Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

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Melicope ternata. Whārangi.
FAMILY: Rutaceae Rue family
BOTANICAL NAME: Melicope ternata
MĀORI NAME: WHĀRANGI, whārangi piro, (wharangi pirou - Conservator of State Forests 1877), tātaka, koheriki, houkūmara (All in Williams 1971)
MEDICINAL: Gum - chewed, bad breath. (not to be confused with wharangi piro, Olearia rani, 'gum a deadly poison'. (Brett's Guide 1883 ; Goldie 1905 ). But see entry for Olearia rani.
Used as masticatory. (Best 1942).

Related pharmacology in Brooker, Cambie and Cooper 1987.
See also Riley 1994 for information on medicinal uses of related plants elsewhere in the world.
CONSTRUCTION: Inlaying work in cabinetmaking (Colenso 1869a) (N.B. Details on post-European timber uses generally not part of this database)
CHEMISTRY: Essential oil described by Radcliffe 1929.
Chemical compounds in bark listed in Cambie 1976, with references.
TOXINS: Best 1906 says leaves and honey are poisonous; however, in tests done in the 1940s, rats fed 40% dried leaves in rations gained weight. Plant not toxic (Connor 1977).
SCENT: Gum used for scent (hair oil, pomades etc.) (Best 1942).