We make natural skincare

Tātarāmoa (bush lawyer)

Tātarāmoa you have held a fascination for me from the very first time I heard of you. I hold fond memories of the times I have found you in many out of the way places and managed to gather some of your prickly leaves to bring home as a tonic/rongoā for my people. Your ability to calm an overactive or anxious mind and bring sweet sleep has converted many to the gifts that our plant medicines can bring. As I was pruning and clearing my hydrangea hedge this past weekend I came across a seedling, one of your tamariki and it got me thinking about whakapapa. As I build deeper relationships with particular plants I’ve noticed that they will then naturalize here at home. This is whakapapa, a primal inter-connectedness that goes deep. It’s a long line that goes way back through many generations of tūpuna.  We are of the same tribe. Papatūānuku is our mother Rangi-nui our father.

Tātarāmoa growing up and through a tī kōuka (cabbage tree)

Tātarāmoa (rubus cissoides) is in the same family as the blackberry and the raspberry sharing many common traits. Tātarāmoa has  been used historically as a treatment for vomiting, stomach ache, abdominal pains, diarrhoea and dysentery.

It has an affinity with the female hormonal system being useful for dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation), to bring on the menses and help dispel the whenua (placenta). Used in this way it is often combined with flax root and raūpo or karamū. Traditionally vapour baths and hot stones from fires made with tātarāmoa vines were used after delivery.

All of the different forms of this plant have the same healing properties.

I most commonly use tātarāmoa these days to calm an agitated nervous system. It can bring calm and relaxation to someone coming off drugs or alcohol. As part of a self-care regime making a nightly brew taken just before bed will often bring much-needed sleep, and for those who suffer from anticipation anxiety preventing sleep. For teething babies it’s a very palatable brew. For littlies  a teaspoon or two before bed can help to bring about a peaceful sleep. In my experience it helps to take it just as you are laying down to sleep as it brings a wonderful sense of relaxation and calm to the mind and the body soon follows suit.

So happy to spot this seedling under my hydrangea hedge.

Go along and have a chat to your local rongoā Māori practioner for more information or help with plant identification. Here at Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae we make up fresh teas and tonics on request.


tamariki; child

whakapapa; genealogy

tūpuna; ancestors

37 thoughts on “Tātarāmoa (bush lawyer)

  1. Kia ora

    I was wanting to purchase some dried Tataramoa leaves to make tea and possibly a spritzer for relaxation.
    Is this the right website to use.

    Nga mihi
    Deidre Tupaea

    1. Kia ora Tasha, I’ve emailed you. Yes I’m able to send tataramoa out to you for sure. Ngā mihi 🙂

  2. Kia ora Trisha, would love to buy some leaves off you – can you please email with pricing etc ?
    Nga mihi 😊

    1. Kia ora Donnya, I supply dried leaves so you would bring some to the boil then simmer for about 20 minutes.

  3. Hi Trish,
    I would like to buy some of the dried Tataramoa from you to make tea.
    If that’s possible please email me 🙂
    Thank you Jade

  4. How awesome. I made a brew with water and Tataramoa. I stepped it for 15 minutes in a crock pot. Turned it off for 10 minutes. Put some into a cup with lemon and lime Barker’s syrup. I was feeling really tired and achey after a day of working. Within 5 minutes of drinking the brew I made. I was totally relaxed. My muscles and tiredness went away instantly. My body is relax. This rongoa is amazing.

  5. Kia ora. I love your korero on Tātarāmoa. I was instantly drawn to it. I have trouble getting to sleep, even when really tired, my mind shifts up in to high gear. I would love to purchase some dried leaves please.

  6. Kia Ora can you please send me pricing for Tataramoa please being up my ngahere and can’t find any would like to try for a lot of reason and Whanau needing it

  7. Kia ora! Is Tataramoa good to take before and after birth? I’ve been recommended to try it but don’t fully understand how or it’s benefits for it.

    Thank you x

    1. Kia ora e Rihi,

      My advice would be for you to go to the person who has advised you to use this rongoā and find out more from them or from a local rongoā practitioner who can make an assessment of your situation. I’ve linked in a few bits and pieces about tātāramoa for you.
      It certainly can be used as a tea during labour particularly transition and then again after birth for helping deliver the whenua/placenta.


      Hope this helps
      Noho ora mai

  8. Kia ora Trish, i am a student of the 1st Rongoaa programme in Ootautahi through TWOA. So very excited and humbled by the opportunity. One of our assessments is to present to the class a plant and its medicinal qualities. I have chosen Taataraamoa.

    Ive read your rangahau here and really grateful that you have put on WWW. I do have some paatai (as part of our mahi). Would it be ok if i ask you some paatai pretaining to this plant?

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Naahaku noa, naa Maraea.

  9. Kia ora
    Am I able purchase Tataramoa leaves please If so send me your bank details and Ithe cost including postage and I will get back to you

    Nga Mihi Pauline

  10. Kia ora

    Was wondering if you or know of anyone who sells seeds please.
    Have a friend who works with ex addicts and wants to try māori rongoa to help ease off for a good night’s sleep.

    Ngà mihi

  11. Kia ora Trish,
    My daughter who is 18 suffers from anxiety and finds it hard to get to sleep when she’s worried.

    Could you please send some Tataramoa leaves so we make a tea to help her settle down and have a fitfull sleep for work.

  12. Hey there, I was wondering if the leaves from an ordinary blackberry bush would have the same effect as the leaves of bush-lawyer? I love using bush-lawyer in tea before bed for a good night sleep but I very rarely come across it. However I am constantly surrounded by blackberry bushes and was wondering if they would give the same effect as they’re from the same family. Thanks in advance

    1. Good question but I really couldn’t say, To my mind they would have different properties. Maybe touching on some similar properties but the whakapapa and the history of the plants are quite different. I guess the best way to find out would be to make an infusion of the blackberry leaves. Trish.

    1. Kia ora Krystal, Tātarāmoa can be harvested wherever you have access and permission from iwi or landowner. It’s a plant that grows throughout the North Island (I’m not sure about the south island) As to the when? I find after the plant has finished it’s new growth and the leaves have matured and hardened off. It dries and stores happily for the year.

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