Aloha Authentic: Māmaki known to ease stress, anxiety

Aloha Authentic

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 plant used as natural medicine.

In the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, which lies within the moku of Kona on Oʻahu, stands a street named after plant used in the art of healing and beyond.  

That street is Māmaki Street.

Māmaki is an endemic plant to Hawaiʻi that grows either as a shrub or a small tree and all of its parts serve a purpose.

Today, Māmaki is one of the only Native Hawaiian plants used in herbal tea preparation. The leaves hold a range of nutrients and mineral values.

They are harvested and steeped in water, either fresh or dried. But be sure not to boil the leaves as that will remove the healing properties.

Traditionally used as an aspirin, Māmaki tea helps with issues such as stress, anxiety, allergies and to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol.

The Māmaki fruit grows beneath the leaves.

They are nearly tasteless but can be used as a laxative agent and to cure thrush. The bark is used as an alternative to Wauke (Paper Mulberry), the primary plant pounded to make kapa, or bark cloth.

Kapa was utilized in everyday life from clothing to blankets and more.

And as for the roots of the Māmaki plant, they are used for natural dye.

Did you know? Now you do!

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