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Rongoā – medicinal use of plants

by  Rhys Jones

Ka whātoro te Māori ki te maha o ngā rongoā hei whakaora i ngā mate huhua. Mahia ai ngā rakau, tipu, otaota pēnei i te kawakawa, te harakeke, te kōwhai, te mānuka. Ka nui hoki te wāhi ki te wairua me āna āheinga. Tae rawa ki ēnei rā kei te kaha anō te whai a te tini i ngā rongoā Māori.


Understanding rongoā

He aha ia te rongoā?

Kapi ai i te kupu rongoā ngā tikanga whakaora mate a te Māori, he mea tuku iho i tēnā whakatupuranga, i tēnā whakatupuranga. He tikanga mō tēnā rongoā, he tikanga mō tēnā rongoā. He nui te wāhi ki te taha wairua i roto i te hauora Māori. Ko ētahi rongoā ka tīkina i te taiao, i ngā tipu, i ngā otaota, i ngā rākau, ko ētahi mahi pēnei i te mirimiri ka pā ki te tinana. He nui te taha wairua i te rongoā.

Kei ngā tohunga ahurewa ngā kawenga o ngā rongoā, tae atu ki te taha wairua.

Te rongoā i mua i te taenga o te Pākehā

Nō te ūnga o tauiwi ki Aotearoa, i te pakari ngā tikanga whakaora mate a te Māori. He nui ngā taunakitanga ka tohu ki te mōhio a ngā Māori onamata ki te tinana o te tangata – te mahi a tēnā wāhanga, a tēnā wāhanga, ngā tohu mō te ora me te paheketanga, tae atu hoki ki ngā rongoā kei roto i tēnā tipu, i tēnā rākau, i tēnā otaota.

Hei aha te tākuta

I te rau tau 1700, ka kite te tohunga pūtaiao a Joseph Banks i te pakari o te hauora o te Māori me te ruarua o ngā mate i waenganui i a rātou:

‘Nā te tika o te kai me te āta kai i pakari ai te hauora, ā, e tino manaakitia ana rātou e te oranga nuitanga….Kāore au i kite i tētahi e whakatakariri ana mō te kore noa iho… Nā te ora o te mauri kāore he tākuta.’ 1

Te hauora o te Māori i te rau tau 1700

I te taenga o te Pākehā ki Aotearoa, ko te tau toharite ka mate te tangata Māori ko te 30 tau, nā te aha, nā ngā mate ka pā i ngā niho ka pirau haere. Heoi, i tua atu i tēnei, he pakari te hauora, ā, ruarua noa ngā tahumaero. E ai ki a Joseph Banks, te tohunga pūtaiao i te taha o Kāpene Kuki, ‘kāore he iwi pakari atu i te Māori’. 2

Ngā rākau rongoā

Kotahi anake te mahinga rongoā mai te tipu ka kite a Kuki, arā, ko te tipu he mea koromāhu. Ka whakawera he kōhatu, ka ūhia ki ngā tipu, kātahi ka taupoki ki te whāriki. I konei ka nōhia e te wahine. Ko te whakapae a Kuki, ‘ka puta te rongoā i te koromāhu.’

I te tau 1824 ka tuhi a René Lesson o Wīwī mō te rongoā Māori, ‘ka inu te Māori i te wai o ngā tipu, kīia ai e rātou he rongoā…Kīia ai ngā tohunga mahi rongoā he “tangata rongoā”.’ 4

Rongoā – he mea tawhito he mea hou rānei

Nā ngā tuhinga a Kāpene Kuki mō te ora o te Māori, te kore o ngā momo tahumaero me te mahinga o ngā rongoā, ka whakapae ētahi nō muri rawa i te taenga o te Pākehā ka kaha haere te whāwhā a te Māori ki ngā tipu hei rongoā.

Te taha wairua

I ngā rā o mua ko te whakapae ka ahu mai ngā mate i te taha wairua. E ai ki te Māori, ko ia te kaitiaki o te ao tūroa, ā, ka noho tahi ia me te taiao. Hāunga te titiro ki te mate anō he mate ā-tinana, ka titiro kē te Māori ki te mate anō he take wairua.

