Friday, September 11, 2009



         Not a pleasant word to most of us.  My memories of hahano mostly come from small kid time, from my tūtū wahine, my grandmother.  Hahano was her "cure-all."  Don't be telling her you weren't feeling well!  It was either hahano or castor oil!  Both horrific!
        The kahuna lāʻau lapaʻau, or healing "physician" who healed using medicinal herbs, would use hahano as an integral part of healing certain ailments.  It would mostly be given to prepare the patient for medicines that would be given later.  An example of a hahano might consist of placing two handsful of salt in a container with a little water and letting it stand overnight.  In the morning the salt water was warmed before being put to use (I'm cringing just thinking about it!).  Juice of the ʻilima or a mashed kukui nut might be added.
        Boy, used to be that whenever you were giving birth, first thing they did to you in the hospital?  You got it!  Hahano!  Thank goodness that practice ended after my first baby was born.  Never wanted to do that again as "cleansed" as it made me feel!
        I bet you're wondering how those Hawaiians actually gave the enema.  I mean I'm sure they didn't have those rubber contraptions my tūtū used (and it always stared down at me in the shower!).  They would use either a small gourd with a long neck or bamboo.
        Enough hahano talk.  I'm getting queasy.  And I'm sure many of you are, too, reliving those memories.

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