Tawhero / Kamahi / Towai

(Weinmannia racemosa / silvicola)

The inner bark has a high tannin content and used as a fawn coloured dye for flax colouring. The dye was considered to contain a preservative and fishing lines were soaked in it…it was also considered very lucky in terms of catching fish.  Externally the bark is scraped and used as a poultice for wounds and burns, when mixed with olive oil, it is said to leave no scar.  It is also used to treat painful rheumatic joints.  Internally it is used to treat painful lungs and chest infections.  It is also used to treat stomach pains and cramps as it helps the body to purge.  It is very astringent and used as a tonic to promote general health and pain relief.  


2 cups of kamahi leaves

50g of inner bark

300g  coconut oil

100mls of Olive oil

70g beeswax

40 drops of Lavender essential oil


In double boiler, place coconut oil. leaves and bark.  Decoct (simmer) for 40 minutes on low to infuse properties.

Remove from heat and strain plant material.  Place back infused coconut oil and add beeswax and Olive oil and allow to gently melt on low heat.  Remove from heat and allow to cool until rim starts to form then add essential oil.  Pour into large sterilized glass jar and label with title , use ,date  and instructions.  Place small amount onto affected area 3-4 times a day.  This balm may also be used to treat open wounds, cuts abrasions and relief after sunburn.