Horopito - Pseudowintera colorata

Horopito Pseudowintera colorata, also known as the New Zealand Pepper Tree, is a native plant endemic to Aotearoa, New Zealand. It is an ancient shrub, over 65 million years old. Horopito has quietly thrived, its secrets guarded by time. Horopito is particularly notable for its traditional use as a medicinal herb, thanks to its active compound called polygodial, which possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Māori have a long history of using Horopito leaves for various healing purposes, including the treatment of fungal infections and digestive ailments. Today, Horopito is not only valued for its medicinal properties but also for its unique flavour, making it a sought-after ingredient in herbal teas and culinary applications.

Polygodial: Nature's Gift

At the heart of Horopito's medicinal power lies polygodial. This compound not only lends the plant its spicy and pungent flavour but also holds the key to its remarkable healing properties. Polygodial is celebrated for its potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

For centuries, Māori recognised Horopito as a healing plant. The Horopito leaves were (and still are) used to create topical remedies for a multitude of skin conditions, including fungal infections and rashes. Antimicrobial properties were a beacon of hope in the ancient world, offering relief from ailments that plagued communities.

Candida Overgrowth: A Modern Challenge

In today's world, candida overgrowth is a concern for many. Candida is a type of yeast that can cause health issues when it proliferates uncontrollably. While modern medicine provides treatments, some individuals seek natural remedies to address candida-related discomfort.

Horopito Tea and Candida Relief

Horopito tea has emerged as a potential ally in the battle against candida overgrowth. Polygodial's antimicrobial properties make it a formidable contender in managing candida-related issues. By incorporating Horopito tea into their routines, some individuals have reported relief from symptoms associated with candida overgrowth.

Harvesting Horopito

At Ti Ani - Wild & Organic Tea Horopito leaves are harvested from our family farm near Murchison, bordering the Kahurangi National Park. The plant is usually in abundance as the wild animals choose not to eat it. The plants are often covered in purple leaves, being the most potent. They are easy to spot in the wild and best grown amongst the Beech trees. The leaves are dried on racks, cut for storage, and then packed. The process, in particular the harvesting is very therapeutic and helps restore our wairua, our spiritual well-being grounding us to the whenua (land). 

Brewing with Horopito

To prepare Horopito tea, steep dried Horopito leaves in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. The result is a brew with a distinct peppery taste and subtle spicy undertones, reminiscent of black pepper. Sip this ancient elixir for its unique flavour and its benefits in addressing modern health challenges.

Horopito tea has a distinctive and unique flavour profile that sets it apart from more common herbal teas. Its taste is often described as:

  1. Peppery: The dominant flavour note of Horopito tea is its peppery quality. It has a mild to moderate spiciness reminiscent of black pepper. This peppery kick is one of the defining characteristics of Horopito tea.

  2. Spicy Undertones: Alongside the peppery flavour, Horopito tea has subtle spicy undertones. These spicy notes can vary in intensity but generally contribute to the overall complexity of the tea's taste.

  3. Herbal: Horopito tea retains a herbal quality that is earthy and grounding. This herbal aspect can provide a pleasant balance to the peppery and spicy notes.

  4. Slightly Bitter: Depending on how it's prepared and steeped, Horopito tea can have a slight bitterness. However, this bitterness is often mild and not overpowering.

  5. Aromatic: When you brew Horopito tea, its aroma can be quite aromatic, with hints of its unique peppery and herbal notes.

Overall, Horopito tea's flavour profile is distinct and memorable, making it an intriguing choice for those who enjoy exploring herbal teas with a bold and spicy character. The combination of its peppery and herbal qualities sets it apart from more traditional herbal teas, offering a taste that is both distinctive and satisfying.

Horopito tea serves as a bridge between the ancient traditions of Māori people and modern wellness. The active component, polygodial, continues to capture the interest of researchers and individuals seeking natural remedies. While it's essential to remember that more research is needed to fully understand the scope of Horopito's healing properties, its rich heritage and potential benefits make it a captivating choice for those exploring the world of herbal teas. Brew a cup of Horopito tea connecting you to the ancient wisdom of Aotearoa's native flora.



September 26, 2023 — Annette Eggers

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