Diatomaceous Earth – also known as Fossil Shell Flour (Amorphous Silica). Love Your Gut Powder is food-grade, meeting the strict criteria of Food Standards Australia, New Zealand. This is NOT a silica or highly heated product -
Our Diatomaceous Earth is food-grade and safe however, there are different grades of DE that are not, so don’t just buy any DE product it to needs to be of the highest finest quality. Think of it like the difference between cheap salt for the swimming pool and Himalayan Sea Salt!
Does Love Your Gut Powder fit into my dietary requirements?
Yes. Love Your Gut Powder is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free and sugar-free.
HOW DO I USE IT?
How do I take it?
Start off slowly, say one teaspoon per day for the first week. Once you’re used to it, you can build up to a full tablespoon. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day.
What does it taste like?
It has no taste and no odour.
When’s the best time to take it?
One hour before a meal is an ideal time to take it. I recommend having it with at least half a cup of water or juice. Some people even put it in their tea and coffee! But you can have it with food if you want to.
Can I take LYG forever or do I need to stop after a certain period of time?
We have customers that take it most days just once but, when feeling bloated -take it twice a day. It's very gentle - Think of it like brushing your teeth. If you don't brush for a day, a film of plaque arrives and it’s the same with your digestive system. Waste, plaque, bad bacteria builds up constantly so a little gentle cleanse with LYG works every day.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Diatomaceous Earth looks like a cylinder/honeycomb full of holes that has a negative charge. As the millions of cylinders move through the stomach and digest tract, they attract and absorb bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, endotoxins, pesticides, drug residues, E-coli and heavy metals.
These pathogens are trapped inside the cylinder and passed out of the body. The bad bacteria has a positive charge and the good bacteria generally has a negative or neutral charge, as does Diatomaceous Earth.
Any larger parasites in the stomach or digestive tract are taken care of by the Diatomaceous Earth particles. This de-burdening of the digestive system results in a healthier digestive system and a healthier body.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?
What are health benefits of LYG?
Taken daily, It has the ability to sweep clear forms of bacteria out of the system. eliminating parasites and intestinal worms from the body and aids in keeping the bowels clean. Containing 15 minerals that are known to promote healthier, shinier hair, skin and nails. Helping lower cholesterol, blood pressure and give relief from arthritis pain.
Is Diatomaceous Earth absorbed in the blood stream?
A small amount of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth is absorbed into the blood stream. Travelling throughout the body, assists in cleaning and breaking up plaque in the blood vessels and destroy bad fats. Our customers have advised that taking LYG has lowered their cholesterol levels by as much as 40-50 points. To be transparent, this evidence is anecdotal - not from clinical trials. Have a read of our customer feedback
Would it rid the body of parasites and heavy metals?
It will help get rid of both parasites and heavy metals as it’s a gentle but effective cleanse. As it is negatively charged it ‘attracts’ positively charged particles such as bad bacteria and heavy metals. It’s not a quick-fix.
What’s the difference between amorphous and crystalline silica?
Amorphous silica is silica in its natural occurring state. It is a trace mineral which every mammal on the planet needs to gain full health. It becomes crystalline when it is exposed to extreme heat through volcanic activity or commercial manufacturing, e.g. the type of diatomaceous earth used in swimming pool, and other, filtration systems are crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous when inhaled or ingested. It is not biodegradable.
Is there a difference between “Naturopathic Grade” and “Food Grade” products?
Our diatomaceous earth has been approved by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
Similar to the grading of salts – from Celtic sea salt to swimming pool salt, Diatomaceous Earth has many grades also. Supercharged Food's diatomaceous earth is food-grade and approved for human consumption at the serving indicated on the pack.
Does it also get rid of good bacteria?
Diatomaceous Earth will not absorb beneficial bacteria simply due to the fact that DE has a negative charge and bad bacteria has a positive charge. However, we recommend consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking a probiotic supplement to help the good bacteria within the gut flourish and grow, as the body has improved nutrient absorption, enabling more good bacteria to grow.
Why do you say the product is great for skin, hair and nails?
Our product is high in 85% Amorphous Silica which is proven to be great for hair, skin and nails. It also supports collagen production.
How can it help with weight-loss?
A toxic intestinal tract can result in weight gain and even obesity, as people lack the proper nutrients their body needs to promote optimum health. As a result, they continue to eat more foods in attempt to obtain nutrients their bodies are lacking from being toxic. Diatomaceous Earth helps gently sweep away the toxins from the digestive tract and improve nutrient absorption.
