NZ Manuka Tea Bush Remedy Diuretic For Dropsy And Arthritis

Natural Herbal Remedies

Here is another great New Zealand remedy which is made from the well-known New Zealand Manuka Bush.

I quote again that piece of wisdom coined by the famous NZ herbalist healer who published a book on herbal medicine in 1889:

‘It is no use denying the existence of the form of folly which despises things because they are cheap and easily got’.  Doctor Neil believes that this is the reason the Manuka remedy has not been more widely used.

Most people have heard of the therapeutic qualities of Manuka Honey, which is very expensive and exported the world over now.  It has a reputation as being a relief to arthritis sufferers.

But how many people know that Manuka tea, which is very cheap because it is readily available in our gardens and parks, is also very therapeutic?

Manuka  is also known as ‘Tea Tree’, and this is because it was used as a tea by the early settlers to New Zealand.  When their stocks of ceylon tea were running dry, or non-existent, then they would resort to using tea made from the Manuka bush – Tea Tree.

Dr James F. Neil recommends the following dosage in his 1889 herbal ‘The New Zealand Family Herb Doctor: A Book on the Botanic Eclectic System of Medicine’.

How To Use Manuka Tea As A Diuretic Medicine For Dropsy:

Take a handful of blossoms and twigs.  Put them into a jar and pour over one pint of boiling water.  Leave to infuse. Dr Neil does not give instructions as to how long you should leave the herb in, but I would estimate 30 minutes to be a good time.  Then strain off the tea.

He says to take half a cupful two to six times a day.

On the previous page he describes a treatment for another dropsical patient whom he told to use a quart of water on a handful of herbs.  He does not tell us whether he used cold or hot water for this infusion – I imagine it would be boiling water as in making tea. The patient was told to drink freely of the Manuka tea, and the dropsy was cured.

Dr Neil does not specify the Manuka tea for arthritis or rheumatism, but I am sure it could be a helpful medicine for both these conditions.

Many people swear by Manuka honey for helping arthritis.

If I was treating myself, I would use only half a cupful of the tea taken twice a day for just three days at a time.  Then I would take a break  to assess whether there was any improvement, or any side effects, before using again.

To Make A Tincture of Manuka

Dr Neil says to use 2 ounces of Manuka flowers and twigs to a pint of alcohol.  Full strength vodka is the cheapest way to make a tincture these days.

Infuse the Manuka in the alcohol for a week, then strain and bottle.

Adult Dose:  For treating dropsical conditions, or as a diuretic medicine to help arthritis or rheumatism, take from one teaspoon to a tablespoonful of the Manuka tincture.

Natural Remedies

Culpeper says of Sage that it ’causes the hair to become black’.

Garden sage has many therapeutic uses.

In the garden, its flowers provide medicine and nectar for the bees, as well as a herbal tonic to the neighbouring plants.

It is well-known as an aid to oral hygiene.  It has strong antiseptic qualities and is supposed to whiten tooth enamel.

Sage is still used today in some tooth-pastes.  It is reputedly one effective remedy for bleeding gums,  and improving gum health:  The crushed fresh leaves are massaged several times a day onto the gums and teeth.

The tea is gargled to relieve sore throats, colds and flu,  and ulcers in the mouth.

It can be effective to reduce fevers, and has been used in the past for thyphoid fever. (see ‘Herbal Remedies  and Homeopathy’ published by Geddes and Grosset.)

It is a valuable nerve medicine, and is a useful stomach remedy for improving a weak appetite.

Natural Herbal Hair Dye and Tonic:  Sage can help restore healthy hair and improve the colour.

Strong sage tea encourages hair growth and darkens the hair, if it is used on a regular basis. Many herbalists describe it in their writings:  see John Heinerman’s ‘Encyclopedia of Fruits Vegetables and Herbs’.

Rosemary is another wonderful herb which can help hair growth, but it does not have such a darkening effect on the hair, as sage does.

Recipe For Sage Hair Dye:  Here is a simple, natural hair dye and tonic which you can try.  It is perfectly safe to use, as it does not contain any harmful additives such as you might find in commercial dyes for darkening the hair.

Take two cups of fresh sage leaves and put into a stainless steel saucepan.

Add one cup of dry black tea leaves

Add half a cup of cider vinegar and eight cups of water.

Simmer very gently, with no lid, for one hour on a very low heat.  You should have around half the original quantity of liquid left at the end of an hour.  If you need to add a little more water, make sure you do so well before you finish simmering the brew.  If you add more water at the end of the simmering, then your mixture will not keep so well.

Take off the heat after an hour of simmering.  Set aside to cool.

Once your sage mixture has cooled properly, strain it off.

To the liquid remaining add the same amount of vodka.

Put into a bottle with a screw-top lid and store in a cool place.

Massage around a tablespoonful of the sage infusion into the hair each day.  Use more or less, depending on how much hair you need to cover.