E rua ngā momo o te mate, ko te mate atua, ko te mate tangata. Ko te mate atua ka pā mai nā te takahi i te tapu – hei tauira, te tango kai i tētahi wāhi i mate he tangata, te whati peka mai i te rākau whakairi tūpāpaku mō te ahi tunu kai.

Footnotes
  1. Banks’s descriptions of places, New Zealand, http://southseas.nla.gov.au/journals/banks_remarks/223.html (nō te 12 o Hōngongoi 2007 te toronga mutunga). › Back
  2. Banks’s descriptions of places, New Zealand, http://southseas.nla.gov.au/journals/banks_remarks/222.html (nō te 12 o Hōngongoi 2007 te toronga mutunga). › Back
  3. I takoto te kōrero ki Murdoch Riley, Māori healing and herbal: New Zealand ethnobotanical sourcebook. Paraparaumu: Viking Sevenseas, 1994, p. 481. › Back
  4. I takoto te kōrero ki Māori healing and herbal, p. 9. › Back

Supernatural and human illnesses

Mate atua

Ko te pūtake o ngā mate atua ko te takahi i te tapu. Mā te tohunga rawa tēnei mate hei whakaora. Ko te mahi tuatahi mā te tohunga he kimi i te hara, me te rapu ko wai te wairua whakahaehae. Ka noho te tohunga ka whakamātau i ngā mahi me ngā nekeneke katoa a taua tangata i mua i te pānga o te mate, tae rawa atu ki ngā moemoeā.

Te mahi a te tohunga

He pūkenga tō tēnā tohunga, he pūkenga tō tēnā tohunga - ngā mahi toi, te ahuwhenua, te mahi ika, te taki i te riri, te whakaora tūroro, arā atu. Ko te tohunga te kauwaka ki ngā atua, inarā i whakangungua rātou ki te whare wānanga. He mana nui, he kawenga nui tō te tohunga ki te manaaki i te hauora o te iwi.

Tuatahi ake, me rapu he aha te pūtake o te mate, kātahi ka pana i te atua whakahaehae e patu ana i te tūroro. Whai muri ko te karakia whakahoro hei wetewete i ngā putanga o te tapu. He wā anō ka rukuhia te tūroro ki te wai me ngā karakia a te tohunga.

Mariunga

Ka whakamārama a Tuta Nihoniho o Ngāti Porou i te mariunga, arā, he matire karamū, māpou, maire rānei hei torotoro haere i te tinana o te tūroro kia whiwhi i te tino o te tūroro. Kātahi ka heria te matire rā ki te tohunga māna hei tohu ki te ora ki te mate rānei.

Takutaku

Ko tētahi tikanga ko te takutaku arā, ka whakapāngia te rau o te karamū ki te tūroro, kātahi ka whakaterehia ki te wai. Ka terengia te rau rā me te wairua kikokiko hoki, tae rawa atu ki te moana nui, ki Te Waha o te Parata, toremi rawa iho ki Rarohenga. Nō konei ka tāuwhia te tūroro ki te wai hei whakawātea.

Mate tangata

Ko te nuinga o ngā mate tangata ka taea te whakaora mā ngā rongoā kei ngā tipu, rākau, otaota. Ka rūnā te tona i mua i te tākai ki te rau. Ka tapahi te whēwhē ka kōtē te nape. Mā te wera hei whakamauru i te mamae o te wahine whakawhānau me te rere o te tahe.

Te rongoā mō te wharanga whutupaoro

Nā te rongoā i ora anō ai te waewae o Hōri Nēpia, te toa whakaharahara o te kapa Ō Pango i ōna rā. Ka tohu ngā tākuta kia pokaina tōna waewae. Ka tono a Hōri Nēpia ki te hoa o tōna whāea, nō te whānau Paewai. Ka mahi rongoā te kuia rā i te kiri o te kōwhai, ka tono ki a Hōri Nēpia kia kaukau ki roto, kātahi ka pakini ōna waewae. E rua wiki i muri mai kei te tākaro whutupaoro a Hōri Nēpia. Nō muri ka mea te tākuta i whakapono a ia kīhai a Hōri Nēpia e eke anō ai ki runga i te papa tākaro.

