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Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata) is a plant with peppery-tasting leaves native to New Zealand, where it has been traditionally used by the indigenous Maori people. It belongs to the primitive flowering Winteraceae family and has light green leaves with red blotches. The leaves are the part of the plant that is harvested, dried and milled. Polygodial, the active ingredient in Horopito leaves, gives a strong burning sensation when chewed. Plants containing polygodial have been traditionally consumed in New Zealand, Japan, South America and Africa.
The main active polygodial is a bicyclic sesquiterpene dialdehyde. The leaf also contains high levels of antioxidants.
There is no RDI for horopito. There is no documented historical evidence of toxicity of Horopito by either oral ingestion or topical application.