The recommended serve is one heaped teaspoon (6g) per day, is there any concern with overdose?
The product is a food, not a medication, so it’s safe to consume. It’s a gentle cleanse, not a quick fix so be sure to keep that in mind when consuming.
Will Love Your Gut Powder affect the effectiveness of medication?
It will not interfere with medication works as it’s a food, not a medicine. However, if you are concerned, you should check with a health professional.
I’m allergic to Spirulina. Diatomaceous Earthis algae, does that mean I’ll be allergic to it too?
As Diatomaceous Earth is fossilised, it’s no longer algae therefore it is safe.
Is Diatomaceous Earth okay for people with Crohn’s disease?
We’ve had a number of people with Chron’s who’ve had success with alleviating symptoms and have experienced improved bowel function and better energy levels. Please speak to your doctor if you are worried.
Is it safe to take when pregnant or breastfeeding?
Yes, it’s safe to take as it’s a food, not a medication. There’s many different grades of Diatomaceous Earth, so it’s important to take only the highest quality, food-grade Diatomaceous Earth like Supercharged Food’s.
Since Diatomaceous Earth eliminates all intestinal worms and parasites when fed in adequate daily doses, the body will better absorb the nutrients.
As LYG is high in silica, does it pose a problem for people with implants?
There’s no safety concerns identified at taking the proposed level of powder.
Is it kid friendly?
Yes, Diatomaceous Earth is a food, not a medication. We recommend smaller doses, based on the size of the child. We recommend school aged children start with ½ a teaspoon per day and slowly build up to 2 level tablespoons over time. Always speak to your doctor if you are worried.
Our horopito infused honey is hand extracted using humane methods that don’t stress or agitate our bees.
We do NOT heat our honey. Heating honey kills the naturally occurring enzymes that make honey so wonderful and great for your body.
Commercial beekeepers often heat honey to speed up efficiency - as the hotter honey is, the easier it is to pour when bottling.
At Rhayne we know that good things take time. We never filter. We gently strain our honey by hand, removing chunks of wax and making sure that we keep all the natural goodness in, whilst blending with horopito to create a "sweet heat".
this is taken from New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence and Whakauae Research for Māori Health & Development presented the results of the 2017 project - Cultural, Ethical, Research, Legal & Scientific (CERLS) Issues of Rongoā Māori Research.
New Zealand lies deep in the South Pacific, an island not to itself, but by itself. This seclusion has resulted in an amazing example of extraordinary flora and fauna. Aside from the incredible wildlife and sweeping views, New Zealand is home to over 2000 unique plants that have had the interest of the natural medicine and herbal remedy crowds for a long time. One plant in particular, horopito (Pseudowintera colorata) has been of specific interest due to its demonstrated ability at fighting harmful organisms, including fungus andCandida albicans.
What are the Benefits of Active Horopito?
Although horopito has been cited as having antioxidant activity, most of the excitement surrounding it is due to it containing a compound called polygodial. Polygodial has been extensively researched and repeatedly shown to be toxic to many harmful organisms; both alone and when used in combination with other herbs.
The Department of Environmental Science at the University of California Berkeley has reported many significant findings concerning polygodial. Researchers there evaluated the in vitro activity of polygodial and reported that it demonstrated strong and fast fungicidal activity against candida albicans. When conditions are acidic, polygodial’s defense against fungi sharply increases. 
Active Horopito and Anise Seed
Although polygodial is extremely noteworthy on its own, it also performs well in tandem. When it’s combined with anethole, the active ingredient in anise seed, the efficacy of polygodial goes through the roof. Whereas polygodial attacks harmful organisms at a molecular level, actually punching holes directly through cell membranes and infiltrating cells directly to initiate its vengeance, anethole’s role is to prevent the attacked cells from recovering. A combination of both compounds produces a one-two punch that is toxic against fungus. 
Researchers at TMC Hospital in Shizuoka, Japan observed this effect when evaluating a polygodial-anethole compound against multiple fungal pathogens, including candida. Not only was the compound effective, no adverse effects were reported. 
Supplementing with Active Horopito
If you’re one of the 80 million Americans who suffer from a form of yeast infection, I recommend cleansing your body and supplementing with the herbs that have proven effective at fighting fungus and yeast overgrowth. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, only invest in supplements that are produced using non-toxic, organic means. Herbs like horopito have their advantages but if they are grown in toxic conditions and pumped full of pesticides you may be better off without it!
