Totara - Podocarpus totara

Common English name

Totara

Family

Podocarpaceae

Description

A tree up to 30 metres high and 2 metres wide. An endemic NZ vascular plant found throughout both islands and not endangered.

Related pharmacology

Closely related to Podocarpus Nubigenus from South American.

Maori Medicinal Uses

Leaves used to treat haemorrhoids, berries for food and constipation, inner bark for fever and smoke from a totara fire was used to treat venereal disease and all skin conditions.

Constituents

Diterpene phenols, podocarpic acid and tannins.

Actions

Antibacterial, astringent, febrifuge, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, oestrogenic.

Parts used

Bark, inner bark, leaves, berries and heartwood.

Bark bruised and steeped in water contains tannin.

Ripe berries have a medicinal use. (Anti-oxidant).

Heartwood ground to a powder and used in a tincture. (Totarol)

Dosage

Fresh leaves and bark boiled for infusion and 1 cup added to warm bath for skin problems, bark soaked in cold water for treating sore eyes. Heartwood totarol extract blended into cream base to apply topically. Internally, 15 drops of infusion 3 times daily.

Main Uses
Internal

Bacterial infections, fevers and laxative. (Constipation)

External

Wounds, S.T.D's, haemorrhoids, burns, and boils, acne, eczema, all skin problems and infections as is a strong antimicrobial.


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