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Normal Topic What Plants did Maori use as soap? (Read 9393 times)
pennyless
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What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Mar 22nd, 2020 at 10:56am
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The Mrs heard part of a TV program that mentioned a plant that has been traditionally used as soap.
Unfortunately she missed the important bit .
There's a Northland shrub that's flowers were used.
This was leaves apparently.
Any suggestions thanks.
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #1 - Mar 22nd, 2020 at 11:39am
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Probably Kumerahou which grows in the top half of the North Island. We've got it here growing on the edge of our driveway on the outskirts of Rotorua.
It's a shrubby plant and can grow 3 or 4 metres high and has dirty yellow flowers which form as clumps - it's quite common.
It was also called 'Gum Diggers Soap' as when you rub the leaves and flowers with water it forms a light lather.

It's actually not hard to make soap using wood ash (lye), oils and animal fats - my wife used to do it to sell at craft fairs.

Give you something to do when we go into 'lock down'.

I have quite a few books here on Maori medicines, remedies, food etc - used to be an interest of mine.

There's a shitload of stuff online these days regarding all this - almost makes books obsolete  Smiley Undecided

I like books.
  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #2 - Mar 22nd, 2020 at 2:13pm
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Yip, with all librarys and other useful locations shutting down, the Internet is going to take centre stage for information and entertainment. You just have to put your 'fake facts" radar on high, as everyone's an expert. Especially now as many will have excess time on their hands to dream shit up. Time would be better ploughed into a garden and other useful activities. All those 4 legged targets (bunnies/hares/goats) may well become dinner for quite a few people, when income becomes nought, and spare time dramatically increases.  Learn to reload, grow crops, and make soap!
  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #3 - Mar 22nd, 2020 at 3:09pm
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You're dead right there with the internet, when I was making parchment I got most of the information on how to do that on there, but there's a lot of false information that is repeated over and over. Someone says it - and everyone else picks up on it until it becomes fact.
Yeah, it takes a lot of dredging to sort the chaff from the grain.

Bullshit will one day rule the world - probably already is.

And ......... I'm probably a culprit  Smiley
  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #4 - Mar 22nd, 2020 at 5:32pm
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I think NZ has a lack of medicinal plants compared to other parts of the globe. Just saying..  Smiley
  

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #5 - Mar 22nd, 2020 at 9:09pm
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SF90 wrote on Mar 22nd, 2020 at 3:09pm:
You're dead right there with the internet, when I was making parchment I got most of the information on how to do that on there, but there's a lot of false information that is repeated over and over. Someone says it - and everyone else picks up on it until it becomes fact.
Yeah, it takes a lot of dredging to sort the chaff from the grain.

Bullshit will one day rule the world - probably already is.

And ......... I'm probably a culprit  Smiley


you should watch the movie "Idiocracy"  it rings very true now
  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #6 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 2:46pm
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headcase wrote on Mar 22nd, 2020 at 5:32pm:
I think NZ has a lack of medicinal plants compared to other parts of the globe. Just saying..  Smiley

Possibly, but Maori knowledge of plant medicine was reputed to be second only to the American Plains Indians. Not bad for a culture that had only lived here 1,200 years prior to the arrival of the superior pakeha.
Got books on those too, including the 'Published Works of Elsdon Best' (ethnologist) who lived among the Tuhoe around the turn of the Last century and recorded their practices. 

And also look at the knowledge that is coming out these days re manuka honey, titoki oil and other stuff. We don't yet know a fraction of what uses our plant species can play in medicine - I think time and research will surprise us, and the medical industry.
That industry will fight tooth and nail to discredit simple remedies - there is massive money to be made by the big pharmaceutical companies peddling their expensive product.

My wife and I have always been slightly alternative - so there is an interest there.
Used to collect flax root and the pithy fibre of the leaf stems for an old lady many years ago to treat some ailment she suffered - she swore by it.
And remember, the growing tips of the Koromiko were sent to the troops overseas during the Second World War to treat dysentry and settle stomach ailments.

Look up the uses of Kowhai bark, that's an interesting one.

I personally have old Maori knowledge on how to cure your piles, or at least shrink them and reduce pain/discomfit - should you ask nicely  Smiley


  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #7 - Mar 26th, 2020 at 9:41pm
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Thanks Kumerahou was the one I'd heard of.
I agree , while doing a bit of Googling before asking here I was surprised at how extensively Maori used a huge range of plants as medicine.
I guess you work with what you've got.
There would have been many that weren't recorded as well.
  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #8 - Mar 26th, 2020 at 10:18pm
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Indeed, and it would have varied region to region. The early settlers picked up on and used many Maori remedies that are still likely being used today in some back country places.

The 'power' of food is really quite startling, don't know if you watched that series on TV not so long back. A British series where people with long term ailments were cured or 'improved' by changing diet and incorporating specific (everyday) foods that were known to possess nutrients/minerals that would be beneficial in combating their ailment.
The results were really quite an 'eye opener'.

The average British diet for the most part is shit - read Jaimie Oliver on that.

  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #9 - Mar 26th, 2020 at 10:42pm
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No missed that.
A Diabetic I work with has been put on a diet by his Mrs.
The results have been an eye opener , rarely needs his morning insulin & has cut his evening shot.
Complains regularly about not getting spuds & bread though.  Grin
  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #10 - Mar 26th, 2020 at 11:38pm
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Yep, old age, genetics and a life time of smoking has caught up with me - got a number of things happening now including pre diabetes.
I've been prescribed a number of drugs which I took and they made me feel like shit - even depressed, so I threw them away and modified my diet quite extensively.
I also got out and worked up at a place I look after. I carry cuttings, tree branches and whole trees down to a 'tip' in a deep gully at the bottom of the section - then I walk 85 f**kin steps uphill back to the work site. I'll do that eight or ten times a day and it gets me puffing and it hurts like a bastard.
I actually threw away the chainsaw and cut with a handsaw, just to make it more difficult, but the truth is I do a lot of that and am accustomed to it.

I gotta do that, and the Xrays and blood tests show my particular 'condition' has improved since I was first diagnosed 6 months ago.

The hardest thing with diet change is staying true to what you're doing - I am tempted often and fail constantly - and I know about it and need to narrow my focus back to that narrow road.

I gotta walk now, I think 'lockdown' forbids me working up there - even though I'm the only one there.

Hope it all works ........ no guarantees  Huh

  
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Re: What Plants did Maori use as soap?
Reply #11 - May 24th, 2020 at 12:17pm
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Possibly Maorijuana. lol
  
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