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Rongoā Rākau

A guide to working with rongoā.

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Rongoā

Traditional Health Benefits

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Preparation


Leaves, shoots - decoction a widely used herbal remedy. Bathing with the fluid heals bad cuts, sores, bruises, reduces inflammation (Adams 1945).

Rongoā

Coriaria arborea

An openly branched tree with long fern-like leaves, found all over New Zealand from sea level to 1060 min scrubland, along forest margins, in gullies and on alluvial soils. Tutu is very poisonous.

Traditional Health Benefits


Leaves, shoots - decoction a widely used herbal remedy. Bathing with the fluid heals bad cuts, sores, bruises, reduces inflammation (Adams 1945).

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Preparation

This is a beautiful rongoā that brings into balance the feminine energy. Traditionally used to heal imbalances of the whare tangata. This rongoā must be used in synergy with a Rongoā Practitioner.

Rongoā

Cyathea medullaris


In the forest, Mamaku fronds — growing up to 6m in length — form a stunning umbrella-like canopy to ensure the plants below retain the vital moisture they need to thrive. The koru fronds have become a national symbol of regeneration, new life and new beginnings. For generations, the spiral shoots were a traditional food of Māori, while the plant’s extract was known as a powerful healer, used for rejuvenating, cooling and hydrating the skin.

Traditional Health Benefits

This is a beautiful rongoā that brings into balance the feminine energy. Traditionally used to heal imbalances of the whare tangata. This rongoā must be used in synergy with a Rongoā Practitioner.

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Preparation

Manawa is the most abundant and common mangrove species and has been used as a traditional medicine for skin diseases, rheumatism, ulcers, and smallpox.

Rongoā

Avicennia marina

Manawa, commonly known as grey mangrove or white mangrove, is a species of mangrove tree classified in the plant family Acanthaceae. Grey mangroves grow as a shrub or tree to a height of 3 to 10 m (9.8 to 32.8 ft), or up to 14 m in tropical regions. The habit is a gnarled arrangement of multiple branches. It has smooth light-grey bark made up of thin, stiff, brittle flakes. This may be whitish, a characteristic described in the common name. The leaves are thick, 5 to 8 cm (2.0 to 3.1 in) long, a bright, glossy green on the upper surface, and silvery-white, or grey, with very small matted hairs on the surface below.

Traditional Health Benefits

Manawa is the most abundant and common mangrove species and has been used as a traditional medicine for skin diseases, rheumatism, ulcers, and smallpox.

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Preparation

Historically, dock has been used for chronic skin diseases, dermatitis, rashes, scurvy, obstructive jaundice, and psoriasis with constipation. It was also used for blood thinning.

Rongoā

Rumex flexuosus

The weedy imported plants of the dock family are well known, but the two New Zealand native species, both endemic, are not so well known. Its foliage is an intriguing bronze green colour and the younger rosette leaves are up to 15cm long, while the leaves up the flower stalk are much reduced to less than 5cm as the zig-zag spike extends out to about half-a-metre long.. Its preferred habitat is damp, boggy situations

Traditional Health Benefits

Historically, dock has been used for chronic skin diseases, dermatitis, rashes, scurvy, obstructive jaundice, and psoriasis with constipation. It was also used for blood thinning.

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Preparation

• gel used for ulcers,abscesses,boils • rootpouticeusedfortumours

Rongoā

Arthropodium cirratum

Rengarenga is a species of herbaceous perennial plant, endemic to New Zealand, where it may once have been farmed. The leaves are 30–60 cm (12–24 in) long and 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) wide. The flower stalk often reaches one metre, and bears many white six-petalled flowers, in groups of two or three, each about 2 cm (0.8 in) across. The stamens are tricoloured - purple and white, with yellow at the curled end. The roots are 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) wide.

Traditional Health Benefits

• gel used for ulcers,abscesses,boils • rootpouticeusedfortumours

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Preparation

Tōtara wood was often used for fence posts, floor pilings and railway sleepers. It is also prized for its carving properties, and was the primary wood used in Māori carving. It was the primary wood used to make waka due to its light weight, long straight lengths and natural oils in the wood which help prevent rotting.

Rongoā

Podocarpus totara

Totara is endemic to New Zealand. It grows to 30 m high with a trunk 2 m across. The tōtara is a medium to large tree which grows slowly to around 20 to 25 m, exceptionally to 35 m; it is noted for its longevity and the great girth of its trunk. The bark peels off in papery flakes, with a purplish to golden brown hue. The sharp, dull green needle-like leaves are stiff and leathery, 2 cm long. This plant produces highly modified cones with 2 to 4 fused, fleshy berry-like juicy scales, bright red when mature.

Traditional Health Benefits

Tōtara wood was often used for fence posts, floor pilings and railway sleepers. It is also prized for its carving properties, and was the primary wood used in Māori carving. It was the primary wood used to make waka due to its light weight, long straight lengths and natural oils in the wood which help prevent rotting.

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Preparation

Tohetaka provide a substantial amount of several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Traditionally used to detox the liver.

Rongoā

Taraxacum officinale

Tohetaka is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind. It grows in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of waterways, and other areas with moist soils.

Traditional Health Benefits

Tohetaka provide a substantial amount of several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Traditionally used to detox the liver.

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Preparation

Oil was used for an earache, for eye problems and as a lotion for a wide range of skin ailments including sore breasts, infant rashes, eczema, sores, sprains and wounds, rheumatism, swellings due to bites and stings. It was also highly valued as a general skin softener-conditioner and is used as a carrier for scents obtained from other plants such as tarata.

Rongoā

Alectryon excelsus

Titoki was formerly known as a NZ Oak.It is a shiny-leaved tree native to New Zealand. With its short, stout trunk, this spreading tree, reaching a height of 10 m can be found in coastal and lowland forests. Titoki produces small purple flowers in spring and the seeds take up to a year to mature.

Traditional Health Benefits

Oil was used for an earache, for eye problems and as a lotion for a wide range of skin ailments including sore breasts, infant rashes, eczema, sores, sprains and wounds, rheumatism, swellings due to bites and stings. It was also highly valued as a general skin softener-conditioner and is used as a carrier for scents obtained from other plants such as tarata.

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Preparation

An infusion of the leaves served as a treatment for sore throat, chest congestion, and racking coughs
¬ To ease the pain of stomach ache, the leaves were chewed and swallowed

Rongoā

Rubus cissoides

Climbers with prickly leaves, which are arranged so that the plant slides forward, but the backward bend of the hooks prevent it from slipping down again. Creeping vine found throughout native bush in New Zealand usually climbing over large trees that from an impenetrable thorny barrier1. Produces white flowers from June to August followed by orange-red berries between November and April. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female), but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so there are both male and female plants4

Traditional Health Benefits

An infusion of the leaves served as a treatment for sore throat, chest congestion, and racking coughs
¬ To ease the pain of stomach ache, the leaves were chewed and swallowed

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Preparation

This rongoa is related to the chaste tree and therefore has hormone balancing properties. It is also good for treating ulcers and the boiled leaves have been traditionally used to treat strains and backache. It has also been used internally to treat sore throats.

Rongoā

Vitex lucens

A NZ icon in the landscape, this large growing native canopy tree has glossy ribbed leaves and an upright form with a large spreading crown. The bark is thin, flaky and light brown in colour. Bright red berries provide an excellent source of food for birdlife, especially the native Wood Pigeon.

Traditional Health Benefits

This rongoa is related to the chaste tree and therefore has hormone balancing properties. It is also good for treating ulcers and the boiled leaves have been traditionally used to treat strains and backache. It has also been used internally to treat sore throats.

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Preparation

Stomach complaints
digestive tonic and blood purifier, to improve body function. Also, for treating hemorrhages and constipation.

Rongoā

Sonchus

This plant is annual herb with a hollow, upright stem of up to 30–100 cm high.[8] Prefers full sun, and can tolerate most soil conditions. The flowers are hermaphroditic, and common pollinators include bees and flies.[9] It spreads by seeds being carried by wind or water.

Traditional Health Benefits

Stomach complaints
digestive tonic and blood purifier, to improve body function. Also, for treating hemorrhages and constipation.

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Preparation

• Anti-septic
• anti-inflammatory
• anti-bacterial
• anti-fungal
• leaves used to relieve itchy skin
• topically applied to bruises and skin eruptions.
• A vapour bath was made for alleviation of rheumatic complaints.

Rongoā

Solanum aviculare

Soft-wooded shrub or small tree up to 3m. Leaves 15-40cm long, 1-3 lanceolate lobes
Flowers dark purple corolla, with yellow stamens Flowering mostly in spring
Fruit Berries, green turning orange when ripe.