Massage the sage tonic well into the roots of the hair as well, so that it feeds the scalp and hair follicles.  Massaging the scalp with the sage tonic will help the hair to grow again.

The oils in the sage leaves will put a natural shine to the hair.

Once the hair is sufficiently darkened, which may take several weeks, you can reduce the amount of applications each week.  Once or twice a week may be enough to maintain the darker colour.

Sage is really very good for the hair in so many ways.

Alternative Sage Tonic Without Alcohol:  You could make up your sage tea without the alcohol if you wish.  Only, remember that your mixture will not keep for longer than a week, and it must be kept in the fridge.  You could make up a lesser amount, enough to last a week, and then make up a fresh brew of tea for the following week.

My new book is available on Amazon:


Blackberry Tea Recipes For Flu, Rheumatics, Diarrhoea

Natural Remedies:  Rubus Villosus Rubus Fruticosus, Bramble, or Common Blackberry

‘In bramble, out cough,

Here I leave the whooping cough’.

Thus goes an old English rhyme which Josephine Addison quotes in her book, ‘The Illustrated Plant Lore’.  Apparently, she writes, in some countries, this rhyme was said as the patient passed seven times through an arch.  Presumably the bramble or blackberry was taken as a restorative tea, with this rhyme and wee dance added to improve the spirits of the whooping cough patient.


Using Blackberry as a fermented tea:

Fermenting herbal teas increases the nutritive effect of the herbs used.  The fermenting process releases the active ingredients, such as tannins, iron, manganese, potassium, flavanoids and other antioxidant agents, such as Vitamins C,and Vitamin B.  Vitamin B levels are increased with the fermentation of the herb.

Black Ceylon Tea is put through a fermentation process to improve the flavour:  The tannin and other antioxidants are released from ceylon tea when it is fermented.

To Make Fermented Tea:

Simply wrap up the clean fresh leaves of the herb you wish to make into tea.  Wrap the herbs lightly in a clean, damp tea-towel.  Put them into a warm place for a couple of days.  The warmth helps the fermentation process, which will increase the availability of antioxidants from your herbal tea.

After two or three days, take out the leaves from the tea-towel.  Spread out over a tray and dry carefully in a warm, airy place.

Simple Blackberry Tea

For Diarrhoea, Colds or Flu, Skin Problems

Take one heaped teaspoon of dried herb, preferably fermented as explained above. Pour over one pint of boiling water and let the tea infuse for 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Drink up to two cupsful of the cold tea each day.

This infusion can be applied warm to skin eczema.  It is soothing and has healing qualities which help the skin.

Blackberry Tea Combination (for similar use as above)

Take equal quantities of dried lime flowers, blackberry leaves, and elderflowers. You can use your dried fermented blackberry leaves.

Crumble up all the herbs, mix  well, and put in an air-tight jar.

Take a heaped teaspoon of the dried herbs and pour over a cup of boiling water.  Let steep for 10 minutes, then strain and drink. Take the tea three times a day as a prophylactic for flu, or to treat it.

Also very good for colds.


Blackberry For Sore Gums Or Mouth Ulcers:

These ideas for using blackberry as a healer for tender gums, and other things, are recommended by Dr Vogel in his book ‘The Nature Doctor’.  This doctor surely believed in the power of herbs, rather than drugs, in helping to heal certain ailments of the body.

John Heinerman, Ph.D., also recommends blackberry in his book ‘Miracle Healing Herbs’, published by Heinerman,1998, where he praises its use, especially in cases of diarrhoea.  Mr Heinerman also considers blackberry tea to be useful for such conditions as skin sores, mouth sores, impaired liver function, and sick blood.

Chew Fresh Blackberry Leaves to help heal bleeding gums (often a sign of Vitamin C deficiency).  You could use some of your fresh fermented blackberry leaves for this purpose.  Chewing the leaves releases the healing Vitamin C and tannins, both of which help to stem bleeding and heal the tissues.

According to old English herbals, the young shoots of blackberry were sometimes used as salad greens. Eating the young leaves in this way ‘would fasten teeth which were loose’. (see Josephine Addison p.28-29)

The healing action on the gums and teeth would be attributable to the plentiful Vitamin C and rutin within the blackberry leaves.

Many years ago, whilst expecting my first  child, I healed loose teeth and bleeding gums with the use of citrus fruit, eaten every day until cured. Grapefruit or lemons were recommended to me by an unknown healer.  He also said to eat some of the white pith under the skin each day, as this is where the Vitamin C content is richest.  Within a week, my gums were healed and the teeth strong again.

The hospital doctors had told me not to worry about the bleeding gums because ‘90% of all pregnant women coming here have bleeding gums,’ they said.  I guess most of these women were suffereing simple Vitamin C deficiency.

Drinking fermented blackberry tea three times a day for a week will also help the problem of sore gums and mouth ulcers.

My new book is available now on Amazon: