Mamaki is an ancient medicinal plant revered for its healing properties and was the scared plant used by ancient Hawaiians. It is a leafy small tree belonging to the same family as stinging nettles and olona, although the Hawaiian members of this family don’t sting. Mamaki is an endemic species unique to Hawaii, which loves to grow in wet forests and valleys, with many different strains. The whole plant was once used; the bark was used to make tapa (Hawaiian Cloth), the roots was used in dyes and the leaves were used as a tea for stomach issues and swelling, regularly used by the Kahuna La’au Lapa’au (traditional Hawaiian medical high priest).
Two years ago I suffered from congested heart failure, along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and was considered to be borderline diabetic. I was put on so many different meds it began taking a toll on my liver. So I took a moment and reflected. I decided to look to what my ancestors did to combat all these precursors to death, and discovered Mamaki.
In a University of Hawaii study Hawaiian Mamaki tea was shown to assist with:
-Balance Blood Sugar
-Fatigue & Insomnia
-Digestion and Liver Function
Before using Mamaki my heart was beating at 10% and my energy levels was so low walking 20 ft. was impossible without taking a break and sitting down. I have always been very active my entire life, so to have this happen was a total life changer. After using Mamaki for two years my symptoms decreased and my heart rate is almost normal. I have so much energy that if you meet me you think I was just like you, but I still have to watch that I don’t over do anything. I made it my mission to share the healing powers of Mamaki and while doing so I found out so much more than I thought. So part of my mission is to provide all the different varieties, while sharing my culture and heritage.
In the age of the ancient Hawaiians there were many traditions, one of them being women could only partake in foods that had the color red (red foods were higher in iron, zinc and potassium). Therefore, traditionally there was certain Mamaki for women and certain Mamaki for men.
For women, we use the Hybrid, the Panaewa, and even the Purple Mamaki.
Traditional uses: Helps with fatigue, insomnia, irritability, PMS, morning sickness, digestion, high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and supports stomach, colon, and bladder function.
Modern uses: Helps with pain, swelling, blood and tissue cleaner from vog and environmental toxins, mild diuretic which promotes weight loss, and can help children with colic.
Mamaki for men generally use just Green leaf mamaki.
Traditional uses: High blood pressure (rebalanced), high cholesterol (people have reported lowering there numbers while maintaining regular uses of Mamaki), in some cases diabetic people have reported that their sugar levels have drastically lowered.
Modern uses: Prostate problems, allergies.
I can now be found at the Upcountry Market on Saturdays 6-11 am and Tuesday 4-7 pm. Come by for a free Mamaki tasting. We have it hot, cold, dry, and now in essential oils. Our locally made Mamaki teas are potent and can be re-brewed 3x. It can be drunk hot or cold and daily. When it is hot it is green, however it turns red when it is cold. Mamaki really is an amazing ancient plant that has helped Hawaiians for millenniums and can help you today.
Image Credit: Kekane Nahinu