Essay on The Rongoa Maori

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Health Care

Document 1

Examples of such plants include manuka leaves and flowers, koromiko, harakeke, and kawakawa. The traditional healing system was known as the rongoa Maori and information on how to treat was thought to be tapu (holy). A Tohunga was an expert in the rongoa Maori, and the information was taught in the whare wananga (Mcdonald, 1974). Currently, the plants either grow in the wild or are cultivated by farmers for commercial purposes. The newfound interest in traditional medicine is as a result of scientific research that proves medicinal plants have benefits on the health of human beings. However, it narrows the genetic pool of plants because only the specific species of a plant will be grown (Barnes, McLachlan, Sherwin, & Enioutina, 2016). There is also a risk of the cultivated species being invasive and harmful to the environment.

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Overexploitation is a risk associated with wild growth and harvest because there is no way to know the number of plants that have been harvested. Additionally, some plants are in high demand but take a long time to mature, and that leads to overexploitation. The Garcinia species in West Africa are an example of plants that have been overexploited. Thus, the practice went underground for a while, and resurgence has been witnessed mostly due to a lack of confidence in European medicine. Examples of plants used by the Maori were Harakeke, Kawakawa, Rata and Koromiko. The European also attributed that some of the conditions that the local people were afflicted with to a lack of Christian faith. Thus, many locals became Christians as a way to find answers to their ailments.

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Whare wananga closed down, and the traditional medicine system ceased to exist. It has given birth to modern healers who have to undergo training, though informal and they work in modern clinics beside current health practitioners (Lewis, 1983). Currently, manuka honey is a venture being looked into, because of its fimnacial benefits for the local people. Manuka cultivars are being tested for their feasibility and DHA amounts in nectar. If found to be workable, the honey will be used to raise the standards of the local people (Paddock, 2015). Impact of Maori Medicine to original inhabitants of New Zealand. Makomako’s leaf juice was boiled and used to treat painful joints. Manuka tree is a great example of how medicinal plants were used by the natives of New Zealand.

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It is referred to as tea tree in the western world and its hybrid form is grown in different parts of the world because of its numerous health benefits. The edges of the leaves have microscopic white crystals which contain oil. This oil is medicinal because it has antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The first concern is that the land or water that is the origin of the mahinga kai or is essential to the Tangata Whenua might be affected by cultural activities that are not right. Another issue is that the Tangata Whenua might not be easily accessible for imperative source s of mahinga kai. Putting up and maintaining sites that will maintain the Tangata Whenua which will influence cultural practices is also a challenge.

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