Traditionally, Māori used Horopito leaves to treat fungal skin infections. Māori also used the leaves to help those with diarrhoea and stomach pain. Other traditional uses of Horopito include chewing on the leaves for toothache and steeped leaves taken internally to act as an analgesic (pain killer). Today we know the main action of Horopito is anti-fungal with many years of research-backed evidence to verify this. (1-2) Other beneficial actions may include anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. In vivo laboratory testing demonstrated that an extract from Horopito had strong anti-fungal activity against the yeast Candida albicans (2-4)
1. Perry, N. 'Plant extracts - Medicines', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 2-Mar-09
2. Lee, S. H., Lee, J. R., Lunde, C. S., & Kubo, I. (1999). In Vitro Antifungal Susceptibilities of Candida albicans and other Fungal Pathogens to Polygodial, a Sesquiterpene Dialdehyde, Planta Medica, 65, 205-208.
3. Kubo, I., Fujita, K., & Lee, S. H. (2001). Antifungal Mechanism of Polygodial. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49(3),1607-1611.
4. Naito, Y., Wu, C. C., Seal, M. G., Gelosa, F., Yoshioka, M., Safran, P., & Marotta, F. (2001). Protective Effect of a Polygodial/Anethole-Containing Natural Product against Candida albicans Gastrointestinal Colonization and Dissemination. International Medical Journal, 8(1), 3-9.