What is Kino?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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Kino is an herbal remedy that is composed of the gum that is obtained from a number of different tropical plants and trees, including the eucalyptus tree. This essential oil can be used both internally and externally to treat a number of ailments. There is a long history of the use of kino among many peoples, including aborigines in Australia.

In color, kino is a shade of red that is very close to that of human blood. This has led some to refer to kino as red gum, and the plants that produce the herb remedy as bloodwood. One of the active ingredients in the plant gum is kinotannic acid, which is thought to be one of the elements that is the source of the gum’s healing abilities. The acid is thought to help promote healthy skin, which makes it especially helpful in the treatment of burns, or recovery from some type of skin irritation.


One of the more common uses for kino is tanning skin. In some cultures, it has been used as a means of darkening the skin, usually by being dissolved in a small amount of water and applied directly to the surface of the skin. In more concentrated form, it has been used to help cure the hides of animals, keeping the skin supple even as it dries. While there has been some suggestion that a solution of kino and water can also help to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, this claim is questioned by many practitioners of different types of alternative medicine.

As a homeopathic medicine, kino is thought to help shorten the duration of the common cold. In some cultures, the gum is brewed in hot water, then consumed as tea several times a day. The tea is understood to soothe the symptoms of a cold sufficiently, especially congestion in the head, throat and chest. By alleviating these common symptoms, the plant gum allows the individual to get more recuperative sleep. This in turn energizes the immune system and making it easier for the body to fight and eventually subdue the cold.

Kino is also used in other forms of herbal remedies. The gum is also popular for the treatment of stomach upsets, diarrhea, and other issues involving the gastrointestinal tract. A solution of warm water and the gum is also said to be an effective remedy for a throat that is sore due to overexertion, bringing about relief within minutes of gargling with the solution.


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