Griselinia and Traditional Medicine: Historical Uses and Modern Applications

Griselinia is a native New Zealand plant, found all over the country’s coastline and coastal forests. It is a traditional folk remedy that has been used by Māori and other cultures in New Zealand for generations. Griselinia has been used for a variety of purposes, ranging from traditional healing and spiritual rituals, to medicinal and culinary uses. Here, we explore the historical uses of Griselinia in traditional medicine, and discuss how this plant can be used today in modern applications.

Historical Uses in Traditional Medicine

Māori and other cultures in New Zealand have long used Griselinia in traditional medicines, dating back centuries. It is native to the country and found in a range of habitats, from the northern coasts to the subalpine regions. The leaves of the plant are especially useful, and were traditionally used to treat a range of ailments, from coughs and fever to rheumatism and skin diseases. The leaves were boiled to create a tea, and this was then drunk to treat a range of illnesses. In addition, Griselinia was used for spiritual and ceremonial purposes, for example in cleansing rituals.

Culinary Uses

Griselinia has been used as a food source since ancient times. The leaves were boiled and eaten as a vegetable, and used as a flavoring agent in stews and soups. The seeds of the plant can be ground into a flour and used to make breads and cakes. Māori also used the plant as a food source in times of scarcity, and it was used to provide sustenance during long journeys.

Modern Applications

Griselinia remains a popular traditional remedy in New Zealand, and there are a number of modern applications for this plant. Recent studies have shown that it can be effective in reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. It is also a useful remedy for digestive issues, such as indigestion, heartburn and bloating. Furthermore, Griselinia has been found to be beneficial for skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as for treating headaches and muscle aches.

Furthermore, the leaves of the Griselinia plant can be used in a variety of culinary dishes. The leaves are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and can be used to enhance the flavor of salads, soups and stews. They can also be added to fruit and vegetable juices for an added nutritional boost. Finally, the plant is used in a range of modern products, such as teas, tinctures, ointments and herbal supplements.


Griselinia has a long and rich history in traditional medicine in New Zealand, spanning centuries. It was used to treat a variety of ailments, as well as for spiritual rituals. In addition, the plant was used as a food source, and its leaves can still be used in a variety of culinary dishes today. Further, recent studies have revealed that Griselinia has a range of modern uses, such as for reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system, as well as for treating digestive issues and skin conditions. Finally, the plant is used in a range of modern products, from teas and tinctures to ointments and herbal supplements.

Griselinia is a versatile and useful plant, and its historical uses in traditional medicine and modern applications make it a valuable resource for New Zealanders. There are a range of different uses for the plant, and these can be used to benefit the health and wellbeing of all.

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