La’au Lapa’au is: Solving the problems of body, mind and spirit. In Hawaiian Healing the mental is not separate from the spiritual and physical. Rely on spiritual insight and most of all, guidance from Akua.
— Papa Henry Auwae, Po'okela

Journey to Healing

Papa Henry Auwae, Po’okela Kahuna Laau Lapaau

Papa Henry Auwae, Po’okela Kahuna Laau Lapaau

As a practitioner of La'au Lapa'au (traditional Hawaiian medicine and spirituality) and haumana (student) of the late Papa Henry Auwae, I have been commissioned to perpetuate, enhance and preserve the ancient practice of La'au Lapa'au. Po’okela Kahuna La'au Lapa'au, Papa Henry Auwae had knowledge of over 2,500 herbs and graciously passed his knowledge of La'au, Hawaiian culture and spirituality to his haumana.

As Papa’s haumana we were taught that all healing is 80 percent spiritual and 20 percent La'au (spirituality is not to be confused with religion.) Ke Akua (The Creator) is the source of healing and Pule (prayer and meditation) is the most important component of healing. La'au (herbs), were placed on earth for all humankind and it is not appropriate to charge for La'au Lapa'au services or La'au medicine.  Donations are acceptable.  Those seeking La'au healing must ask for help. This ensures a commitment to the healing process.  This commitment must be a lifetime commitment.

One of my many requirements of the service that I perform is Hoomaikai Akahai (respect for all protocols).   One of these protocols is the manner in which we gather La'au. We consider plants as living entities with innate intelligence. We approach the La'au with the person in mind that we are assisting.  We kneel before the herb in a specific manner and ask permission from Ke Akua and the La'au to harvest. After harvesting (if granted permission), as with Kupuna (Elders), we never turn our backs to the plant – out of respect we back away with gratitude and thanks.  

There are some instances where the patient is given specific protocols to gather their own medicine.  Often, a specific journey becomes part of this process. The journeys, the gathering, pule (prayer), meditation, preparation of the La'au – all this becomes part of the deep healing of this person. This is just one of many examples of “80 percent spiritual” healing. 

I am deeply grateful to Papa for his love, compassion and willingness to pass down this invaluable knowledge. My gift to Papa and Ke Akua is to assist those in need with all my heart, mind, body and soul.

Me Ke Haahaa, Pamela Noeau Day, Haumana Laau Lapaau O Papa Auwae, 2013

Papa Henry Auwae, Pookela Kahuna Laau Lapaau


Expectations of a La'au Lapa’au Practitioner

  • Hoolohe – to listen with the entire body, soul and spirit
  • Hoomakaukau – to be prepared
  • Hoomaikai Akahai – respect for all protocols
  • Hoolauna I Ka Mea Maikai – to sacrifice
  • Hoomanawanui – patience in all things


Professional Reference for Pamela Noeau Day

Pamela Day has been an acquaintance; a friend and a “sister” of mine these past ten years. She was gifted the name Noeau here in Hawaii and I have called her thus since. Noeau is a mother of two beautiful, intelligent, talented young women, (both in college) and of whom she has essentially raised by herself. That in itself is a great accomplishment with the present status of youth in today’s society.

We are both graduates and active practitioners of a traditional medicine practice in Hawaiian culture called Laau Lapaau, which might be erroneously viewed as herbal medicine, but is really a spiritual-based way of life. Our teacher was Papa Henry Auwae, who taught only four classes at the level of “ritualistic kahuna” practices. However, as per our culture we do not award ourselves that term. It is an acknowledgement of the people we serve that actually determines whether we are “kahuna”. Also by tradition, this medicinal art can only be passed to a family member. Therefore, Papa Auwae created our ohana (family), people of many cultural heritages and religions, by evoking the cultural practice of hanai (a form of adoption which fosters both benefits and grave responsibilities).  Papa Auwae was the last “pookela” or expert of his school of knowledge prior to his passing. No other person in Hawaii has achieved that level at this present time. Yet he left many students all at varying levels of knowledge and skill. It is my determination, as his Kakoomua (a term which loosely translated means foremost assistant) that Noeau exemplifies all the criteria required of a practitioner in this art.

As a health educator and a nursing administrator by profession I am aware of the ethical and legal components of healthcare practice. I also own a business that offers nutritional support to organizational entities. These capacities have also assisted me to evaluate Noeau’s competence and achievement.

Hereafter is a brief list of traits and experiences that might assist you in determining her acceptance into your program.

As a Visionary

                Noeau is a woman of purpose and determination. She has had a vision towards helping people with nutritional deficiencies regain control of their systems. As an outcome of a personal crisis concerning her daughter, she developed a food source that strengthens the body, encourages immune system development and promotes nutritional stability. She created a company that is now in the early stages of manufacturing this food source, which you might soon see in organic food shelves.    

As an Objective Advocate

                Noeau is open to new approaches that are explored in healthcare both with contemporary western medicine and alternative medicinal practices. She receives conflicting information well and uses critical thinking processes in reasoning and   discernment. She has demonstrated on frequent occasions her support of people’s requests for “the best life that they can live”.

As a Woman of Character

                Noeau is consistent, honest and perseveres in adversity. Her dependability and sense of responsibility cultivates trust within her peers and people at large.

                Though not always in agreement with the decisions of others, she acknowledges a person’s right for self-determination and autonomy.

As a Creator of a Creed

                Noeau has established her own creed or code of ethics towards her personal life and professional endeavors and has created a symphony between the two that is harmonious with the people oriented, family centered environment she nurtures.

In closing, Noeau is a woman of integrity and I am honored to be her friend and confident. As her peer I acknowledge her experience and applaud her efforts in broadening her knowledge. As my sister in the spirit, I give thanks to the Creator that here is a human being that cares deeply for others and moves with grace and dignity through life, providing sincere assistance while maintaining her own autonomy and well-being.

With deep sincerity,

Haunani Kalama, R.N., Health Educator

Kakoomua i Na Haumana Laau Lapaau o Papa Henry Auwae