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The Benefits of Rongoā Oils

The optimum way for the body to absorb the therapeutic qualities of our rongoā oils is through a combination of inhalation and dermal absorption which can be achieved through mirimiri (massage).


  • inhalation through the olfactory system

  • absorption through the surface of the skin

When the rongoā oils are inhaled, the molecules rise to the top of the nose and meet the olfactory mucous membrane. The olfactory membrane has thousands of receptors that identify the smell and thus, the sensory stimulation is sent through the olfactory bulb, which acts as an amplifier, through the olfactory nerve into the limbic system of the brain.

This is the oldest area of the brain. It deals with emotional and psychological responses. The limbic system is triggered by nerve impulses. The scent is compared to a known scent, compared and labeled, thus we can have memories associated with the scent information and react emotionally and physically through our autonomic nervous system.

These responses are determined by the specific qualities of the rongoā oil being used, and can range from relaxing to stimulating. The nerve impulse in the limbic system leads to other areas of the brain that are responsible for secreting hormones and regulating body functions.

The entire process from the initial inhalation of the oil to corresponding gland secretion takes place in a matter of seconds. Therefore, a simple inhalation can cause changes in the body from stimulating the immune system, to initiating the digestive system into action and so on.

Dermal Absorption: The skin is relatively permeable to fat soluble substances and relatively impermeable to water soluble substances. When rongoā oils are applied to the skin they are able to pass through the strateum corneum (the outer layer of the epidermis). From here the oil molecule passes through the dermis, into the capillaries and then into the bloodstream.

Absorption also occurs through the hair follicles and sweat ducts. There are many factors that effect absorption of an oil molecule. Both rate of circulation and the warmth of the skin increase blood flow to the surface, therefore increasing the skin’s ability to absorb the rongoā oil. Circulation and warmth can be increased by mirimiri (massage).

The larger the area of skin that is covered, the more rongoā oils will be absorbed. The permeability of the skin is also a factor. Thinner skin eg: skin behind the ears and the inside of the wrists are very permeable. The palms of the hands and feet, armpits and scalp will more readily absorb oil molecules than the arms, legs, belly, back etc.

Rongoā oils are also easily absorbed through cuts, scrapes and abrasions, burns, excema etc. Clean skin pores that is free of dirt improves absorption.

We only use plants that are native to Aotearoa. All panipani (balms) and oils are made by hand and locally sourced and harvest. Mirimiri is a wonderful way to absorb the medicinal properties of rongoā. At The Clinic, we use rongoā that will support your body to realign and rebalance.

Mauri ora

Jo xx

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1 Comment

Unknown member
May 03, 2021

I love reading these korero. I'm in the process of making kawakawa balm and kawakawa oil for mirimiri.

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