Native to New Zealand, kawakawa is a shrub-like tree that boasts of heart-shaped leaves. These leaves are commonly turned into tea, although the roots, too, can also be made into such. On the other hand, the seeds are commonly used for making all sorts of native dishes taste spicy.
Kawakawa comes from the Maori word “kawa” which means “bitter”. Needless to say, the herb is called as such because of the way its leaves taste. When making kawakawa tea, natives go for leaves that are facing the sun. Furthermore, they prefer those that insects are feasting on — it’s a sign that the leaves are bursting with benefits.
The consumption of kawakawa tea is done in New Zealand as a way to address numerous health problems. However, the herbal beverage is considered as more of a preventive measure rather than cure. In other words, relying on kawakawa tea is best done before a disease or condition actually strikes.
Outside of New Zealand, consumers can get their hands on kawakawa tea products from health food stores. Also popular are kawakawa creams that are very good at dealing with an assortment of skin problems. There are also chest rubs containing kawakawa, helping to open the airways and encourage comfortable breathing.
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits that kawakawa is known to bring:
Promotes a Healthy Upper Respiratory Tract
The intake of kawakawa tea is done by natives in order to lower their risk of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold, cough and flu. Extracts of kawakawa leaves are added to camphor, menthol and a few other ingredients, resulting in chest rub that helps loosen excess mucus and ease chest pain.
Wards Off Various Digestive Issues
Consuming kawakawa tea is effective against indigestion and bloating, especially after the consumption of a heavy meal or foods that are simply too spicy or greasy. Traditionally, kawakawa is a well-known carminative — it helps relieve excess gas or flatulence. Also, it is commonly employed for killing off or driving out parasitic worms in the intestines. Some studies suggest that kawakawa may also be effective in managing food allergies.
Encourages Better Circulation of Blood
Kawakawa tea may be taken in order to enhance blood circulation. This is exactly the reason why the herb from New Zealand is said to be effective against Raynaud’s disease, which is characterized by the spasm of the blood vessels in the extremities. Kawakawa is also used for chilblains, a skin problem caused by poor blood circulation.
Deals with a Wide Variety of Skin Problems
One of the most popular uses of Kawakawa is for the treatment of so many skin problems. Due to this, ointments with kawakawa in them are popular in and outside New Zealand. If such ointment is not available at your local pharmacy or health food store, you can easily get the product from a reputable online vendor. The said ointment can be employed for treating boils, eczema, rash, ringworm and others. It’s also great for dry skin and chapped lips!
By the way, kawakawa is also good against insect bites as it helps soothe inflammation and other related symptoms. In New Zealand, kawakawa leaves are often burned to ward off mosquitoes and other critters that bite.
Helps Ease Various Aches, Pains and Inflammation
Traditionally, kawakawa is used for easing various aches and pain. For instance, the leaves of the herb may be chewed in order to deal with toothaches. Whether taken internally or applied topically, kawakawa is known to promote the healing of painful and swollen joints and muscles. It’s for such reason why there are kawakawa ointments on the market that are geared towards individuals who are suffering from arthritis and rheumatism.