ŌKU’s unique tea formulas were developed by Scott Smith (a Medical Herbalist and Naturopath), and his wife Helen Paul-Smith of Tapuika & Ngaai Te Rangi descent. They have run ŌKU as a family business since 2010.
Utilising Maori Tikanga - ‘doing things the right way’ - helps guide their decision-making processes. They promote the growing and sustainability of NZ native plants and as they continue to grow are committed to contributing to land restoration and planting projects of the native flora and fauna.
ŌKU donates a portion of the profits of every product sold to trusts specifically set up for this purpose as well as their own many planting/restoration projects where they have themselves planted 1,000’s of natives since beginning this hīkoi (journey).
As ŌKU continues to grow Scott & Helen are both fully committed to continue this work and see more whenua (land) restored back into our incredible native forests.
In Te Reo Maori ŌKU is a possessive noun meaning 'of mine, belonging to me'. They use it as a way to describe the taonga (treasure) of the ngahere (forests) and the plants that grow there belonging as a collective possession to the people who live on this whenua (land). So many of these plants have such wonderful healing properties that offer many benefits for all of us when we use them with respect, knowledge and in a sustainable way.
We have the following tea blends available - note that the Kumarahou blend is in teabags, and the rest of the range is loose tea leaves:
RELAX Kānuka & Tātarāmoa is the perfect tea to drink at the end of the day, or at any time you need to allow your mind and body to unwind from the many stresses we encounter in modern living. Relax offers you an exquisite combination of both western and NZ native herbs that have wonderful calming qualities encouraging you to destress and rediscover your balance.
KUMARAHOU is a wonderful tonic herb and a very special NZ native plant. It has a unique bitter taste that is not for the faint-hearted, but can easily be diluted down or had with a small amount of honey to soften the bitter tones.
CIRCULATE Kawakawa & Horopito is a complete blend to get your blood moving. With herbs like Gotu Kola, Ginkgo and Rosemary that all have a great affinity with the brain. Hawthorn and our very own Kawakawa that both have wonderful heart supporting properties. These herbs are all brought together by the unique warming and spicy properties of Horopito. This really is a complete formula to fire up your circulation.
PURE gives you the full benefit of the exceptional properties of 100% Kawakawa that has been sustainably hand harvested from the native bush of New Zealand. Kawakawa has a rich traditional use where it was used in many different circumstances. Commonly called the Pepper Tree, Kawakawa has a unique taste described as sweet, warming and invigorating that is sure to give your taste buds tingling!
ENERGISE is an invigorating and energising tea that is perfect as a morning beverage or anytime you want or need a gentle lift. The fantastic warming properties of NZ Kawakawa is perfectly complimented with Organic Sencha (whole leaf) Green Tea. The blend is rounded with the soft sweetness of Licorice and a subtle hint of Ginger.
DIGEST is a comforting tea that can be drunk anytime, but is especially beneficial after meals. The nurturing qualities of Kawakawa are combined with the remarkable soothing properties of Hoheria. Peppermint and Ginger complete this blend with their delicious, warming tones
MANUKA is most well-known for its honey made from the nectar of the flower, however, the leaf was traditionally used as a tea replacement by early settlers in New Zealand. This incredibly fragrant leaf is what contains the remarkable properties of the Manuka essential oil. This blend balances the pure taste of Manuka Leaf with hints of Spearmint and Lemon Juice that lend citrus minty tones to this unique NZ herb.
PROTECT is a beautifully fragrant tea that combines the best of NZ bush with dynamic traditional herbs. This tea is all about protecting and supporting you naturally when you need it most. From the wonderfully versatile Kawakawa to Manuka’s robust properties, the addition of the delicate but remarkable Elderflower, and the sweet supporting qualities of Rosehips. Together these herbs create a very special blend.
RESTORE brings together a remarkable blend of NZ Native Herbs Kawakawa, Karamu, Manuka and Kumarahou. These are combined with the spiciness of Cinnamon and Nettle leaf that is well known in herbal folklore. Together these herbs create a truly unique combination that are all about helping and supporting you stay in balance and harmony.
**We also have a great tea infuser available too - these have been tested and approved by us! Note that the colour you receive will be a random one as we have an assortment of blue, green, purple, yellow and orange.
This product is handmade in New Zealand