We've been noticing this grey-greenish plant growing in the rocky terrain that surrounds our Kona Salt Farm. While our friend and well-respected cultural advisor was visiting, she taught us that this plant is known as ‘Uhaloa. It is a healing plant that her parents used on her as a child, to treat her tonsillitis.
Uhaloa might not have the striking appeal of some tropical flora, with its small yellow flowers and velvety leaves, but its healing power is where it truly shines.Often mistaken for a weed, ‘Uhaloa or also Hi’aloa is actually a prized medicinal herb that thrives on our salt farm. Commonly called the "Sleepy Morning", or known as Waltheria Americana, it prefers arid and seemingly unhospitable places such as the lava fields in Kona’s Keahole area. Historically, ‘Uhaloa was used by Ancient Hawaiians to heal a sore throat. It is said that they would chew the bark or roots of the plant. Today, many practitioners use the roots, leaves, flowers and flower buds to brew a tea, and use it treat many ailments including asthma, arthritic joins, and inflammatory disorders. Modern science has analyzed and determined that ‘Uhaloa contains astringent, tonic, analgesic, and emollient properties.