Frankie Apothecary Shares: Kawakawa and Kumarahou Rongoa Winter Tonic

Michele Wilson from Frankie Apothecary has a long-standing love affair with kawakawa. As well as harvesting wild organic kawakawa for her Kawakawa Balm, Breathe Easy Balm and Kawakawa Body Oil, Michele loves to use kawakawa for teas and tonics. Here she shares her winter tonic recipe with us.

I make this rongoā tonic for my children and I every winter, and they have not suffered with a cold since I began. Both kawakawa (Macro piper excelsum) and kūmarahou (Pomaderris kumeraho) have been used by Māori for generations to treat coughs and colds.

Harvest only as much as needed (not from trees beside the road) using karakia, intent and thanks. Below is one of Michele’s favourite karakia for harvest.

Karakia for harvesting

Nāu nei ngā hua

Hei oranga mō te tangata

Tēnei au e whakaiti nei

Kia ora i tēnei rongoā

Nā e Taane e

What you’ll need to make your tonic

  • Small handful dried kawakawa leaves*
  • Small handful of dried kūmarahou leaves*
  • 1/2 litre good apple cider vinegar
  • 4-6 lemons
  • fresh ginger chopped small
  • 3-4 tablespoons good manuka honey

* gathered according to rongoā principles.

See next page for this special healing tonic recipe…

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