How amazing are the native plants and traditional rongoā we have in Aotearoa? One of the things we love is finding new ways to share the goodness of Aotearoa's plants and traditional remedies in the Frankie Apothecary range.
While riding bikes along the Ohakune Old Coach Road trail on a wonderful family adventure last year, Horopito caught my attention. Partly because the trail starts at a place called Horopito, named for the abundance of this traditional rongoā shrub growing in the area, and partly because like our favourite Kawakawa it's known as the Pepper Tree.
Horopito offers powerful anti-fungal properties, thanks to the botanical active Polygodial. Our ancestors were wise to the medicinal properties of Horopito, using it for many uses including to soothe stomach upsets, support healing of wounds, cuts and bruises - and for resolving a range of fungal infections (see the supporting science below).
Bringing together Horopito & Kawakawa in a special release of our natural body oil
To mark the coldest time of the year we've bought together the powerfully protective anti-fungal and anti-bacterial Horopito, with skin-calming, anti-inflammatory Kawakawa in a limited edition seasonal release blend - Horopito & Kawakawa Body Oil.
This beautiful body oil blend with extra 'spice' is ideal as an invigorating massage oil, as a natural body moisturiser for all the family, as a warming post-exercise muscle rub, or for enjoying in a moisturising bath (just add 1-2 pumps for a fragrant herbal bath).
Given the combination of anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, Horopito and Kawakawa may also support scalp health as an overnight leave-in treatment.
Horopito's powerful botanical properties are a match for synthetic pharmaceutical solutions
Research studies have shown the polygodial in Horopito to be fast-working and incredibly effective as a remedy when tested on a range of fungi.
"Polygodial showed strong [and rapid] antifungal activity, comparable to [antifungal antibiotic] amphotericin B, against yeast-like fungi Candida albicans, C. utilis, C. krusei, Cryptococcus neoformans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and also filamentous fungi including Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. ruburum, and Penicillium marneffei."
Polygodial is also the botanical active that gives the intense peppery heat to the taste of Horopito, making it popular in artisan breads and gourmet dishes in restaurants and bakeries all over New Zealand.
Did you know about Horopito's special qualities? Keep an eye out for this native beauty when you are out in the forest, in the bakery, or shopping for a lovely new body oil!