Plant Name: Ageratum conyzoides
Hawaiian Name: MAILE HOHONO
English Name: Ageratum
Family: Asteraceae (Daisy Family)
Status in Hawai’i: Alien. Low to moderate pest factor.
Where it grows in Hawai’i: Wet and Upcountry areas
Part Used: Flowering tops
The name “Maile hohono” is somewhat of a misnomer, as this lovely little weed is more aromatic than stinky.
Its main uses in Hawai’i are topical for fungal infections of the skin (“haole rot”). It is juiced and then the patient sunbathes to let the medicine work. Its’ use topically for skin conditions is confirmed by traditional medicines in China, Nepal, and Martinique.
The steam is used as a topical treatment for hemorrhoids. (Be careful…)
It is also juiced for topical use in ear infections.
As pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been found in Ageratum, it is presumed to be dangerous if taken internally. Do not use in pregnancy or with liver disease.