Kumarahou / Golden Tainui
Kumarahou / Golden Tainui (Kumarahou & Pomaderris Tainui/Apetala)
If you've been reading my posts for awhile you'll already know what I think of relying solely on big pharma to look after our health.
We're in a fortunate position of knowing that humans have been safely & effectively using locally growing plant medicines to keep themselves healthy & well for thousands of years. Not only have we learnt over a long period of time which plants are safe, there are now many scientific studies to back up the folk remedies that our grandmothers & ancestors have been using.
Kumarahou / Golden Tainui is one of those plants that Maori & NZ locals have been using simply & effectively for years with great results (and no nasty side effects).
This is our local botanical for treating lung & respiratory conditions. So it's a perfect time to get to know her.
Kumarahou/Tainui is commonly used to treat coughs, colds & asthma and in the past was used to treat tuberculosis. I notice a definite improvement in a cough or cold when I start drinking Kumarahou infusions. Continuous coughing lessens almost straight after drinking, which is why I endure the extremely bitter taste.
Kumarahou /Tainui are known as tonic herbs which are used to restore & strengthen the whole body, and can be safely taken over a long period of time.
It's easy to prepare, with no fancy equimpent required. Gently simmer a handful of leaves in a pot of water for 20-30mins until the liquid turns amber red, then strain & drink. You can store it in the fridge and reheat too. It's very bitter. For kids you can sweeten with honey, but remember it's often the bitter flavor that is good for you too.
When we get a cough or cold we have a permanent rolling brew of Golden Tainui on the stove (with the addition of Usnea, Licuorice & Elderberry, my other anti-viral / immune system stimulating, herbal brew favorites).
Kumarahou can be foraged in the North Island of New Zealand & dries very easily for later use. However (as with all foraging) please be mindful of the plants health & how much you are taking, always respecting the land & enviornment first. I've heard that Kumarahou is struggling in the wild due to too many people overharvesting before the plant flowers, not allowing it to self seed. Please only take what's needed & ONLY after flowering is complete (so it's too early to gather now).
A few years ago I planted Golden Tanui on my property and it's taken off, so I know I have an on hand supply for years to come, without damaging the wild growing population. This is an easy to grow plant, however it does get big (will be too big for where I planted it on my berm (!!), so I'll need to trim regularly...)
If you'd like to learn about Rongoa Maori, or more about NZ Natives for healing, I highly recommend learning from your local Rongoa practitioners. The tikanga & protocols around gathering NZ natives for medicinal use are exquisite, we can all learn from these beautifully respectful practices.
Always remember to gather respectfully, mindfully & sustainably, caring for the plants & the land, fostering a reciprocal relationship.