The properties of Kawakawa aka Pepper Tree (Macropiper Excelsum), the way it grows and the various ways in which it can be used are what makes it a magical canopy.

From the leaves to the fruit its the most commonly known native plant we have in Aotearoa.  Kawakawa has had a resurgence in popularity over the last few years and although it is known to grow in a number of regions around Aotearoa.  

Used in tangihanga and a number of Maori ceremonial practices it has been a resource used by Maori for centuries.

Rongoa/Medicinal Properties

Kawakawa treats colds, bladder complaints, venereal diseases, purifies blood, quenches thirst, its analgesic, relieves toothache, insect repellant, stimulant, relaxant, treats arthritis, rheumatism, bruising, poulticing to draw boils/impurities, hyperthermia, fruit is aphrodisiac, treats eczema, cuts, bites and stings.

Leaves and twigs were burnt to deter insects.  Combined with equal amounts of kumarahou as a tea, it can help to balance blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.  It is also a good astringent and has a light pepper flavour.  

Chemical properties include myristicin, eugonal and lignans.  Kawakawa is rich in magnesium, iron and vitamins and is the most popular and widely used Rongoa out of all the plants.


Take care when used in association with warfarin, aspirin and mental health medications.  Kawakawa is a natural blood thinner and stimulant. Some people are allergic so spot test skin prior to use.

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Monday, 15 July 2024

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