Pseudowintera colorata is a species of small, woody evergreen flowering shrub part of family Winteraceae. The species is endemic to much of New Zealand. It is abundant in upland and mountain forests in the North Island and extends down to sea level. It grows up to eight metres in height. The upper surface of its light-green, elliptical leaves is often splotched with red, especially if the plant is exposed to sunlight. The leaves undersides are a blue-grey colour.
Tiny greenish-white flowers appear in early spring, followed by black berries in autumn. The berries are very palatable to birds.
Pseudowintera colorata is continually exposed to attack by various insects and parasites and its occurrence in high rainfall areas makes it particularly susceptible to attack by fungi. This has led to efficient built-in defence mechanism of a compound called Sesquiterpene dialdehyde polygodiali which has anti-fungal properties.
Pseudowintera colorata leaves and an extract from the leaves are now used in a number of commercial antifungal products based on the results of scientific research.
The characteristically sharp, hot peppery taste of a leaf when chewed is primarily due to these polygodial compounds which cause pungency on the tongue in concentrations as low as 0.1 µg. Ground up leaves are used as a condiment in ethnic foods.
As the leaves taste bad to deer and stock and are not eaten, this shrub often dominates the understorey vegetation in heavily browsed forests.
Maori uses: Horopito has long been used by the indigenous Maori population of New Zealand both internally and externally for many purposes. As far back as 1848.
Horopito is documented in the treatment of skin diseases such as ringworm, or for venereal diseases. “The leaves and tender branches of this shrub are bruised and steeped in water, and the lotion used for ringworm; or the bruised leaves are used as a poultice for chaffing of the skin, or to heal wounds, bruises or cuts".
Infection due to Candida albicans (Maori – Haha, Haka) is documented as being a major cause of death of Maori babies, due to their being fed an "unsatisfactory diet."
I do not suggest - please take other medicines less harmful and more pleasant Leaves used, like horopito, to wean a child from the breast. Leaves crushed and rubbed on breasts (Best 1908).
I do not suggest :The juice of Horopito leaves was placed straight in the mouth, or alternatively, leaves were steeped in water to extract the juice and this decoction was used in the treatment of what we now understand as oral thrush (candidiasis).
Early European settlers to New Zealand also used Horopito for medicinal purposes. For internal use, leaves were either chewed or prepared as a tea. "
The leaves and bark are aromatic and pungent; the former is occasionally used by settlers suffering from diarrhoeic complaints.
A decoction of the leaves was taken for stomach ache and was known as "Maori Painkiller" and "Bushman's Painkiller."
There are accounts of the bark being used in the 19th century as a substitute for quinine:
"The stimulating tonic and astringent properties of which are little inferior to winter's bark.". A French nun, Mother Aubert, went to live among the Maori at the end of the 19th century, and the native plant remedies she later created became commercially available and widely used throughout the colony of New Zealand.
Horopito was one of the two ingredients in her patent medicine, Karana.
In a letter to the French Consul - 2nd December 1890, she described it as "superior to Quinquina [quinine] in the treatment of chronic stomach sickness.
It has been very useful to me in cases of anaemia of debility, of continuous diarrhoea etc and in recovery from temperatures".
Pseudowintera colorata, or mountain horopito, is an evergreen shrub or small tree (1–2.5 m) commonly called pepperwoodbecause its leaves have a hot taste. It is also known as the New Zealand pepper tree, winter's bark, or red horopito. It is so named because early taxonomists recognized the similarity between horopito and the South American Drimys winteri that provided the herbal remedy "winter's bark." They are both members of the Winteraceae family, which are mainly found on the land masses that once made up the great southern continent of Gondwana - South America, Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. Its yellowish-green leaves are blotched with red, with new leaves in the spring being bright red. It is distributed within lowland forests up to higher montane forests from 36° 30' South as far southward as Stewart Island/Rakiura. A characteristic plant association for P. colorata is within the podocarp forests of Westland, where alliantunderstory plants such as Rumohra adiantiformis, Ascarina lucida, Pseudopanax colensoi, Pseudopanax edgerleyi and Blechnum discolor are found.
The reproductive parts of the Winteraceae family are primitive, reflecting their origin among the first flowering plants. In New Zealand, Horopito appears in the fossil record for more than 65 million years. It is particularly unusual in that its flowers come directly off the older stems rather than from among the leaves. It is a very slow growing plant that lacks the specialist water conducting tubes found in nearly all other flowering plants.
