Scientists Confirm Kawakawa’s Healing Properties and Our Favourite Kawakawa Products

Home » Health & Wellness » Scientists Confirm Kawakawa’s Healing Properties and Our Favourite Kawakawa Products

24 January 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Aotearoa scientists are proving the health effects of kawakawa. Kawakawa has long been used in Māori medicine (rongoā). Kawakawa is used within balms to soothe eczema, boils, bites, stings and grazes, as well being known to relieve stomach issues.

In the latest paper, researchers from University of Auckland have been studying the healing properties of Kawakawa “Our findings show that kawakawa contains a great diversity and abundance of pharmacologically active metabolites,” says Liggins Institute research fellow Dr Chris Pook.

Kawakawa is a relative of black pepper, both belong to the plant family Piperaceae. Which is famous for its diverse roles in traditional medicinal and culinary practices from cultures around the world.

“The most abundant compound, of more than 60 that we found, was pellitorine, which has numbing effects on the body and could explain its use for pain-relief in rongoā Māori,”
– Dr Chris Pook 

Dr Chris Pook
Dr Chris Pook, Liggins Research, Auckland University

The Liggins researchers are now running trials testing the potential for kawakawa to reduce inflammation and improve the health of people with diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Related article: 7 nourishing beauty products infused with powerful properties from plants.

Kawakawa has recently become more widely used in a variety of things such as skincare, spice mixes, teas and tonics. Below are our picks of Kawakawa infused products. 

Kiwifruit & Kawakawa Verde

Apostle, Hot Sauce Saint Peter – Kiwifruit & Kawakawa Verde, $12 

Kawakawa Balm

Kawakawa Balm 
Aotea, Kawakawa Balm  $22-44

Native Kawakawa Tonic

Kawakawa tea
Weirdly Normal, Native Kawakawa Tonic, $9.95

Kawakawa Dark Chocolate Bar

Wellington Chocolate Factory,  Kawakawa Dark Chocolate Bar, $12.50

Kawakawa Infused Organic Green Olives 

Kawakawa leaves
Kiwi Artisan, Kawakawa infused Organic green olives, $10.99

Pure Kawakawa Tea

Kawakawa tea
OKU NZ Pure Kawakawa Tea $18.40

Kawakawa Stomach Calm

Kawakawa benefits
Kiwi Herb Kawakawa Stomach Calm $31.40

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