DOI: 10.3390/plants12162924 ISSN:

A Comprehensive Insight into Māmaki (Pipturus albidus): Its Ethnomedicinal Heritage, Human Health Research, and Phytochemical Properties

Grant Koher, Ajmal Khan, Gabriel Suarez-vega, Pornphimon Meesakul, Ann-Janin Bacani, Tomomi Kohno, Xuewei Zhu, Ki Hyun Kim, Shugeng Cao, Zhenquan Jia
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

In Hawaii, the plants P. albidus, P. forbesii, P. kauaiensis, and P. ruber are collectively known as māmaki in ethnomedicine, where P. albidus predominates. Farmed māmaki is becoming increasingly popular in Hawaii and the United States. Māmaki teas (such as bottled Shaka tea) are the dominant product. Historically, māmaki has been utilized for its medicinal properties, promoting well-being and good health through consuming tea made from its leaves, ingesting its fruit, and incorporating it into ointments. Māmaki holds cultural significance among Native Hawaiians and is widely used in ethnic medicine, having been incorporated into traditional practices for centuries. However, the scientific mechanisms behind its effects remain unclear. This review consolidates current knowledge of māmaki, shedding light on its potential therapeutic properties, physical properties, nutritional and mineral composition, and active phytochemicals. We also highlight recent research advances in māmaki’s antibacterial, anti-viral, chemopreventive, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities. Additionally, we discuss future prospects in this field.

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