Sunday, July 8, 2007

MAQO (Mangifera indica)-

Mango is a wellknown tree in tropical places around the world. In Fiji, there are many species of mangoes you can find, such as maqo loa, maqo tabua, maqo maoli, and maqo dina, to name a few. Some trees are cultivated for its delicious fruit, while others grow wild.

What parts of the tree can be used for medine?
The bark of the mango tree is pressed to release a liquid that is used to treat diseases. In New Guinea, the bark is scraped and mixed with sugarcane and applied to skin ulcer. In Fiji, the younger leaves can be chewed to stop diarrhea, dysentery, thrust and skin ulcer.

Next time you travel to Fiji during the mango season, while you are enjoying the fruits (Yum!), think about the other parts of the tree that can cure certain ailments.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

WA BOSUCU (Mikania micrantha) -Mile-a-minute This plant is commonly known as mile-a-minute and is a creeping plant. Many of us who grew up in Fiji will remember when someone hurt themselves and bleed, the first instinct is to grab some mile-a-minute. This The juice of the leaves is used to treat wounds and stop continuous bleeding.
Any other ailments the mile-a-minute can heal?
Yes of course. For treatment of bee’s stings, the leaves are crushed and applied to the swollen area. The leaves are also heated over the fire and prepared as a poultice to treat boils in the armpit (known as beka). The juice from the leaves can also help control high blood pressure. The vapor of cooked leaves can aid removal of fish barbs. In New Guinea, the stem is squeezed, mixed with fresh gingerroot, baked in a bamboo stem and eaten with green vegetable (Agepa) to provide relief for colds, headaches or stomach ache.

In summary, wabosucu is useful for treating wounds , stop bleeding, bee’s stings, and boils in the armpit (beka), assist in the removal of fish barb, colds, headache, colds,high blood pressure and stomach ache. Wabosucu is more than just a creeping plant. It is a true medicinal plant!
VESI (Intsia bijuga)

Vesi is one of the most popular trees in Fiji. IN other words, it is famous. WHY? This is the tree that is the source of all the wonderful carvings of Fiji, some of which which we all know, the tanoa or kava bowls. This hardwood tree grows up to 40 to 50 feet high and has great spreading branches. It was formerly a sacred tree of Fiji.

On the island of Kabara, vesi trees grow in adundance. These are the source of these carvings that has made Kabara wellknown around the world.


Pressed liquid of the stem is given to treat an asthma attacK. Also, pressed fluid of the inner bark is used in a remedy for pain in the bones as well as treatment of colds and flu. The bark may be steamed and used in healing bones fractures. Headaches are treated with the pressed liquid of the root and bark is used for poisoning of small child. In summary, asthma attack, cold and flu, healing bone fractures, headaches and child poisoning are some of the ailments that vesi can be used to cure..
WELETI (Carica papaya)

Weleti or Maoli or Uto Weleti (in Fijian) is a common tree with yummy edible fruit that many, who grew up in Fiji would know. There are many species of this tree and it can be called Papaya or paw-paw. This particular papaya tree is cultivated for its delicious fruit and found throughout the tropics. The fruit of the weleti can be eaten when its ripe or even when its green. The green pawpaw is commonly cooked in coconut cream with fish, and is a very tasty dish indeed. The islands of Lau use pawpaw alot in their cooking as it grows well on limestone islands.
What other uses are there for these Weleti trees?
Now from the fruit to the other parts of the pawpaw tree, a mouth wash made from scrapings of the inner bark is given for tooth-aches. The juice of the stem is applied directly to boils on legs and the rest of the bark is utilized in preparing poultice to be held on boils. Sap squeezed from the stem is also applied locally in the treatment of wounds. The root is employed in a remedy for yellow breast milk and also promotes production of breast milk.
In New Guinea, the crushed leaves are used externally to cure headaches and treat cuts. The stem sap is applied to scores of the fungal disease ringworm. Juice from the fruit is used to treat skin infections, cuts and ringworm. Liquid pressed from the plant and fruit is taken to remedy intestinal parasites and stomach ache.
In Micronesia, the root is chewed to produce a juice which is applied directly to ulcers on the cornea of the eye. Sores caused by ringworm fungus are treated with the white sap. Toothaches, boils, wounds, yellow breast-milk, production of breast milk. Headaches, cuts, wounds, fungus disease ringworms, induce abortion, skin infections, intestinal parasites stomach ache, and ulcer on the cornea of the eye.

