Plants are nature’s chemists. Being rooted to the ground means they can’t run away when attacked by predators, or move to a new location to deposit their seeds. Instead they have had to develop a chemical arsenal to defend themselves from attack and recruit animals to do their bidding.

As a result plants represent vast storehouses of chemical compounds that – with the right knowledge – can be put to use healing illness and treating disease.

New Zealand’s native plants are no different and have been used medicinally in a wide variety of ways. In particular, they form a key component of Rongoa – traditional Maori healing.

Articles for this section are on their way – leave a comment below if there are any medicinal treatments you want to know about.