Monday, October 10, 2011

Kumarahou - The Wonder Weed

One of my kitchen shelves now houses two jars of Kumarahou tonic.  Now, I'm no herbalist, pharmacist or botanist, but I've found something that works for me - it cleared my baby's asthma and chest infection and even fixed my husbands man-flu (!!!) - so by golly I'm going to share the secret!

Normally when the baby gets sick with a little snuffle I know I'm in for 2-3 weeks of a full blown chest infection, asthma, not a lot of sleep, and snot galore.  By day five I'm bringing out the steroids for my darling little 13 month old, as a last resort - since nothing else has worked.
My mum dropped off some dehydrated kumarahou leaves and flowers - which she got from my nana, who got them from my uncle, who bought them online!  Yay, because this NZ native plant really only grow in the far north, which is really far away from here!  I HATED kumarahou as a child - and fair enough, it is ghastly to the palette I tell you! Literally, it tastes like poison.

But I know of its incredible medicinal properties, and I was going to boil it up and get it into my child (and husband) any way I could.  It can be used for chest complaints, bronchitis, asthma, as a general tonic, and is also a blood purifier and helpful for arthritis.  Basically, chuck it in a pot of water and boil it.  My Nana always gently simmers her brew for a couple of hours, so I do too (because Nana knows best).

Once I was satisfied that I had all of the goodness out of the leaves, I drained the liquid through a sieve and into some preserving jars.  It has a pretty good shelf life this stuff.  Probably best kept in the fridge if you're not going to use it quickly.  I mixed a small portion in a little medicine bottle of one part kumarahou tonic and one part manuka honey.  Asher loved it.  In less than a day his wheezing stopped altogether, and in less than a week he was totally clear.  Unheard of!  This tonic does produce a lot of mucus though, as it clears the chest, but it's all for a good cause.  My husband, he just drank it straight - out of a little espresso cup in one shot, a couple of times a day.  Worked a treat.  A day later and no more full blown man-flu - phew!!!
So here it is.  I'm drinking it as a general daily tonic.  One cup every morning.  Apparently do this for one week, have a weeks break, and if you feel the need, do another week.  I'll see how I go.  And a happy dance here for a healthy household!

Christall x

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