Mō ngā mate pērā i te ānini o te māhunga, ka motuhia te kiri kia rere ai te toto. Mō ngā tāngata i tata toremi, me huri kōaro ka whakairi ki runga i te auahi. Ko ngā tipu anō hei rongoā mō te kōreke me te korere. He pai ngā tarawai o ngā tipu pērā i te rātā hei pani ki ngā taotūtanga. Ka nanao ki te kiri rākau me te rau harakeke hei pāpā-kiri mō ngā kōiwi whati, ko te karakia hei hāpai. Katia ai ngā taotūtanga ki te motumotu.


Common medicinal plants

Kō atu i te e 200 ngā tipu ka nanao e te Māori hei rongoā. He rahi ngā whakamahinga i te harakeke, te kawakawa, te rātā, te koromiko.

Harakeke

  • Ka kōrapu i te rau, te pakiaka rānei, ka whakamahana, ka pani ki te whēwhē.
  • Ko te wāhi pakari o te rau hei pāpā-kiri.
  • Ka herea mā te muka te pito o te tamaiti kātahi anō ka whānau mai.
  • Ka whakamahana te tuarā mamae ki te ahi, kātahi ka whītiki ki te tātua harakeke.
  • Ka tuitui ngā motunga ki te muka mā te patui.
  • Ko ngā tāngata ka mate ō rātou puku i te kai i te tutu, ka purua ō rātou waha ki te harakeke kia kore ai e ngaua te arero – ka whakapāngia rānei te rau harakeke ki te korokoro hei whakaruaki.
  • Ka inumia te wai harakeke hei patu i ngā noke i te puku, hei whakaruaki hoki.

Kawakawa

  • Ka koromāhu te rau kawakawa hei kaukau mō te paipai (nā te Pākehā tēnei mate).
  • Ko ngā rau me te kiri mō ngā motu, ngā taotūtanga, tae atu ki ngā mate o te puku.
  • Ko te tākai kawakawa, ko te pia ngaungau mō te niho mamae.
  • He pai ngā rau me te kiri mō ngā mamae o te puku; ka ngaungau i te pakiaka mō te tikotiko.
  • Ka whakamahia te kawakawa ki te umuroa mō te rūmātiki me ētahi atu mate. Heoi, ka whakawerangia ngā kōhatu, ka ringihia ki te wai, ka utaina ngā rau kawakawa me ngā kete ki runga. Ka noho te tūroro ki runga. Ka taea anō ētahi atu rau rākau, pērā i te koromiko, te mānuka, te kāretu, te kāramuramu, te poroporo.

Rātā

  • He mea kōpiro te kiri rātā ki te wai, ka whakamahi hei pani mō te kiri.
  • Ka tākai te kiri rākau ki ngā harehare, ngā taotū me te puku kei te mate.
  • He mea ī te kiri rākau ki te wai, ka inu mō te korere.
  • Ka kohia te waihonga ki te tahā hei rongoā mō te korokoro.

Koromiko

  • He mea kōmekemeke ngā rau hei tākai mō ngā keha, mō te mate paipai hoki.
  • Ka utaina ngā peka mākū o te whau me te karamu ki runga i te ahi, ko te koromāhu hei rongoā mō ngā poroiwi kua whati.

Other medicinal plants

Kōwhai

  • Ka whakawera te kiri o te kōwhai mā ngā kōhatu wera kua purua ki te tahā. Ka whakamahia hei tākai mō ngā taotū, hei mirimiri rānei ki te tuarā.
  • Ki te ngaua te tangata e te kekeno, ka miria ki te wai kōwhai. E rua ngā rā i muri mai ka ora anō te tangata.

Kūmarahou

Nō te tōmuatanga o te rau tau 1900 ka mau te nuinga o ngā kōrero mō te pai o te kūmarahou hei rongoā.

