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Why Frankie's Kawakawa Products Work

NZ Native Kawakawa has been used medicinally for centuries 

The Kawakawa shrub (Macropiper excelsum) is one of the most distinctive native New Zealand plants with its aromatic heart-shaped leaves. It is one of the most important and widely used plants in Rongoā Māori (traditional Māori herbal medicine), and is still widely used as a topical treatment for dry, irritated skin today.

The Kawakawa leaves and root are packed full of chemical actives that have numerous medicinal and healing properties that have been known and applied by Māori for generations. Externally Kawakawa is used to heal eczema inflamed skin, itchy skin, cuts, bruises, burns, stings and insect bites, sunburn and dry, irritated skin complaints. Internally, the leaves are chewed or made into a tea infusion to teat stomach ailments, high cholesterol bladder problems, to balance blood sugar and blood pressure, and tooth aches.

Chemically, Kawakawa contains myrsticin, eugenol which is an antiseptic, and antioxidant lignins. It is rich in iron, magnesium and vitamins. To keep the chemical actives in our Kawakawa extract strong, and to ensure they are not lost quickly in our products like Frankie Kawakawa Repair Balm, an additional antioxidant must be added. We use a rich Vitamin E antioxidant.

Read on to find out why these incredible natural Kawakawa actives can help repair eczema-prone skin.

So how does Frankie Kawakawa Repair Balm work to repair Eczema damaged skin?

Eczema is an inflammatory response within the body to some internal or external trigger. This is why finding out what's triggering your Eczema flares is so important - see the Frankie Apothecary Eczema Help page. However this can take some time and it's crucial to manage your Eczema before it gets out of hand and begins to affect your everyday life.

Once an inflammatory response is triggered, the body reacts by releasing a huge amount of moisture from the skin, which leads to the shredding of the outer skin layers, exposing the inner layers and altering the pH of the skin. This is what causes the skin to become itchy, inflamed and raw. Frankie Kawakawa Repair Balm contains zero water so is strong enough to create a long lasting barrier over the skin, trapping in the moisture that is trying to seep from the skin. This also allows the Kawakawa Balm enough time to do its job in repairing the itchy, inflamed skin.

You may have found that you have tried many eczema creams and seen little difference. This is because the water content in creams means they are just not strong enough to create a lasting barrier on the skin - and the synthetic chemicals required to preserve conventional eczema creams are usually Eczema triggers in themselves.

We recommended applying Frankie Kawakawa Balm 2-3 times a day to very inflamed skin and then once a day to help prevent future flare ups of eczema irritation.  Always consult your Health Care Professional.

Spiritual properties

Kawakawa plays an important role in the spiritual and physical world of Māori, following the life cycle from conception, birth, life and death. To conceive, a woman would place a sprig of Kawakawa under her bed before intercourse as a good luck charm. It is used in birth and name ceremonies, to remove tapu at the opening of a meeting house and as a blessing of food and war and a symbol of mourning.

Kawakawa and other medicinal plants used in the Frankie range are all grown sustainably on our Mangawhai, Northland New Zealand farm. Kawakawa is a mixture of wild, regenerative and organically grown from seed. Harvesting takes place depending on the moons cycle and using traditional Rongoa techniques. Karakia  (traditional prayer) is applied before and during harvest and whānau (family) are heavily involved in the harvesting process.