Healing Hawaiian style

PRINCEVILLE — Gabriel Monaghan has dedicated himself to helping people balance their lives.

“The concept is the body has a blueprint for perfect wellness, and if a person is in harmony with the world inside and outside of themselves, then they’re in perfect health and happiness,” said the nutritional herbalist.

“Oftentimes, the cause of illness is really an accumulation of waste material in the body,” he added. “I’m not healing people; I’m helping people get out of their own way to heal.”

On Wednesday, Monaghan will be sharing his knowledge of Laau Lapaau at the Princeville Public Library. He plans to present five plants that aid in “common ailments” like broken bones, heavy bleeding and low energy.

He will be presenting plants like nioi, comfrey and guava.

“Guava shoots stop bleeding,” he said. “If you have a cut, chew on the shoot, put it on the wound, and it will stop bleeding instantly.”

The shoots are also helpful in helping women who are hemorrhaging after labor, Monaghan added.

During the presentation, Monaghan will show people how to prepare and apply the plants. He will also go over the principles of Laau Lapaau, which focus on the importance of balance and harmony.

The presentation from 5 to 6:30 p.m. is free.

Monaghan, who lives in Hanalei, has been working in the field of natural healing since 2000.

“I moved to Kauai in 1999 and I happened to hear about a herbal healing class. I thought it sounded interesting,” he said. “My mind was blown, hearing the teacher explain how he cured things I thought was incurable.”

In 2000, Monaghan became a student of Kumu Levon Ohai, an instructor of Laau Lapaau, or Hawaiian healing.

“He was my primary influence and inspiration,” he said. “He passed along the knowledge of his family, which goes back for generations.”

While he is trained in the Hawaiian style of healing plants, the practices are common throughout the world, Monaghan said.

“The plants are used everywhere; they just have a different name,” he said.

Monaghan, who is also known as a Master Herbalist, said that title comes from teaching people the craft. It’s important people learn how to utilize the plants for themselves, he added.

“I’m a teacher, and I like to empower people so they get to know the plants and feel empowered to take care of themselves,” he said.


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