Makomako - Aristotelia serrata

Common English name





Multibranched small tree with thin heart shaped sharply toothed leaves flushed with pink on the underside. An endemic NZ vascular plant found throughout and not endangered.

Related Pharmacology

Aristotelia chilensis has quercetin in the fruit which is a phenolic antioxidant. Alkaloids are in the leaves. These alkaloids have anti-tumoral and anti-microbial activities. They include aristoteline, aristotelone, aristone and others.


Pentacyclic alkaloids from aristoserratenine. serratenone, makomakine, isohobartin and isosorelline (in leaves, berries and bark).

Parts Used

Leaves, berries and bark. Ripe berries have a medicinal use (alkaloids). Bark bruised and steeped in water produces a blue-black dye which contains tannin.


Fresh leaves and bark boiled for infusion and 1 cup added to warm bath for rheumatism pain and skin problems, bark soaked in cold water for treating sore eyes, leaves warmed on hot coals/element then used as a bandage on burns. Internally, 15 drops of infusion 3 times daily as an overdose can decrease blood pressure and pulse rate.

Main Uses

Rheumatism pain.


Burns, boils, skin problems and sore eyes. Settlers used berries to make a jelly and a wine.

Customary uses

Bark used for small drinking vessel.


Anti-rheumatics and anti-inflammatory.