  • Ka kōhuatia ngā rau hei rongoā.
  • Ka ringihia te wai o ngā rau hei kaukau.
  • He pai te inu wai kōhua mō te rūmātiki me te huangō

Mānuka

  • Ka mukua ngā ngārehu ki te māhunga hei rongoā mō te pakitea.
  • Ko ngā peka hei pāpā-kiri mō ngā kōiwi kua whati.
  • He mea kōhua ngā rau, ko te wai kōhua ka inumia mō te kirikā.
  • Ka kōhuatia te kiri ki roto wai, ka inumia mō te kōea me te korere.

Tētēaweka

Ka tipu te tētēaweka ki Ngā Motu Tītī. Ka koromāhutia ki te umuroa mō te kirikā.

Rimu

  • Ka kōrapua te kiri, ka miria ki ngā wāhi o te tinana kua wera i te ahi.
  • Ka ranua te kiri kōrapu ki te wai, ka whakawera mā ngā kōhatu wera ki roto i te tahā. Ka pania ki ngā keha me ngā hakihaki.
  • He pai te kiri o te māhuri hei kati i te rere o te toto.

The impact of colonisation

He nui te pānga o tauiwi ki runga i ngā rongoā Māori. Kāore i kaha ngā tohunga ki te ārai i ngā tahumaero i tae mai me te Pākehā. Ahakoa te kore take hoki o ngā rongoā Pākehā o taua wā ki te ārai i ngā tahumaero, hinga tonu ana te mana o ngā tohunga.

Ko te whakapae ka whiua e ētahi mihinare Pākehā, nā te kore whakapono a te Māori ka hōrapa ngā tahumaero. Nā te paheketanga o te mana o ngā tohunga tahuri ai ētahi Māori ki te whakapono Karaitiana. Nāwai ā, ka kati tēnā whare wānanga, ka kati tēnā whare wānanga, ko te otinga, ka paheke te mana me te kaha o te tohunga.

He rongoā Katorika

He none Wīwī a Mary Joseph Aubert, i kaingākau ki ngā rongoā a te Māori. Ka noho ia me ngā iwi Māori o te awa o Whanganui. He maha ngā rongoā nāna i mahi. I mātau ia ki ngā mātauranga Pākehā mō te huaota, te matū me te tū hei nēhi. Heoi, ka ako tonu a ia mō ngā rongoā Māori. Ka ranua e ia ngā rongoā Pākehā, me ngā rongoā Māori, ka hokona ki Aotearoa puta noa.

Ngā tohunga iti

Ka rapu tonu te tini o te iwi Māori i te rongoā, ahakoa te mea kei waenganui i ngā ao e rua e noho ana. Ahakoa haere tonu ai te mahi a ngā tohunga tūturu, ka ara mai tētahi momo anō o te tohunga – kāore i whakangungua ki te whare wānanga, kāore he mana. Ko te mahi a ēnei tohunga he haere ki tēnā pā, ki tēnā kāinga me te kī kei a rātou ake ngā rongoā mō ngā mate katoa i te ao. Hauwarea atu. Taka rawa ki ngā tau tōmua o te rau tau 1900 ka tahuri ngā mana Pākehā me ngā mana Māori ki te ārai i a rātou.

Te Ture Whakamutu Tohunga

I hua ake te Ture Whakamutu Tohunga nā te māharahara mō ngā mahi pokanoa a ētahi tohunga. Ka puta ngā whakahē a te Kotahitanga o ngā Tamariki o Te Aute e mea ana ka tūkinotia ngā tūroro, ka tāmia te whanaketanga o te iwi Māori. Ka puta ngā whakahē a ngā tākuta Māori rongonui nei a Māui Pōmare rāua ko Te Rangi Hīroa (Sir Peter Buck).

Nā te mema pāremata Māori nā Tā Timi Kara te Ture Whakamutu Tohunga i whakatakoto ki te aroaro o te pāremata, he mea tautoko e ngā mema pāremata Māori tokowhā. Nō te tau 1907 ka mana tēnei ture. E ai ki te kupu whakataki:

Ko ngā tāngata ka whakawai, ka whakakotiti rānei i ngā whakapono a ngā Māori i runga i te kī, i te whakataruna rānei he mana atua tā rātou ki te whakaora tahumaero, ki te matakite hoki, ka whainatia e te Kaiwhakawā – kia kaua te whaina rā e eke i e 25 pāuna - ka mauherea rānei mō te wā tae atu i te ono marama.

