Ingredients > Harakeke (New Zealand flax) extract

Harakeke (New Zealand flax) extract

New Zealand flax has properties that promote water retention so it is a useful extract to use in formulations where optimum moisturisation is desired.  Applied to the skin it helps to limit loss of moisture and it also helps to sooth skin irritations.

Aa perennial flax, it is known by two species, Phormium tenax and Phormium colensoi, known by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand as Harakeke and Wharariki respectively.  New Zealand flax is distinctively different from the Northern Hemisphere flax (Linum usitatissimum).  It grows as a clump of long, straplike leaves, up to two metres long, and has a taller flowering shoot, with either yellow or red flowers.

New Zealand flax has been used traditionally for centuries by the indigenous people of New Zealand - the Maori who used it to weave baskets and mats as well as to make string, lines, cordage and fishing nets.  Some of these traditions continue today.  The leaf blades contain cucurbitacins which are poisonous to some animals.

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