By Pamela Day – I became interested in poi many years ago while living in Hawaii. My studies of the herbs and the special foods of Hawaii kept leading me back to this “staff of life” of the Hawaiian diet, including its link to the spiritual origins of the Hawaiian people. Little did I know when my interest in poi emerged that poi would become the sole reason my daughter would survive a life-threatening digestive illness!
This occurred a few years after temporarily moving from Hawaii to California where I relocated for a time to further my studies in alternative medicine and healing. My second daughter was born at home in an easy and quick delivery. She was exclusively breast fed and seemed to thrive for three days. But on the third day she quit breathing and turned blue for no apparent reason. A successive array of pediatricians gave a grave prognosis —spinal meningitis. The doctors wanted her hospitalized immediately. One pediatrician however, after examining her thoroughly, told me that her strength and alertness did not indicate spinal meningitis but possibly a digestive disorder that was creating excessive mucus and blocking her airway after nursing.
I tried many kinds of foods—raw goat and cow milk, rice milk, nut milk, squash milk and many more, yet after ingestion of each of these foods my baby would quit breathing. She was soon diagnosed as failure-to-thrive. She cried constantly and rarely slept. Finally, after going from 8 pounds at birth to 5 pounds in three weeks, I remembered poi and the claim that it is a nutritious, life-giving and hypoallergenic food. I had poi air-shipped from Hawaii to California, thinned it with pure water and put it in a baby
bottle for her to drink. She finished one bottle and cried for more. After three bottles of poi she fell into a sound sleep. She never stopped breathing again and began to steadily gain weight and to thrive. I was also amazed that as long as my baby had poi before or after breastfeeding, that she would have little problem with mucus or distress.
As she got older and required other foods, I began to mix poi with fruits and vegetables to create “poi pudding blends.” Even after several years, if my child would ingest food without poi included in the mix, she would have severe reactions such as fever, excessive mucus and would even go unconscious at times. My daughter lived on poi blends exclusively for four years and has needed poi on a daily basis to remain healthy and symptom-free for eleven years since. She is now a healthy and vibrant fifteen-yearold, free from all digestive disorders and associated problems.
Pamela lives on an acre and a half on the Big Island of Hawaii with her two beautiful daughters and her many animals, plants and herbs. She is a long time resident of Hawaii where a ten-year ongoing apprenticeship with the traditional Hawaiian healer, Papa Henry Auwae, furthers her quest as a healing practitioner. From her own successes, Pamela founded the company Taro Dream, Inc. and developed an exotic and delicious poi and tropical fruit pudding blend especially geared to those with digestive difficulties. Her product has made its debut throughout Hawaii, and she hopes to be able to deliver it to the mainland soon.