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Koromiko (Plant)

03 Aug 2015

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:
Health, Māori, Science

Where can I find information about koromiko and its uses? 

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

Koromiko is the Māori name given to several New Zealand native plants formerly belonging to the Hebe genus. (They are now considered by botanists to belong to the Veronica genus, but will still be known as hebes.) As well as being widely used for garden plantings and revegetation projects, koromiko's most common use in New Zealand is for rongoā (traditional Māori medicine). 

A great place to start for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa is Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Use the keyword 'koromiko' in the search bar. This search gives you three articles that have various information you may find useful:

  • Medicines and remedies provides some background about the history of medicines in New Zealand, with brief information about koromiko
  • Common medicinal plants lists several different plants and you will find koromiko at the bottom of the page. 
  • Homeopathy and naturopathy gives information about alternative medicines. There is an interesting piece about koromiko in smaller text near the bottom of the page.

HOT TIP: Te Ara links sometimes take you to the ‘Short Story’. Remember to click on the ‘Full Story’ on the left-hand side of the page if you want more in-depth information. You can also look at the ‘All images and media’ link for pictures and photos related to your story.

Also check out a video on Te Ara called Medicinal properties of kōkōmuka (koromiko)

The Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network - T.E.R.R.A.I.N - has a page on Hebe salicifolia (koromiko). This provides botanical features of the plant, and where it is found. It also has information such as other common names and descriptions of the plant's many uses. You can also find some excellent images here.

HOT TIP: Another place to look is Wikipedia which has great coverage of many topics, including Hebe stricta (koromiko). But you need to be aware that this information is contributed by lots of different people. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites or in books from the library.

For more information on Māori medicinal uses of plants, check out our ManyAnswers entry on Māori medicine - rongoā Māori.

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