Hoheria is a rapidly growing small tree belonging to a genus that is endemic to New Zealand. Its name derives from its many lace-like layers of inner bark, which can be torn into ribbon-like strips.
Most of the medicinal uses to which Hoheria was applied in the early days appear to relate to its content of mucilaginous polysaccharides, as a soothing agent for digestive and respiratory problems, as well as an emollient (softening agent) for external application. Hoheria was also traditionally used to soothe, soften and heal tissues, and improve the hydration of the skin. Due to the many similarities between the applications of this plant and those of Slippery Elm bark (Ulmus fulva) it may be seen as the New Zealand equivalent to Slippery Elm, a plant which is becoming an endangered species. It is particularly useful for inflammatory conditions of the digestive system.
Conditions for which Hoheria may be useful include dyspepsia (discomfort after eating eg. bloating, heartburn, or nausea), stomach and duodenal ulcers, colitis, gastritis, reflux oesophagitis, enteritis & other inflammatory bowel conditions, sun-damaged skin, and skin pigmentation changes.
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