Medicinal power of NZ native Kolorex Horopito plant in big demand

Press release, 21 March, 2016, Nelson, NZ:  Natural health product innovation company, Forest Herbs Research, is experiencing growing demand for its clinically proven anti-fungal products made from a single variety of New Zealand’s ancient Horopito plant.


The company owns the world’s only sustainably managed commercial plantation of 30,000 native Kolorex Horopito plants on the edge of the Kahurangi National Park in Golden Bay, and is preparing a third piece of land with the aim to quadruple the number of mature plants by 2020.


Last Thursday, Forest Herbs Research was recognised, together with Auckland company Phytomed Medicinal Herbs, as a joint winner of The Cawthron Institute Innovation in Science & Technology Award at the Natural Products NZ Summit held in Nelson. The judges were impressed with the company’s excellent use of New Zealand-grown herbs, and the extensive research that was conducted, ranging from process improvements to in-clinic trials.


The natural products industry is a significant contributor to New Zealand’s economy with earnings of over $1.4 billion per annum. For over 20 years, Forest Herbs Research has been conducting R&D and clinical trials on Horopito’s therapeutic effect in collaboration with research organisations, universities, naturopaths, and distribution partners. Findings show that Horopito is a proven and effective natural treatment against numerous fungal ailments including: chronic intestinal candidiasis, vaginal thrush, and athlete’s foot.


With a patent over the best method for extracting Kolorex Horopito, Forest Herbs exports and licenses Horopito products under its Kolorex brand to companies from Europe, USA and Australia through to places as varied as Dubai, Israel and South Africa.


Horopito is a native plant of New Zealand with a long history of medicinal use by Maori. The leaves were either bruised, steeped in water and used to treat skin diseases and venereal diseases, or they were chewed to relieve toothache. A decoction of the leaves was often used to allay inward pain and is honoured with the name ‘Maori painkiller’.  The variety, Kolorex Horopito, was found to have up to five times the potency of all other Horopito populations, and the Forest Herbs Research team spent several years of further R&D to work out how to grow the plant sustainably.


Dr Amanda Wiggins, Business Development Manager at Forest Herbs Research says, “Research and development has been a core contributor to our ongoing success. The positive results of clinical trials on Kolorex give us enormous credibility, and we have attracted a number of new business customers as a result – including a large multi-national pharmaceutical company that is now selling Kolorex® in South Africa. We’re also getting a lot of enquiries from consumers in the Asian market and, with help from NZ Trade and Enterprise, we’re actively seeking distribution partners in China.”


NZ Forest Herbs founder, Peter Butler, says it is the efficacy of Kolorex products rather than NZ’s clean green image that is driving demand.  “Our distributors are looking for products that are scientifically formulated, batch tested and carry some supporting clinical data.”



“The natural personal care industry is also an increasing market, with strong evidence that growing consumer awareness of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries, and the desire for truly natural products, are propelling a 10% year on year growth in the industry.”  Researchers expect the global organic personal care market to reach USD 15.98 billion by 2020. “We’re about to launch a new hygiene product in a few weeks, which we are really excited about, and we will continue to research and develop new products.”



For more information, visit, or contact:


Shelley Grell

Communicate IT Ltd

021 74 355


Dr Amanda Wiggins

NZ Forest Herbs Research

021 986 022

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