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Hawaiian Medicinal Plants   Tags: books, hawaii, hawaii-plants, health, medicine, plants  

This quick guide will direct you to library resources on Hawaii's medicinal plants.
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Mala La’au Lapa’au = Medicinal Plant Garden

Guide to selected plants of the Māla Lāʻau Lapaʻau [9 p. PDF]
Call Number: QK99.H3 L66 2014
"The most commonly used plants for lāʻau lapaʻau practices that are growing in our Māla are described in this guide: ʻawa, ʻawapuhi kuahiwi, kō, ko'oko'olau, kukui, māmaki, noni, ʻōlena, pōpolo, and ʻuhaloa."

Published by: John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Department of Native Hawaiian Health



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Hawaiian Heritage Plants
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific DU624.65 .K46 1998
"In a series of essays, the author weaves cultural and biological, historical and geographic, aesthetic and spiritual aspects of Hawaiian ecology into non-technical accounts of 32 plants important to early Hawaiians."
A heading for "Medicine, Hawaiian" is listed in the index of this text with numerous entries.

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Plants in Hawaiian Culture
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific DU624.65 .K72 1993
This introduction to the ethnobotany of the Hawaiians describes the plants themselves, preparation and uses of plant materials, and how the plants and artifacts made from them were used as food, canoes, houses, wearing apparel, musical instruments, medicine, and in fishing, games and sports, war, religion, and burial.
See chapter 9 - Medicine and Medicinal Herbs.

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Plants in Hawaiian Medicine
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific DU624.65 .K73 2001
Written by Hawaii's beloved Beatrice Krauss, an ethnobotanist who dedicated her life to the study of Hawaiian plants, this book covers the medicinal uses and preparation of 30 native plants. Beautiful artwork by Hawaiian illustrator Martha Noyes compliments the text. Plants in Hawaiian Medicine was the winner of the 2002 Ka Palapala Po okela Award for Excellence in Hawaiian Culture.

Folk Remedies From Hawaiʻi
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific GR110 .H38 C66 1985
This book "introduces visitors to island medical customs and remedies, while it affirms and celebrates our interest in local medical folklore. Humorous cartoons illustrate popular folk remedies for a variety of ailments while the illustrated glossary offers useful information about the uses of plants and other substances in customary home treatment as passed down from Hawaiian and other ethnic cultures in Hawai'i."

Hawaiian Medicine Book
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific GR110 .H38 H39 1986
Pages 50-65 cover information on "The Medicines."

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Lāʻau Hawaiʻi: Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK473.H4 A33 1992
"Intended for a general audience, La'au Hawai'i provides the first comprehensive description of Hawaiian plant use. It shows how Hawaiians cultivated and used plants for food, clothing, shelter, transport, and tools, as well as religion and recreation." [Chapter 13 - Medicines and Healing]

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Kahuna Laʻau Lapaʻau: The Practice of Hawaiian Herbal Medicine
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK99.H3 G88 1977
"This is the third and last volume is [i.e. in] a series of manuscripts taken from the archival files of the former Hawaiʻi Territorial Department [i.e. Board] of Health. These manuscripts had been commissioned by the 1917 Territorial Legislature to investigate the "Medicinal Properties and Values of Herbs and Plants grown in the Territory of Hawaii" [2nd trade edition also available, published 1979]

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Native Plants Used as Medicine in Hawaii
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK99.H3 K73
"This pamphlet is a sampling of some of the native plants which Hawaiians used as medicine. Some have grown here from ancient times, and others have been brought here by more recent immigrants. An explanation is given of what sicknesses the plants were used to treat, and how they were prepared."

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Medicine At Your Feet: Healing Plants of the Hawaiian Kingdom
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK99.H3 L46 1998
A practical guide to the plant medicines of the Hawaiian Islands. Included for each plant is its name, properties, regional and global uses, combinations, contraindications, scientific research, growing, dosages, and preparation information. Fully illustrated and indexed, this is a comprehensive yet easy to read reference for anyone desiring to learn more about holistic medicines.

Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value...
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK99 .K213 1968a
"Originally published in 1922, this compilation was made by employees of the Board of Health of the Territory of Hawaii. It covers herbs found in the Hawaiian Islands that were believed by the Hawaiians to possess curative and palliative properties most effective in removing physical ailments."

Practical Folk Medicine of Hawaii
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK99 .M33
A short 104 pages in length, this book's content (with illustrations) includes tools and techniques, plants and materials, and folk remedies for common ailments.

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Polynesian Herbal Medicine
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific QK99.P75 W45 1992
"The aim of this book is to present a picture of past and present Polynesian medicinal plants." For Hawaii medical practices, see pages 23-30 and 103-116.

Hawaiian ʻawa: Views of an Ethnobotanical Treasure
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific RS165.K3 H393 2006
"The plant called 'awa in the Hawaiian language is known throughout the world as kava. It has become prominent in alternative medicine for its ability to reduce anxiety, soothe sore muscles, and induce relaxation, calm, and sleep, without being addictive or impairing the user's judgment."

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Plants of Old Hawaii
Call Number: Hawaii Pacific DU624.65 .L84 1982
A selection of entries cover medicinal uses.



Source: Taro Leaves. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web.

Access more photos at ImageQuest

Hawaiian Ethnobotany ONLINE Database

  • Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
    Web site and reference information provided and maintained by Bishop Museum. Browse cultural and scientific information about 145 plants commonly used in traditional Hawaiian culture. Search by Hawaiian names or scientific names.

Traditional Medicine - Hawaii

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Book Of Medical Practices And Hawaiian Prescriptions (Buke ʻoihana lapaʻau me nā ʻapu lāʻau Hawaiʻi)
Call Number: GN477.4 .B85 2003
BUKE OIHANA LAPAAU, first printed in Honolulu in 1895, a valuable collection of information on Hawaiian medicinal practices, based on the writings of the honorable 'Elia Helekunihi. In addition, it presents select ali'i genealogy and a detailed chronological description of significant dates in Hawaiian history from the time of Liloa through 1893.


Ethnobotany - Polynesia

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Plants of the Canoe People: An Ethnobotanical Voyage Through Polynesia
Call Number: GN476.73 .W55 2009
"This book is about the useful plants of the Pacific islanders, with special emphasis on plants used by Polynesians. A total of ninety-six plants are included, listed in alphabetical order by scientific name, followed by a paragraph that includes Polynesian names and their origins and the English name if any. Range, habitat, uses of the plant, and a botanical description of the species are also included for each entry." --Book Jacket


More on Hawaii Plants...

Hawaiʻi's Invasive Species
Call Number: QH353 .H38 2001
Describes the causes and consequences of the introduction of invasive alien species of plants and animals to Hawaii.

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Endangered Plants and Threatened Ecosystems on the Island of Hawaiʻi
Call Number: QK86.H3 E53 2008
Natural history -- Conserving Hawaiian species -- Climate and vegetation -- Endangered species policy -- Rare and unusual plants -- Conservation on public lands

Hawaiian Reef Plants
Call Number: QK571.5.H3 H85 2007
Exploring our marine flora -- The Hawaiian shoreline -- Coastal reef ecosystems -- Key to divisions -- Blue-green algae -- Red algae -- Green algae -- Seagrasses -- Brown algae -- Diatoms

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Poisonous Plants of Paradise: First Aid and Medical Treatment of Injuries from Hawaiʻi's Plants
Call Number: RA1250 .S365 2000
A guide to potentially harmful plants in Hawaii, designed for both medical professionals and the general public. It describes each plant in words and photographs, identifies the plant's toxins, mechanism of injury, incidence, and signs and symptoms, and provides first aid recommendations.

Hawaiian ʻawa: Views of an Ethnobotanical Treasure
Call Number: RS165.K3 H393 2006
Cultural-historical perspectives; Active ingredients; Chemistry, pharmacology, and safety aspects of kava; Hawaiian cultivars; Non-Hawaiian cultivars; Preparing the drink; ʻAwa production guide.

Honolulu Community College Library
874 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817
Circulation: 808-845-9221 • Reference: 808-845-9199

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