Traditional Health Benefits

• Anti-septic
• anti-inflammatory
• anti-bacterial
• anti-fungal
• leaves used to relieve itchy skin
• topically applied to bruises and skin eruptions.
• A vapour bath was made for alleviation of rheumatic complaints.

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Preparation

This rongoā is an ancient rongoā known to boost the immune system. It was traditionally used to carry fire but was also used to light the fires within.

Rongoā

Ganoderma appalatum

Pākaiahi grows as a mycelium within the wood of living and dead trees. It forms fruiting bodies that are 3–30 cm wide × 5–50 cm long × 1–10 cm thick[2], hard as leather, woody-textured.

Traditional Health Benefits

This rongoā is an ancient rongoā known to boost the immune system. It was traditionally used to carry fire but was also used to light the fires within.

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Preparation

This rongoā was traditionally used to stimulate lymph nodes and support the movement of lymph.

Rongoā

Gallium aperine

Māwe are annuals with creeping straggling stems which branch and grow along the ground and over other plants. They attach themselves with the small hooked hairs which grow out of the stems and leaves. The stems can reach up to three feet or longer. Māwe have tiny, star-shaped, white to greenish flowers, which emerge from early spring to summer.

Traditional Health Benefits

This rongoā was traditionally used to stimulate lymph nodes and support the movement of lymph.

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Preparation

This rongoā was traditionally used as a blood thinner. It also warm the blood.

Rongoā

Myrsine australis

Matipo is a small shrub or tree, growing from 3–6 metres tall with short upright branches that create a compact crown.[ The trunk grows up to 20 cm in diameter, with the bark of the trunk and older branches a dark brown/black, whereas the juvenile branches are reddish, a distinguishing feature of this plant.The leaves are coloured pale green with a yellow tinge on the top surface, while the underside of the leaf is a paler version of this.

Traditional Health Benefits

This rongoā was traditionally used as a blood thinner. It also warm the blood.

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Preparation

Rongoā

Traditional Health Benefits

Students Access Only

Preparation

Rongoā

Traditional Health Benefits

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Preparation

The leaves and flowers of Kumerahou were used as a poultice on or to bathe wounds, sores and rashes. Liquid made from Kumerahou was also used in the bath, not only as a soap substitute, but also for its soothing emollient properties probably due also largely to saponins. An ointment made from Kumerahou was sold in Auckland many years ago for skin cancer. No further information is available on this, and a proper investigation into this possible activity would certainly be useful.

Rongoā

Pomaderris kumeraho

Kumarahou rarely reaches 4m tall with fuzzy twigs bearing wrinkled blunt-tipped leaves that have very prominent veins on the brownish underside. Leaves 6cm long by 3cm wide, with brownish star-shaped hairs underneath. Flowers pale yellow, in dense round clusters. Fruit dry, small.

Traditional Health Benefits

The leaves and flowers of Kumerahou were used as a poultice on or to bathe wounds, sores and rashes. Liquid made from Kumerahou was also used in the bath, not only as a soap substitute, but also for its soothing emollient properties probably due also largely to saponins. An ointment made from Kumerahou was sold in Auckland many years ago for skin cancer. No further information is available on this, and a proper investigation into this possible activity would certainly be useful.

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Preparation

Many of the benefits of plantain herb come from its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Plantain leaf is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin c, beta-carotene, and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Crushing the leaves can be used to treat bites or stings from insects because the leaves contain useful compounds.

Rongoā

Plantago major

Kopakopa is a low growing perennial plant.

The oval or heart-shaped leaves are arranged in a rosette at the base level. The leaves have 3-9 elastic veins that are thick and dark green.

The flowers sit in a narrow cylindrical stem, which is approximately the same length as the flower stalk. Each flower has yellowish brown petal lobes and purple anthers.

Traditional Health Benefits

Many of the benefits of plantain herb come from its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Plantain leaf is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin c, beta-carotene, and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Crushing the leaves can be used to treat bites or stings from insects because the leaves contain useful compounds.

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Preparation

Young bark contains a bitter principles, having bitter qualities similar to quinine. The bark and heart would have a lot of tannin
A decoction of leaves and bark would help with a cough - inhaled over steam Liquid for lung haemorrhage
Astringent pulp of the inner bark taken for lungs and used as wash for boils and gargle for sore throats.
Bark and leaves stop milk production - boiled leaves as a poultice on the breast

Rongoā

Dysoxylum spectabile

Kohekohe is a native cedar, NZ Mahogony. It can be found in coastal and lowland areas of the North Island and Marlborough sounds.