The evergreen horopito plant is continually exposed to attack by various insects and parasites and its occurrence in high rainfall areas makes it particularly susceptible to attack by fungi. This has led to efficient built in defence mechanisms. Consequently, horopito has a rich source of secondary metabolites that have an interesting range of biologically active properties.
Pseudowintera colorata is grown as a spice, as an ornamental, and as a traditional medicine plant.
Horopito has long been used by the indigenous Maori population of New Zealand both internally and externally for many purposes. As far back as 1848, Horopito is documented in the treatment of skin diseases such as ringworm, or for venereal diseases. "The leaves and tender branches of this shrub are bruised and steeped in water, and the lotion used for ringworm; or the bruised leaves are used as a poultice for chaffing of the skin, or to heal wounds, bruises or cuts". Infection due to Candida albicans(Maori – Haha, Haka) is documented as once being a major cause of death of Maori babies, due to their being fed an "unsatisfactory diet." The juice of Horopito leaves were placed straight in the mouth, or alternatively leaves of Horopito were steeped in water to extract the juice and this decoction was in an effort to treat what we now understand as candidiasis (oral thrush).
Early European settlers to New Zealand also used horopito for medicinal purposes. For internal use, leaves were either chewed or prepared as a tea. "The leaves and bark are aromatic and pungent; the former are occasionally used by settlers suffering from diarrhoeic complaints."  A decoction of the leaves was taken for stomach ache and was known as "Maori Painkiller" and "Bushman's Painkiller." There are accounts of the bark being used in the 19th century as a substitute for quinine: "The stimulating tonic and astringent properties of which are little inferior to winter's bark." A French nun, Mother Aubert, went to live among the Maori at the end of the 19th century, and the native plant remedies she later created became commercially available and widely used throughout the colony of New Zealand. Horopito was one of the two ingredients in her patent medicine, Karana. In a letter to the French Consul dated 2 December 1890, she described it as "superior to Quinquina [quinine] in the treatment of chronic stomach sickness. It has been very useful to me in cases of anaemia of debility, of continuous diarrhoea etc,., etc and in recovery from temperatures".
The main biologically active chemical component isolated from the leaves of P. colorata is polygodial. The chewed horopito leaf has a characteristically sharp, hot peppery taste. This is primarily due to polygodial which causes pungency on the tongue in concentrations as low as 0.1 µg.
An ex vivo study used a horopito and aniseed mixture (Kolorex) to inhibit the growth of C. albicans in the oral cavity. This research concluded that the antifungal action of Kolorex was constant against all species tested (including C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, C. guilermonii, C. parapsilosis and C. krusei) with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 1:20 (diluted with sterilised distilled water) of Kolorex.
Another study concluded that a mixture of horopito (containing polygodial) and aniseed (containing anethole) protects the gut of mice from colonization and dissemination of Candida albicans. After mice were inoculated with C. albicans and treated with Kolorex, testing of intestinal samples showed that Kolorex treated mice had a much reduced concentration of C. albicans per gram of tissue. The data suggested that the horopito and aniseed product might exert an early competitive effect against colonisation
Pseudowintera axillaris and P. colorata
Horopito, Peppertree, Ramarama Distribution: Occurs naturally throughout both the main islands of New Zealand, except in the very north of the North Island. It is found in the lowlands, to the mountain forests and can form thickets after forest destruction.
Anti-fungal – an agent that inhibits or destroys fungi.
Antiseptic – an agent used to prevent, resist and counteract infection. Counter-irritant/rubefacient – an agent that increases the circulation to that area of skin, stimulating the dilation of capillaries, causing redness.
A stringent – an agent that contracts tissues, making them firmer and reduces discharges.
Circulatory stimulant (internal use)
Stimulating expectorant (internal use) – supports the body in the removal of excess amounts of mucus.
Fungal infections, including Candida albicans, ringworm (Trichophyton spp)
None, though not recommended during pregnancy or lactation
None known to date
10-30ml per week of a 1:2 fluid extract (available by prescription through a Registered Medical Herbalist)
5 large tomatoes finely diced
1 C of plain flower
1 tsp baking powder
salt & freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tb Horopito infused avocado oil
2 heaped Tb finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 bunch of fresh Coriander chopped
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes and coriander. Whisk egg, milk and horopito infused avocado oil together and stir into the dry mixture until smooth. If too thick, add a little more milk or horopito infused oil. Drop dessertspoonfuls on a medium hot griddle, BBQ or frypan, until lightly brown. Turn when mixture slightly bubbles. Serve with a stunning fresh green herb salad, some Turkish bread and salsa.