MOKOSOI-Canaga odorata
This is one of the most beautifully scented flower, popular to many in the Pacific. It is common to see this flower used in garlands (salusalu or lei) , flower behind the ear (tekiteki) and even used as fragrance for body oil. In Fiji, there is even a popular song & meke called,"Ko i au na Se ni Mokosoi," a song that proudly sing out the beauty and the many uses of this scented flower.
Well, we have been talking about the flower, what about the tree?
The mokosoi tree is a medium to large-sized tree found throughout the Pacific. In Fiji, the pressed bark liquid is prepared as treatment and sometimes the leaves are used as well. In New guinea, the sap and juice are inhaled to treat asthma and the leaves are rubbed to the body to treat skin irritation. Venereal disease like gonorrhea, high blood pressure, back pains, dizziness and serious headache can also be treated from the mokosoi tree. In some other islands, it can promote fertility in women, soothes those toothaches, even migraine, controls diarrhea, soothes severe boils and control asthma. This tree is amazing!
Next time you pick the mokosoi flower to put on your salusalu, just think about the properties this tree has to help our people in the olden days!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wi (Spondias dulcia)

This tree bears yummy fruit that can be eaten and can grow to a height of 60 feet. Many of us Fijians who grew up in Fiji will remember the wi season when it is plentiful in the markets and also in the forests. You can smell the ripe wi when you get closer to the wi tree. The fruits can be sour when its green, but when its ripe it is sweet and juicy. In the past, the pressed liquid from the stem or bark is used for treatment. In Tahiti, parts of the plant are made in fermented drink to treat diarrhea. In Tonga, the pressed fluid from the bark is used to treat diarrhea.

One of the major ueses of the wi is for the strenghthening of mothers after the weakness of childbirth. It is also useful for the cleansing of bowels. It also promote sterility, and fish poisoning and is a great remedy for cataracts (eye). Next time you are eating a "wi" fruit, keep in mind the many uses of this plant,which our people used hundreds of years ago.

VASILI (Cordyline terminalis)

Vasili has so many other names depending on which part of Fiji you come from. Some places, it is called Kototodamu, Vasilidamu, Vasili ni Tonga, Lolokulu, or Qai.This tall thin-stemmed broad-leafed plant is common in the Fiji Islands and is widely distributed in Polynesia. In Fiji, it has so many uses. The young leaf buds are used to treat pains in the lower chest, especially when the pains affect the breathing. A thick solution of new plant shoots is taken as a remedy for filariasis – a tropical disease caused by parasitic worms spread by mosquitoes. A pressed liquid of the stem is taken to relieve sickness after childbirth, and to expulsion of the afterbirth. The plant root is employed as a remedy for baldness. In New Guinea the leaves and stem are heated and placed on fresh cuts. The paint is also utilized in healing would and stomach bleeding. For diarrhea, the juice of the leaves and mixed with water and drunk.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

VIAVIA (Crinum asiaticum)

This plant is commonly known in Fiji as viavia. There are many species of viavia, however this species is commonly found near the seaside or seashores of the many islands in Fiji.

It is interesting to also see the uses of this plant in other Pacific islands. For instance, in New Guinea, the hair-like threads of the stem are put on cuts to stop bleeding, leaves applied to body swellings and roots is given to aid childbirth. In Micronesia, the leaves are heated and applied to relieve back-pains and treat permanent retraction of the testes.

In the olden days, this plant is used in the treatment of wounds, swelling, bleeding, injury, childbirth. The leaves is used to heal wounds.