HONOLULU (KHON2) — KHON2’s weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various roadways across the pae ʻāina so the meaning of their names can be uncovered.

It is time to bring attention to a vine that carries healing properties. 

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Within the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, which lies in the moku of Kona on Oʻahu, stands a street that captures the name of a plant used both in healing and hula. That street is Kaunaʻoa St.

Kaunaʻoa is an endemic vine to Hawaiʻi and is parasitic, meaning it attaches itself to a host plant to obtain its nutrients.

In the islands’ history, Kaunaʻoa has been used in Lāʻau Lapaʻau, or Hawaiian natural medicine.   

It can help with improvement of the immune system and overall health.

Known as a “blood builder,” this plant helps in strengthening resistance to illnesses, especially for pregnant women.

Used in the latter portion of pregnancy, Kaunaʻoa can help with the labor process from birthing pains to nourishing both the fetus and mother.

It is the juice from the vine that is extracted and consumed.  

But before doing this on your own, please consult a Hawaiian medicine practitioner first. 

In the art of hula, a variety without healing properties is used.

The vines are harvesrted and intertwined to make lei or adornments to accompany hula people in their dances. 

Did you know? Now you do!