Finely chopped tomatoes, red onion, Lebanese cucumber, coriander mixed together with Horopito infused avocado oil – absolutely delicious
Horopito Seafood Jambalaya
½ kg assorted seafood.
16 fresh mussels.
2 cups of rice.
1 900 gm tin organic peeled tomatoes.
1 chopped onion.
1 grated carrot.
1 Tb Horopito infused avocado oil.
Sprinkle of kawakawa powder.
4 Pikopiko (fiddleheads) salad shoots
1 tsp chopped garlic.
Place rice in pot. Add horopito infused avocado oil and mix thoroughly. Cover with water and cook for 1 hour. While rice is cooking sauté onion, garlic and carrot until tender. Add chopped organic tomato. Bring to boil and place on low element with lid on for 1 hour.
Once rice is cooked lightly sauté seafood in oil. Lightly mix seafood into salsa. Place the hot rice in a lightly oiled ramekin dish. Place the tomato and seafood in a soup bowl.
Lightly sauté Pikopiko shoots and cooked mussels in the shell. Finish with a light sprinkle of Kawakawa powder. NB. Horopito infused avocado oil can be purchased at some specialty shops or supermarkets
“One of the best-known natural painkillers in our native bush is called the horopito, which is the pepper tree. “It’s a very interesting product because I think scientists have identified about 29 different compounds in that particular plant. “It has powerful antioxidants, and about four active anti-fungal compounds: significant antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties.” Tipa says he was sea kayaking at Lake Te Anau several years ago and camped on the beach, and with no insect repellent the group was “monstered” by sandflies. “Our hands were swollen up, faces were swollen up, so I had a stroll along the shore of the lake and I found some horopito bushes growing nearby, we picked a few leaves, threw them in a billy of hot water, heated it up then applied the leaves to our hands. “In the space of the time it took for the leaves to cool down the swelling had gone and what was a red welt became just white - white marks where the leaves had been.” Tītoki
The main biologically active constituent of Horopito is known as polygodial. Polygodial is a component of the “hot taste” in peppery spices common in traditional Japanese cuisine, and it has been shown to exhibit significant antifungal and antibacterial activity. Researchers in New Zealand demonstrated the ability of polygodial, isolated from Horopito, to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans (the yeast that causes thrush), and other researchers have shown it to be effective against a variety of yeast-like fungi.
Horopito has a long list of traditional uses both by New Zealand Maori and by early European settlers. There is also some promising scientific research done in New Zealand that highlights some specific therapeutic benefits of Horopito.
Traditionally, fresh leaves of Horopito were chewed or boiled for toothache and stomachache. Early settlers used Horopito as a substitute for quinine to treat diarrhoea and gastric infections. It was used for stomach aches and known as the ‘Maori Painkiller’ in such cases. It was also utilised for coughs, colds and asthma.
Topically, Horopito was used for skin diseases, wounds, cuts and burns as well as for painful bruising and sore joints.
As the heat implies, it can also be used for promoting circulation, and is useful for those with chill-blains, and impaired circulatory function.
Research completed in New Zealand in more recent years shows a clear anti-fungal action for Horopito, specifically against Candida species (which causes thrush) but also other fungal organisms such as Trichophyton species which causes ringworm. The active constituent here appears to be polygodial, which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity.
The powerful combination of antimicrobial components (such as polygodial) that kill bugs, or stop them replicating, with tannins (that make tissues tighten up and have a range of positive biological activities) has been shown to enhance antimicrobial activity while also improving resistance to disease.
Horopito, when applied topically to the skin in Manuka Paint, can be utilised to stop the spread of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, and to enhance skin and nail health. When combined with the equally powerful extracts of New Zealand native Manuka, as well as New Zealand-grown Thyme, a potent skin lotion is produced. This can be applied neat to the skin of the body, feet and hands, or diluted for use in more sensitive areas for the treatment of thrush. For stubborn nail infections, a good tip is to use a file or emery board to buff the nail first to allow the ‘paint’ to penetrate the nail to the bed beneath.
Horopito, for all its peppery glory, is gentle on the skin when used in the right doses. Once again, herbal medicine offers up some powerful natural options for treatment of some of our most common ailments.
Pepper tree is a common name for two distinctly different native trees – horopito and kawakawa. Horopito has peppery tasting leaves and belongs to a primitive flowering family – the Winteraceae. Kawakawa has heart-shaped leaves and belongs to the Piperaceae family, which is the true pepper family. Kawakawa is closely related to the Polynesian kava plant.
Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata) 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 and low forest.
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. The taste is caused by polygodial, a compound that also has some anti-fungal properties. As horopito tastes bad to deer and stock, it often dominates understorey vegetation in heavily browsed forests.
Lowland horopito (P. axillaris) grows to about 10 metres in height. It is common in forests of the North Island up to about 700 metres and lowland forests in the northern half of the South Island. It has glossy green leaves, slightly larger than those of its upland relative. Like horopito, it flowers in early spring, producing tiny lime-coloured flowers along its branches. Its fruit is a dark red berry.
Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum) is found in coastal and lowland forests throughout the North Island and the northern half of the South Island. It is a small tree, growing to six metres tall, with dense branches. It is easily recognised by its heart-shaped leaves and jointed stems, which resemble bamboo stalks. The leaves are often pocked with holes caused by the looper caterpillar Cleora scriptaria.
The tiny male and female flowers are arranged in upright spikes and grow on separate trees. In summer female spikes ripen to a deep orange and their swollen fruits are a favoured food of forest birds.
Kawakawa was often used by Māori. The leaves were placed over cuts and boils to speed up healing, and a tea was made from an infusion of its leaves.
A shrub or small tree, horopito grows throughout much of New Zealand, with the exception of the far north. An antioxidant, it was traditionally used both externally and internally in Maori medicine to treat fungal infections and stomach upsets and has been shown by researchers to be extremely effective against yeasts such as candida albicans. Horopito is also known as 'bush pepper' as the leaves have a hot peppery, citrusy taste and can be used as a seasoning on food, similar to black pepper. Buy it dried from specialty food stores and health stores, as a tea or as a seasoning. Use horopito as a rub for meat (including game), fish and vegetables or to add to sauces or marinades.
Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata).
Māori traditionally used the leaves to treat skin diseases and disorders, and modern science has indeed confirmed the plant is effective against ringworm and Candida albicans.
Polygodial, the bioactive compound that gives the plant its bite, also has antifungal properties (the greater the red margin of the leaf, the greater the polygodial concentration). The plant is also astringent (contracts body tissues and reduces bleeding) and antiseptic, so it's still used today for wounds, cuts and bruises.
For home DIY:
* Infuse horopito leaves in olive oil (simmer fresh leaves on low heat with olive oil for four hours) as a rub for fungal conditions. * Make a horopito tincture (steep in vodka for 4-6 weeks) and add it to a base cream with mānuka essential oil. * To make up a 100g cream, use 70g of base cream (available from an online natural source supplier), and add 26ml horopito tincture and 4ml mānuka essential oil.
Horopito will grow in both sun or semi-shade, but the best foliage colour occurs in the open. Plants are frost tender in the first year, so keep sheltered when young. They can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings or seed. Soil should be free-draining but reasonably moist and rich in organic matter.
Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are packed with a myriad of herbal remedies for common ailments, especially with winter on its way.
On closer inspection these products are mostly derived from non indigenous plants, which have a long history of medicinal use in Europe.
We need to embrace of NZ native plants.
For instance, Murdoch Riley’s book “Maori Healing and Herbal” has pages of medicinal information, reflecting the depth of Maori knowledge developed over centuries of observation and use.
These plant remedies are still widely used today, by both Maori and pakeha (non Maori) the ritual and spiritual aspects are still relevant in Maori communities.
But we don't use them??? I think knowing about their special properties enriches our experience of native plants, and provides another reason to keep biodiversity in Aotearoa.
Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum, or pepper tree)
Kawakawa is an easily recognized shrub, with aromatic, heart-shaped leaves, that grows widely in coastal regions.
Kawakawa gives us a clue as to why the first arrivals here from Polynesia called it that. The leaves are like its relative, kava (Piper methysticum), used widely in the South Pacific, Kava has a narcotic effect.
Kawakawa leaves are highly valued for relieving bronchial complaints. Boil a handful of the fresh, young leaves in a small saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes, then drink half a cup of the liquid to relieve chesty coughs.
To make a distinguished tea, for use as a general tonic, it’s best to dry the leaves first, then use a small quantity in a teapot. It’s very good for relieving indigestion.
The fruits and leaves were chewed for toothache – swallow the saliva and keep the leaf matter in your mouth for some time. (The active ingredient is myristicin, which is related to eugenol, a dental analgesic)
Kawakawa leaves were commonly used in hot baths for rheumatic and arthritic pains.