Ruarua noa iho ngā whakawātanga i raro i tēnei ture, ruarua hoki ngā tāngata i whakaharaina – ko te putanga me kī, ko te huna a ngā tohunga i ā rātou mahi. Nō te tau 1962 whakakorengia ai te ture nei.

Ka whakapae ētahi ko te tino whāinga o tēnei ture kia tāmi i a Rua Kēnana te matakite o Ngāi Tūhoe, nāna tana hapori i whakatū ki te take o Maungapōhatu i te tau 1907.

Tērā ngā whakapae a ētahi kei te takahi tēnei ture i te Tiriti o Waitangi nā te werowero i te mātauranga Māori, kīia ai he taonga i te wāhanga tuarua.


Rongoā today

Ka ara anō ngā mahi rongoā

Kia tae ki te whakamutunga o te rau tau 1900 ka kaha mai anō te rongoā Māori nā te:

  • harurutanga anō o ngā āhuatanga katoa o te ahurei Māori
  • kore whakapono o ētahi ki ngā rongoā Pākehā – nā te kino tonu ake o te hauora o te iwi Māori tērā i tō te Pākehā
  • uaua o te whātoro a te Māori ki ngā āwhina hauora
  • whakapae kāore he taha wairua i ngā ratonga hauora a tauiwi.

Kei te whakaae te iwi Māori ki ngā tikanga me ngā mahi whakaora tangata a tauiwi. Hāunga tērā, kei te whirinaki tonu te tini ki ngā rongoā Māori hei ārai i te mate, tae rawa ki ngā mate kāore i taea e ngā whakaoranga a tauiwi te whakatika. Ka kīia ētahi mate he ‘mate Māori’ – i pā mai nā te takahi i te tapu.

Ka kotahi ngā tohunga

Nō te tau 1993 ka whakatūhia Ngā Ringa Whakahaere o te Iwi Māori. Ko te whāinga o te rōpū nei kia kotahi te reo mō ngā rongoā Māori, hei tiaki, hei whakatairanga, hei manaaki i ēnei taonga. Ka whai mana ā-ture tēnei rōpū hei kanohi mō te tokomaha o ngā tohunga.

Ngā tohunga i ēnei rā

He rerekē ngā tohunga o ēnei rā ki ngā tohunga o mua. He pai ētahi tikanga whakangungu i te tohunga, ko ētahi kāore pea i pai. Heoi, kua ngoikore ngā wānanga o ngā iwi mō te ako tohunga.

He maha ngā tohunga e mahi ana ki ngā whare haumanu i te taha o ngā tākuta, nēhi o te hauora tūmatanui. Ko tā rātou he whakamātau, he whakamahi i ngā rongoā me ngā tikanga a tauiwi ki ā rātou mahi. Nā reira he rerekē ngā hua ki tēnā, he rerekē ngā whakahaere a tēnā, he rerekē ngā whakaoranga o tēnā. Hāunga tērā, he tokomaha ngā tohunga ka pupuri i ngā mātauranga he mea tuku iho i te whānau, te hapū, te iwi.

Ngā tikanga rite o te rongoā

He maha ngā āhuatanga rite i waenganui i ngā tohunga. Ka whakamahia e te katoa te wai rākau, heoi he tikanga raweke tā tēnā tohunga, tā tēnā tohunga. He wāhi nui tō te taha wairua. He wāhi nui hoki tō te reo Māori ki ētahi tohunga.

Ngā tipu hei rongoā

Ko ngā tipu ka rite te whakamahia i ēnei rā hei rongoā ko te kūmarahou, te kawakawa, te mānuka, te kōwhai, te harakeke. Mai i te rau tau 1800, ka tuhia ngā tikanga rongoā o ēnei tipu.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

More suggestions and sources


How to cite this page: Rhys Jones, 'Rongoā', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/rongoa/print (accessed 12 December 2019)

He kōrero nā Rhys Jones, i tāngia i te 24 Sep 2007