The flowers are called Kohepu. They resemble a trumpet of small orchid like flowers that grow directly on the trunk or low on the branches. It has large, glossy leaves with deeply cut veins.
It grows up to 15m in height with a trunk diameter of up to 1m.

Traditional Health Benefits

Young bark contains a bitter principles, having bitter qualities similar to quinine. The bark and heart would have a lot of tannin
A decoction of leaves and bark would help with a cough - inhaled over steam Liquid for lung haemorrhage
Astringent pulp of the inner bark taken for lungs and used as wash for boils and gargle for sore throats.
Bark and leaves stop milk production - boiled leaves as a poultice on the breast

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Preparation

Kawakawa is a rongoā used to thin the blood and support the digestive tract. It was traditionally used as a pain-killer and to alleviate tooth aches.

Rongoā

Piper excelsum

A small, densely-branched, aromatic tree or shrub up to 6 m high, found from Northland south to Banks Penninsula. The leaves are heart-shaped and some are found with small holes in the leaves, eaten from the looper caterpillar.

Traditional Health Benefits

Kawakawa is a rongoā used to thin the blood and support the digestive tract. It was traditionally used as a pain-killer and to alleviate tooth aches.

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Preparation

Karengo has traditionally been used to inhibit tumours, soften & reduce nodules and fatty cysts. It was known to
lower cholesterol & blood pressure as well as ease painful/difficult urination & urinary infections.

Rongoā

Porphyra

Found growing on intertidal rocks on exposed coasts, karengo is picked and sun-dried in winter months. It keeps for a long time in a dry condition.

Traditional Health Benefits

Karengo has traditionally been used to inhibit tumours, soften & reduce nodules and fatty cysts. It was known to
lower cholesterol & blood pressure as well as ease painful/difficult urination & urinary infections.

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Preparation

The young shoots of karamu were boiled and drunk or used as a poultice for bladder support and inflammation.

Rongoā

Coprosma robusta

Large bushy shrub with pairs of glossy leaves which have a small dark-tipped flap on the stem between the leaf bases. Leaves 7-12cm long, with a prominent ridge up the middle underneath and a furrow up the middle above. Fruit red, in tight clusters along twigs.

Traditional Health Benefits

The young shoots of karamu were boiled and drunk or used as a poultice for bladder support and inflammation.

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Preparation

Rongoā

Traditional Health Benefits

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Preparation

The rongoā of horopito was used traditionally to heal ulcers, improve circulation, boost the immune system, aid digestion, nausea,scrofula, herpes, shingles, rheumatism, arthritis and pleurisy. It was often used as a pain-killer and as an anti-inflammatory.

Rongoā

Pseudowinterra colorata

Horopito is a shrub or small tree that grows to eight metres in height. It grows throughout much of New Zealand, with the exception of the far north. It is abundant in upland and mountain forests in the North Island, and extends down to sea level in the southern South Island. It regenerates well after the destruction of tall forests and at high altitudes forms dense secondary shrublands. The upper surface of its light green, elliptical leaves is splotched with red, especially if the plant is exposed to the light. The underside is blue-grey. Tiny greenish-white flowers appear in early spring, followed by black berries in autumn.
Horopito leaves have a hot peppery taste and leave a burning sensation in the mouth. and low forest.

Traditional Health Benefits

The rongoā of horopito was used traditionally to heal ulcers, improve circulation, boost the immune system, aid digestion, nausea,scrofula, herpes, shingles, rheumatism, arthritis and pleurisy. It was often used as a pain-killer and as an anti-inflammatory.

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Preparation

The anti-bacterial benefits of angiangi made it very popular. Angiangi kills bacteria found in the digestive system. It helps to maintain a healthy gut and prevents diseases caused by gram-positive bacteria.
One significant benefit of angiangi is its antiviral properties. If taken regularly, the body builds up immunity against several viruses.
It is beneficial in treating anti-fungal infections.

Rongoā

Usnea barbata

Also known as old mans beard. This rongoa has been used medicinally for many years. Angiangi contains Usnic acid.

Traditional Health Benefits

The anti-bacterial benefits of angiangi made it very popular. Angiangi kills bacteria found in the digestive system. It helps to maintain a healthy gut and prevents diseases caused by gram-positive bacteria.
One significant benefit of angiangi is its antiviral properties. If taken regularly, the body builds up immunity against several viruses.
It is beneficial in treating anti-fungal infections.

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Preparation

Tropical Leaves
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