Thursday, November 24, 2016

French Polynesia 2016 - Premna Serratifolia

ISSUE DATE: 12 August 2016
STAMP SIZE:30 x 40 mm

The Polynesian traditional medicine is still practiced in our various archipelagoes, often as a supplement to the modern medicine. The ra'au tahiti (Tahitian medicine) uses approximately hundred different plants, that are endemic, native, introduced during the first Polynesian migrations or introduce more recently.

The Premna serratifolia (family of “Lamiaceae”) or 'âvaro in tahitian language is one of the main medicinal native plants. This shrub is spread in all the Pacific region (mostly in high islands and some atolls of French Polynesia) by the frugivorous birds which are fond of its black fleshy fruits (at maturity) and is sometimes planted in gardens for its medicinal properties but also for its small slightly nice-smelling whitish flowers used on the perfumed bouquets.

Its bark, roots, buds, leaves or most important its inflorescences are used among the ingredients of numerous medicinal preparations handling several troubles (ulcers, rheumatisms, diabetes, rash, headaches). Its fruits served formerly to make a blue to black dye whereas its very resistant grey wood, allowed the realization of crafted objects.

The 'āvaro grows in plains, up to more than 1000 m of height, on volcanic or calcareous grounds, but is rather characteristic to relatively dry forests. Finally, it is easy to cultivate and often serves as decorative


Stamp images thanks to OPT French Polynesia

French Polynesia Post