Kawakawa Piper excelsum
Kawakawa is a small evergreen shrub-like tree with large shiny heart shaped leaves. This plant is found along coastal cliffs, sand dunes and lowland forests throughout the North Island and northern half of the South Island of New Zealand. The fruit bark and leaves of the kawakawa shrub all have medicinal properties and are considered some of the most important healing herbs used by Maori. The plant also has culinary and spice based applications as it’s related to Piper nigrum (black pepper).
The plant is still widely used today for the treatment of many skin conditions such as dry skin and inflamed or irritated skin. Kawakawa has anti-inflammatory effects and promotes good blood circulation. It is also used to heal cuts, boils, bruises, rheumatism and nettle stings. Kawakawa’s stimulating and rejuvenating properties make it a great skin conditioner for all skin types.