One the most beautiful things about Hawaii are the plethora of local farmers’ markets. Many of the items at the markets are organic, homegrown and homemade.
The local farmers in Hawaii really nurture the land and their products. For example, avocados are abundant in the Big Island of Hawaii.
At the recent farmer’s market in Keauhou not only did I purchase avocado bread but I also purchased an avocado bar. These beauties were both delicious and moist.
In another booth, I stumbled upon a woman who was selling Hawaiian mamaki (pronounced mama-ki) tea. Her stand included packages of her product and samples of the iced tea.
On a hot sunny day, this tea is very refreshing. It is heavy and is similar in taste to a rooibos tea.
I was really fascinated with her product. Hawaiian mamaki belongs to the nettle family and is native to Hawaii.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) ʺstinging nettle (Urtica dioica and the closely related Urtica urens) has a long medicinal history. In medieval Europe, it was used as a diuretic (to rid the body of excess water) and to treat joint pain.ʺ
The caffeine-free tea can be purchased online. I found the tea in several health food stores in Hawaii. For $4.99 I purchased .8 ounces of mamaki leaves. I placed several large leaves in three cups of water and boiled them for 15 minutes.
According to the tea’s packaging here are the medicinal uses of mamaki:
• Cleanses blood and tissues
• Supports liver, stomach, colon and bladder
• Promotes weight loss
• Aids digestion
• Relieve symptoms of depression, fatigue, insomnia and irritability
• Regulated blood pressure and sugar levels in diabetes
• Lowers cholesterol levels
• Eases symptoms of hypertension, PMS, and colic in children
The packaging also stated the FDA has not evaluated this product and the product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Now the fine print about nettle. According to the UMMC, ʺstinging nettle is generally considered safe when used as directed.