Calendula and Kawakawa, the Golden Couple
Kawakawa Kawakawa Kawa Chameleon…
You come and grow, you come and grow
Loving you is easy cause your properties are my dreams
Medicinal Gold, Medicinal Gold
Oh Boy George, what a plant! Used in my Calendula K+ cream, Kawakawa, or Macropiper excelsum to be precise, is a treasure trove of goodness. Used for centuries by Maori for its fruit bark and leaves. Leaves are chewed to ease stomach complaints and bladder problems or chewed for toothache. The fruit as a diuretic, and leaves and bark boiled to create an infusion that treats skin problems such as eczema.
Stimulating properties of Kawakawa make a good tonic and burning leaves and stems can deter or kill insects. The leaves are also used during tangi in wreathes of mourning and waved to welcome guests. It’s such an important part of New Zealand’s ecology and used for coastal restoration planting.
This plant is a real gift from the gods and it’s also important we look after it and keep planting it! A little medicinal gem in your backyard. It can be a laxative though so make sure you follow any instructions or speak to a local elder about the possibilities. Do your due diligence or you could end up on the dunny unexpectedly!
Due to the amazing properties in Kawakawa it’s an important component of my Calendula K+ Cream, combined with Calendula it’s a magical combo and an homage to my mother’s original Calendula Cream (thanks Ma for the original inspiration). It’s this type of tried and tested natural remedy that really gets my heart going and I’m so pleased that this product is helping people all over New Zealand with eczema, psoriasis, bee stings, nappy rash and even just a highly absorbable moisturizer for those with very sensitive skin due to the gentle combination of ingredients.
Calendula, although not a native to NZ, is so common in our gardens and easy to plant and care for. It hails from the Mediterranean Europe but grows readily here in NZ and in Australia. It has a bunch of medicinal uses and includes anti-inflammatory, antifungal, lymphatic, astringent, antiviral and antimicrobial properties (and more). Gather the whole flower heads in the morning after the dew has gone, dry in a warm place out of direct sunlight. There are so many external uses it’s impossible to list them all here, but it’s been used for centuries to treat symptoms of many external ailments from varicose veins to insect bites and eczema. It’s a real wonder ingredient.
In historic times Calendula was even used to magically reveal “Mr. Right!”. The 16th century potion was mixed with marjoram, wormwood and thyme and simmered in honey and white wine. This was said to attract your true love match (if only!)
We now have the benefit of scientific research as well as centuries of experience and use combining to give us a bigger picture of what we can use and how. We are in a lucky position now to have so much information to make informed choices and it brings me so much joy to use these natural ingredients knowing exactly what I’m creating and why. The proof is in the pudding! Or salad, you can eat the leaves of calendula and they look great on your greens, or even use it as an alternative to the blooming expensive saffron.
Check out this great NZ book “A Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of NZ” by Andrew Crowe. It actually lists over 190 trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns, mushrooms, lichens and seaweeds in detail and their uses, utilized particularly by Maori, and where they can be found. A little ‘go to’ for the treasures that lie in our very own back yards.
You Can find Kawakawa and Calendula in our beautiful Calendula K+ Cream here!
Some great information on herbs and their properties here:
If you want to grow your own, try these:
#Free #easytogrow #sustainablesource #localplant #nznative