Drinks

Kawakawa Tea – A Native Health Tonic

Kawakawa tea – This refreshing and revitalizing tea is one of my favourite herbal teas. In traditional Maori medicine Kawakawa is thought to be a tonic for overall health with mild cleansing properties, its therapeutic actions supporting many ailments including digestive, circulatory and rheumatic complaints.

It is still widely used today with its distinct refreshing taste and multiple health benefits making it a great choice if you are looking for a new herbal tea to enjoy.

Kawakawa has a fresh and slightly peppery taste. It is a member of the pepper family (Piperaceae), its circulatory stimulant properties can help to warm a cool constitution, support healthy circulation and bring blood flow to the gut helping with digestive disorders.

Kawakawa (Macropiper Excelsum) is native to New Zealand and is commonly found along the shores of New Zealands coast line, its distinctive bright green heart shaped leaves are quite easy to spot.

Kawakawa was one of my favourite native herbs when learning about New Zealand native medicinal herbs during my Naturopathic training due to its many therapeutic uses in Rongoa (Traditional Maori Medicine).

In Rongoa illness for Maori was often viewed as a symptom of disharmony with nature and the spiritual world. Maori healing was frequently a mixture of rakau rongoa (native medicinal preparations), mirimiri (massage) and karakia (prayer). I love this approach as it really focuses on the whole person and not just a specific ailment.

Traditionally there was no differentiation between treatment using herbs to treat the physical or spiritual aspects of a person as “according to Maori belief they are part of a whole and cannot be effective one without the other “. (Riley, M. (1994) Maori Healing and Herbal, Viking Sevenseas NZ ltd, Paraparumu, New Zealand).

Some of the health benefits of Kawkawa are:

  • Kawakawa has cleansing properties which may help support skin problems such as boils and acne. In traditional Maori medicine it was also used externally to treat boils, eczema and rheumatism.
  • Kawakawa may help to support bladder complaints and a healthy urinary system.
  • Kawakawa is traditionally used for a healthy digestive system and stomach ailments, its bitter and stimulating properties makes it excellent for constipation and it is used to support IBS, cramping, bloating and indigestion.
  • Kawakawa may help to support healthy circulation.
  • In traditional Maori medicine the Kawakawa leaves were chewed for toothache.

Kawakawa tea can be found in health food stores or I like to pick my own as it is very easy to find in Aucklands coastal areas. If you are not a big tea drinker but would still like to reap the health benefits of Kawakawa you could try taking a herbal liquid tonic such as the Kawakawa and Ginger Tonic by Kiwiherb.

How to drink Kawakawa tea:

  • Enjoy with a slice of lemon for an extra refreshing drink, sweeten with honey if desired.
  • Infuse with a couple of fresh mint leaves – mint can also help to soothe and calm an upset digestive system.
  • Infuse with fresh gingerΒ  – ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can also soothe an upset digestive system and help ease any nausea.
  • Infuse with green tea – For a more stimulating “wake up” tea with some caffeine and antioxidant properties.
  • Iced tea – Any of the above poured over ice on a hot day for a refreshing iced tea.

I hope you enjoyed this post. For more tasty recipes and to see what I’ve been getting up to you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.

Have a lovely week!

Hope x

 

Note: If you have any specific health concerns or are taking any medication please discuss with your Doctor before taking any herbal preparations including herbal tea. Do not drink if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Kawakawa and Ginger Tonic is not suitable to take if you are pregnant, taking any blood thinners or if you have a stomach ulcer.

Serves 2

Kawakawa Tea

1 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

16 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

5 based on 11 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 6 kawakawa leaves
  • 2 cups of water
  • Extra Options: fresh ginger, fresh mint, slice of lemon or additional green tea bag.

Instructions

  1. Add fresh kawakawa leaves (roughly torn) and 2 cups of water to a pot.
  2. Options: If using ginger or fresh mint then add now.
  3. Cover, bring to boil then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Other options: Squeeze in some lemon at the end or add a green tea bag and infuse for 1-2 minutes depending on how strong you like your green tea.
  5. Sweeten with honey if desired.
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https://lovefoodnourish.com/kawakawa-tea-a-native-health-tonic/

 

References:
Kawakawa Review, Phytonews 7, ISSN 1175-0251, published by Phytomed Medicinal Herbs Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand, September 2000.
https://maoriplantuse.landcareresearch.co.nz/
Riley, M. (1994) Maori Healing and Herbal, Viking Sevenseas NZ ltd, Paraparumu, New Zealand)

 

 

Medical Disclaimer
The information on this website are my thoughts, ideas and personal experiences around food, nutrition and wellness and hence all information presented on this website is for informational purposes only. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is not intended to be a replacement for any medical treatment. This site is not intended to be used for therapeutic purposes, as medical advice or offer a cure to any health or medical condition nor intends to provide a substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other healthcare professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any ongoing medication please seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle or supplement regime. Please seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner for your specific health concerns.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link then a small percentage will go towards the running of this site. Thank you!

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Lindsey Dietz
    November 14, 2017 at 9:40 am Intriguing! I've never heard of kawakawa!
  • Reply
    Renee Kohley
    November 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm I've not heard of this herb - I can't wait to try it! My girls are big tea drinkers to and I think would like this flavor especially with some lemon!
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm Thats great your girls are big tea drinkers Renee! Yes it is a nice a refreshing drink with some lemon :)
  • Reply
    Joni Gomes
    November 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm Oh wow I've never tried this but am definitely interested to make it!
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 14, 2017 at 2:21 pm If you ever come to New Zealand you will have to give it a try Joni!
  • Reply
    linda spiker
    November 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm I am like the others, never heard of it. But now I will be looking for kawakawa!
  • Reply
    Jean
    November 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm Love learning about new-to-me therapeutic herbs! I need to try this out.
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm Thanks Jean, yes Kawakawa is definitely worth a try!
  • Reply
    Megan Stevens
    November 15, 2017 at 11:24 am Thanks for this education! This tea is new to me, and it sounds wonderful.
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm Thanks Megan, I'm glad you found it interesting :)
  • Reply
    Monique
    November 16, 2017 at 10:59 pm How interesting, I have never heard of this before! I'm going to see if I can spot it in Sydney now, I bet a health food store will have it somewhere :)
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm I hope you manage to find some Monique - let me know how you get on! :)
  • Reply
    Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    November 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm How neat! I LOVE teas but have never heard of this one. I'm excited to try it.
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 20, 2017 at 9:10 am Thanks Emily! I'm a tea lover too! Kawakawa has a unique taste, it is very refreshing :)
  • Reply
    Corrine
    November 18, 2017 at 12:46 am I've never even heard of Kawakawa! But this tea sounds so cozy, I'll have to give it a try!
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 20, 2017 at 9:10 am I hope you enjoy it Corrine
  • Reply
    Nicole
    November 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm I would love to try this, I hope I can find it in London.
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 20, 2017 at 9:11 am I'm not sure if you will be able to find it in London, but would be interested to know if you find any Nicole. If not you may be able to get it shipped internationally.
  • Reply
    Carrie Forrest
    November 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm Wow! This is so awesome. Thanks for sharing this with the world. Love to you!
    • Reply
      Hope Pearce
      November 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm Thank you so much Carrie! x

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