Dr. Sung Yang Details the Natural Medicine Still Used in Hawaii

Dr. Yang Waikiki Hawaii

December 11, 2020

According to Dr. Sung Yang, natural medicine is still used in Hawaii.

The natural flora and fauna of Hawaii has held medicinal benefits for thousands of years, according to Dr. Sung Yang. All tribes have used these medicines, but the application was different depending on the tribe. Many of these natural medicines are still used today for both healing and for providing sustainable health, says Dr. Sung Yang.

1. Kava (Piper Methysticum): Known as Kava-Kava or awa, this is a beverage made from the Kava plant. The effect is euphoria with slight loss of muscle control. The mind, however, remains sharp and focused, making this a good natural remedy for anxiety, says Dr. Sung Yang.

2. Mamaki (Pipturus Albidus): This plant’s leaves are dried and made into a tea which is then mixed with honey or lemongrass to enhance the flavor. It’s the perfect natural medicine for relief from a cough or sore throat, according to Dr. Sung Yang. Aside from the leaves, you can also use the ripe fruit of this plant to cure thrush, a common fungal infection of mouth and throat. It also goes by the names of Mamake and Waimea. It is found in wet forests and grows as a shrub up to 18 feet tall.

Dr. Yang Waikiki3. Noni (Morinda Citrifolia): According to Dr. Sung Yang, Noni is probably the most well-known natural medicine in Hawaii due to its many therapeutic benefits ranging from treating minor infections to aggressive cancers. First, it can be used for skin infections. The Hawaiians soften the leaves by boiling them and after cooling they apply the leaves to the affected areas of the skin. The berry of this plant, saysDr. Sung Yang, can be eaten and provides medicinal properties that help prevent and treat heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Noni juice has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that can treat these common vascular diseases and cancers. The renowned Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City is experimentally using Noni juice as a combination treatment with chemotherapy against liver cancer. Noni juice itself has a cheese-like flavor and smell and best taken by mixing with lemon or prune juice.

4. Kulkul (Aleurites Moluccana): When the Polynesians arrived in Hawaii, they brought the Kulkul nuts with them and today we’re grateful for these nuts, says Dr. Sung Yang. When separated from the husk you can gather a small amount of sap. This sap is then applied to infections or inflammation on the skin. To treat sores in the mouth, simply add water and swish around. Today, this nut-bearing plant is grown in the lower hillsides of Hawaii.

5. Tumeric (Olena): This is another natural medicine that almost everyone has in their spice drawer. Like Noni fruit it is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and has been used by Hawaiians as a treatment for various skin infections and inflammation, according to Dr. Sung Yang. When mixed with honey, it can cure a sore throat or cough. LIke Kulkul, this plant is believed to have originated in Polynesia.