Kawakawa our Liquid Gold

Kawakawa our Liquid Gold

Kawakawa our Liquid Gold

My relationship with Kawakawa began nearly four decades ago, and in this article, I want to share some of the remarkable experiences I've had with this incredible plant. Kawakawa, also known as Macropiper excelsum, is what I refer to as nature's gold due to its numerous wonderful qualities.

Let's take a journey through my encounters with Kawakawa...

Back in my early 20s, I met an esteemed Māori faith healer named Whare Clarke from Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty. He was renowned for his healing abilities, and people from all over the country would seek his assistance. My friend Mary introduced me to him, and little did I know how profoundly this encounter would impact my life, as well as the lives of countless others.

One day, Mary and I took a road trip from Henderson in Auckland to Te Puke to see Whare Clarke. The journey was filled with laughter and reminiscing about old times. Mary had mentioned the importance of arriving early to have a chance to see him, as his clinic was often very busy with people needing his healing abilities.

When we arrived in Te Puke, we were met with a surprising sight - crowds of people gathered outside a building resembling a town hall. People of all ages, backgrounds, and conditions were patiently waiting in line to see Whare Clarke. The scene was overwhelming, and it was clear that he had a profound impact on many lives.

After finding a parking spot, we joined the queue. As we stood there, a man with a purposeful demeanor approached us - Whare Clarke himself. He singled me out and invited me to join him. Whare Clarke explained that he had been waiting for me, he said I'm glad you speak your mind and stand up for yourself. This unexpected turn of events left me flabbergasted. 

As I spent time with Whare Clarke, he shared his extensive knowledge of rongoa (Māori traditional medicine), particularly focusing on the healing properties of the Kawakawa plant. He introduced me to its various uses, from poultices for cuts to soothing teas. Whare Clarke believed that the plant held remedies for nearly every ailment. His teachings opened up a new path for me, sparking a desire to heal and help others.

Over the years, my connection with Kawakawa deepened. I moved to Whakatane, where the plant seemed to flourish everywhere. Its abundance inspired me to create Kawakawa balms, oils, and teas. I shared my creations with friends, family, and the local community, witnessing firsthand the positive impact it had on their well-being.

Kawakawa became an integral part of my family's life. It treated sunburns, soothed teething pains, and even aided in relieving the discomfort of arthritis and sciatica. Anything like a rash or a burn, I turned to Kawakawa for its remarkable healing properties.

Māori have long had their own explanations for what scientists are now learning about the healing properties of kawakawa. 

According to my late cousin Manu Korewha also a well known matekite and healer stated that the whakapapa of this plant is straight from IO sent to Papatuanuku to heal her anxiety and depression. After the separation of her and her husband Ranginui.

In 2021, my husband and I established ABC Range, a platform to share our Māori culture and connect with like-minded individuals. Among the products we offer, types of Kawakawa Healing Balm and lip balm. These products continue to spread the magic of Kawakawa to a wider audience.

As the years have gone by, Kawakawa has remained a constant companion. It has provided comfort and relief, not just for me but for those around me. The journey I embarked on decades ago has led me to appreciate the beauty and power of nature's gifts. My passion for sharing the wonders of Kawakawa remains as strong as ever, and I hope that more people will experience its incredible benefits.

In memory of my late husband Timoti Smith, who passed away in August 2022, this article stands as a testament to the knowledge and experiences we shared together. He wanted me to share my story.

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