July 12, 2020
Rongoa Māori offers hope for diabetics
Researchers are calling for more studies of rongoa Māori as a treatment for diabetes.
In a paper published in the journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, Jonni Hazeline Koia from the University of Waikato and Peter Shepherd from the University of Auckland’s department of molecular medicine say they looked at the effectiveness of rongoa because Māori are three times more likely than other New Zealanders to have an insulin-resistant form of diabetes.
Their review of the evidence found reports of anti-diabetic effects for a number of herbal medicines like karamu, kūmarahou, and kawakawa.
However, there are no molecular or biomedical studies on the medicines which could confirm their efficacy and better explain how they work.
Diabetes, also known as mate huka, is a chronic disease where the body is unable to maintain normal concentrations of glucose.
Western-style diet and lifestyles is thought to have contributed towards high rates of type two diabetes among Māori, and a 2010 case study found type reverting to traditional food intake and physical activity can help patients control it.
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