Chew a small piece of horopito leaf and its burning, pungent flavour will show you why this plant is also called pepper tree. Māori used it to treat toothache, and women also rubbed the leaves on their breasts to help wean infants. The chemical causing the taste is polygodial, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Using this item
Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Photograph by Peter E. Smith
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.