I’m so excited to own my first indigenous New Zealand herb! The Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum) was our first traditional Maori herb for discussion at the North Shore Herb Group’s first meeting for 2014 last Monday. And to my absolute delight there were plants for sale – of course I got one!

Endemic to New Zealand, the M. excelsum subsp. excelsum is a small tree with broadly rounded heart-shaped leaves that range from yellow-green (in open growing habits) to dark green (in dense growing habits). Flowers are borne closely together on long spikes and form yellow to bright orange berry-like fruits which are relished by kereru (New Zealand pigeon) and tui birds.watch full movie Smurfs: The Lost Village 2017 online

It is a traditional Maori medicinal herb and infusions of the leaf (or roots) are used as a general tonic, for pain, toothache, boils, bladder problems and for bruises.

The lady that supplied the herb plants also brought an infusion of kawakawa (with some other herbs) and we all enjoyed a glass of cool kawakawa tea.

Interestingly, the leaves of the kawakawa often have holes in them where insects have eaten them, and even on commercial products made from the plant, the distinguishing holey-leaf is a proud symbol of the authenticity of the product and is often included on marketing for it.

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