Have you ever heard of Horopito (Pseudowinteracolorata)? It is one of the world’s oldest flowering plants. It is a large bush or small tree growing up to 3 meters, having small yellow-green leaves with red patches.

Fun Fact:

It is specifically unusual in that its flowers come directly of the older stems rather than from among the leaves.

Horopito is a very slow growing plant that lacks the adept water conducting tubes found in almost all other flowering plants, so it flourishes in high rainfall areas of both coastal and mountainous New Zealand as far south as Stewart Island.

Traditional Uses

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You’ve probably been prompted to give Horopito a taste at some point in time, the result being a fiery mouthful! It has a wonderful pepper like taste to its leaves which gives it its common name, The Pepper Tree.

Horopito has been used traditionally by the Maori people of New Zealand to assist with better oral health and as a painkiller. It was even used topically to assist with pain reduction in the form of a poultice. The leaves would be chewed or bruised, then applied to joints or wounds to help with the pain and inflammation. You may have heard of some people use cayenne or ‘hot’ muscle rubs. Horopito works in much the same way.

Potent Health Benefits

1) Antifungal

One of the general uses of Horopito is as a medication for the overgrowth of Candida albicans. It is a type of fungus or yeast that resides in the gut – it does not generally cause damage to the host unless it grows out of control. Candida overgrowth commonly occurs when the host’s immune system is weakened. This can happen for plentiful reasons, including:

  • Poor health due to unhealthy lifestyle,
  • A highly processed diet,
  • Lack of quality sleep,
  • Regularly taking antibiotics, antacids, or proton pump inhibitors,
  • High levels of stress.

All of the factors mentioned above will cause a lot of digestive distress, creating the fulfilled environment for the fungus to grow uncontrollably, resulting in both digestive and genital discomfort.

But here are some fantastic news: there is a natural remedy to candida which comes from none other than Horopito. In the medication and extermination of candida cells, Horopito extracts have proven to provide amazing and quick results. In fact, naturopaths from New Zealand conducted a research and discovered that creams attained from active Horopito extracts enhanced the recovery rate of individuals suffering from genital candida symptoms by 87%!

The key active ingredient of the Horopito plant is a very spicy compound known as Sesquiterpenedialdehydeor ‘polygodial’. After expansive study, scientists discovered that polygodial is an extremely potent natural substance that possesses anti-fungal attributes.

2) Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial

In addition to being a powerful anti-fungal, the polygodial in Horopito leaf extracts also demonstrated reasonable antibacterial activity and proved to be anti-inflammatory. Scientific study conducted in New Zealand signified that the effect that polygodial had on the digestive system, expanded far beyond anti-fungal actions.

3) Dental Care

Horopito is used in the manufacturing process of a range of products such as avocado oil, antifungal creams and care creams. When chemists studied the components of Horopito’s essential oil, they revealed that it contained not one but more than 25 materials – one of which was eugenol, a dental painkiller.

4) Painkiller

Long ago, Maori inhabitants of New Zealand made a surprising discovery. They found that Horopitoplant could aid not one but diverse disorders and discomforts. They made a decoction with the leaves and used it to soothe internal pain. They named this decoction the Maori Painkiller.

They used this natural painkiller to treat those suffering from poor blood circulation, stomach aches, and respiratory issues such as asthma, cold and coughs. They also used Horopito leaves topically to treat painful bruises, wounds, cuts, burns, and inflammation of the joints. Thanks to its peppery components, Horopito leaves do not merely assist kill germs and strengthen tissues; but they also help improve blood flow throughout your body.

5) Supports Your Respiratory System

Another activity of this amazing plant is supporting your respiratory system. It can assist with colds and coughs by functioning as an expectorant – bringing up the mucus if it needs to.

How to Take Horopito?

Horopito is available in different forms: powder, liquid, soft gel and capsules. It is advised that you eat your meal before taking capsules or soft gels and then drink a lot of water. Here is an easy guide depending on the form you choose to take:

  • Capsule form: One capsule taken twice daily.
  • Liquid form: 10 -30 ml per week.

Can it be consumed as a Tea?

You can surely consume Horopito tea as a medication for digestive discomfort. You can also add some peppermint leaf if you’re feeling nauseated. However, remember that Horopito leaves are peppery – you don’t want to use too much.

The Takeaway

Nowadays, Horopito leaves are harvested on a commercial scale. They are washed, dried and crushed into multiple categories of powder. You can easily attain them in the form of flakes and peppers. They are promoted and advertised as herbs. Although cases of Horopito interacting with other medications have not been reported yet, it is best for you to consult your healthcare professional before taking any Horopito supplement.

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