Horopito is a small native New Zealand tree found throughout both main islands of New Zealand, comprising part of the under-storey of our native forests. It is usually found in swampy areas or those with high rainfall, and is susceptible to drought, but little else. Its botanical name is Pseudowintera colorata and is a member of the Winteracae family. Horopito is also called the pepperwood because its leaves have a hot peppery bite which leaves a burning sensation in the mouth. Because of its peppery taste, predatory animals do not like the taste, and because of its natural antifungal properties, it is not susceptible to the fungi in wet soils.
The leaves of the Horopito were traditionally used by Maori to treat stomach aches and diarrhoea, tootchache, poor circulation, coughs, colds and asthma. The leaves have antifungal properties, so are used medicinally against Candida albicans and ringworm. A chemical in the leaves called polygodial provides the strong antifungal activity. They also have antiseptic properties, so bruised and soaked leaves are used in the treatment of wounds, ulcers and cuts. And they have astringent properties, so are useful for making tissue firmer and reducing discharge. A bark extract is a stimulating tonic, helping the body to remove excess mucus.
We sell dried ground horopito leaf in 4 gram, 50 gram, and 100 gram packs. It can be used in cooking to give a savoury, citrusy, peppery flavour to wild game, red meat, seafood and salads. And we ship horopito leaf worldwide.
Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or small children.