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October 16, 2017 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira |
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Te Ara Tauira

Tēnā tātou. Kua tae mai te wiki whakamutunga o tēnei wahanga o te tau. Heoi anō, hei kai māu, kua tuku mai a Awhi ētahi whakaaro, kia ora ō tātou tinana, ā, kia whakapakari i te hinengaro mō te otinga ō ngā aromatawai!

Te Ao Māori is closely connected to the environment of Aotearoa as our culture is embedded into the very earth, waters, and all aspects of life within it. Therefore, the environment plays a special part in enhancing our tinana, wairua, and mauri as tangata whenua of Aotearoa.

I have a little bit of knowledge from the past few years (only as a beginner though), where I have taken a particular interest in mirimiri and rongoā after having to take a few steps into te ao wairua.

 

Kawakawa

Shaped like a love heart as love is the best healer in the world.

Where to find it: Behind the wharenui of Te Herenga Waka.

If you have the flu, besides the good old honey and lemon, kawakawa also makes a good drink. Boil kawakawa leaves in some water, let the plant essence soak in the water for about 30 minutes, then remove the leaves. Pour the kawakawa water into a drink bottle (you can add a bit of sweetener if you want, honey/sugar) and store it in the fridge overnight or for however long you need. Kawakawa is like wine or cheese: the longer it’s left the stronger the healing. When you are ready just drink as much as you need to.

Kawakawa balm is also the best healing balm for external injuries. Hit me up if you need any balms! (henryawhi@myvuw.ac.nz)

 

Kōwhai

Where to find it: Lots around campus!

Kowhai bark is good for sore backs!

The bark is good for soaking up open wounds/bleeding injuries as well.

Karakia, then peel some bark off the bottom of the tree and add to some boiling water. Leave it in for five minutes to let the healing essence of the rakau activate, then lay the bark on the sore back/wound. (A bit traditional though!)  

 

Mānuka

  • Mānuka honey is the best rongoā/healing honey in the world
  • The smell of mānuka honey can also be a good incense to de-stress the mind.  
  • I make mānuka balms and creams; they are good for external injuries as well, similar to kawakawa. Really good for itchy bites!  

 

Tangaroa/Hine Moana/Moana

Tangaroa is a very strong natural healer for every single part of the body. Reconnecting people to Tangaroa will bring them a healthier lifestyle and improve their cardiovascular health. Fish oil, for example, has a positive impact on lowering the blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. The relationship between Tangaroa and our internal flow is significant, because it highlights the potential benefits that the descendants of Tangaroa can have in this part of our tinana/body.

Another way that Tangaroa helps internally is by calming strong emotions/stress and pressures welling up from exams, assignments, and life; the ocean’s salt waves calm these feelings and regulate the blood flow inside our tinana.

 

Our hinengaro can start running away from our bodies, leaving them stuck, left behind while our minds are travelling from place to place, doing a million things at once. A good way to bring them back to earth is to find grounding, and that grounding is literally by placing our feet on the earth. Go home for a few days and walk bare feet upon your tūrangawaewae, and karakia to the whenua asking for grounding and stability in your life.  Plant some trees, buy some small plants, or make a small garden! Go into the ngahere, touch some trees, some plants, flowers — ground yourself by physically touching nature. It’s a nice and easy way to clear the tinana, the hinengaro, and wairua as well.

 

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this