Bush Medicine used by Aborigines



Snakevine (Tinospora smilacina)..

Goat’s Foot Vine or Beach Morning Glory
To heal sores and boils, it was customary for the Garby Elders to first apply bloodwood kino to the site. A bandage of boiled goat’s foot vine ( Ipomoea pes-caprae ) was then applied as a poultice. Sections of vine could also be rubbed, bent and bruised, and then tied around the head to relieve headaches and migraines

DSCN8976Backhousia citriodora..Lemon Mrytle …Lemon Myrtle is reputed to have a ‘sweet’ citral fragrance and taste. Other ‘lemony’ essential oils come from citrus (3-10% citral), lemon grass (75%), the tropical Verbena (74%), the Lemon Scented Tea Tree (80%) and the Lemon Myrtle, (90-97% citral).

Lemon Myrtle Backhousia citriodora is a medium sized coastal rainforest tree which prefers to grow in humid sub tropical conditions. It is the worlds richest source of citral which is also the essential oil found in Lemongrass. The best cultivars of Lemon Myrtle contain up to 11 times the essential oil content as Lemongrass. Current research is revealing the wonderful healing properties of Lemon Myrtle Oil, reputed to have better healing properties than tea tree oil.

DSCN8980 DSCN8981Flax Lily..Dianata Revoluta…

Dianella revoluta
The leaves were sp
lit and then twisted together to make a strong tie. The flowers are
blue and the berries purple, but the berries were eaten.

DSCN8985 DSCN8986Cyclad Palm…these nuts were a staple diet of the Aborigines whose traditional knowledge included how to roast and process the seeds to remove these toxins. The seeds are, after all, very high in energy, fat and carbohydrates. They have to be soaked in running water for 3 weeks to remove the poisons before use as food.


DSCN8974Paper Bark….Melaleuca quinquenervia balawun.gaare considered to be effective in reducing hay fever and sinus infections as they can be crushed to release a vapour which is then inhaled. The aromatic oils freed by this process are similar to those of eucalypts and are therefore commonly used in the treatment of head colds. The leaves are also used in smoking ceremonies or rubbed onto the skin as an insect repellanthttp://www.arrawarraculture.com/fact_sheets/pdfs/15_Medicine.pdf


Grey Mangrove
The leaves and young shoots of the grey mangrove
Avicennia marina  or baru-baruga  were traditionally chewed and used on stingray stings. The bark
can also be rubbed on stings, and the wood ash made into a paste to treat skin sore
DSCN8993Wild Ginger
Wild Boronia...insecticide...Wild Boronia….antiseptic and insecticide
DSCN8989Foxtail fern..used as padding for bedding
DSCN9154 DSCN9158
Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia.Historically, the leaves were used as a substitute for tea, which is how tea tree oil got its name. The part used medicinally is the oil from the leaves. The island has Lemon ti tree as well as Ti Tree….
DSCN9114Berries were eaten to provide saliva for a dry mouth…


HEADACHE Red ash (Alphitonia excelsa)
Headache vine (Clematis microphylla)
Rock fuchsia bush (Eremophila)
Liniment tree (Melaleuca symphyocarpa)
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
Snakevine (Tinospora smilacina)
Bathe with crushed leaves in water
Crushed leaves inhaled
Leaf decoction drunk
Crushed leaves rubbed on head
Fruit pulp rubbed on head
Mashed stems wound around head
COUGHS, COLDS Lemon grasses (Cymbopogon)
Fuchsia bushes (Eremophila)
Tea trees (Melaleuca)
River mint (Mentha australis)
Great morinda (Morinda citrifolia)
Decoction drunk or applied as wash
Decoction drunk
Crushed leaves inhaled
Decoction drunk
Ripe fruit eaten
FEVERS Turpentine bush (Beyeria lechenaultii)
Kapok tree (Cochlospermum fraseri)
Lemon grasses (Cymbopogon)
Red river gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
Tea tree (Melaleuca viridiflora)
Leaf decoction taken
Bark and flower decoction drunk
External wash of boiled leaves
Steamed leaves inhaled
Bath of crushed leaves in water
DIARRHOEA Lemon grasses (Cymbopogon)
Eucalypt bark (Eucalypt)
Cluster fig (Ficus racemosa)
Sacred basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Native raspberries (Rubus)
Decoction drunk
Infusion drunk
Bark infusion drunk
Root infusion drunk
Leaf infusion drunk
Decoction drunk
WOUNDS Billygoat weed (Ageratum)
Tree orchid (Dendrobium affine)
Spike rush (Eleocharis dulcis)
Paperbark tea trees (Melaleuca)
Cocky apple (Planchonia careya)
Crushed plant applied
Bulb sap dabbed on cuts
Decaying plant bound to wounds
Bark wrapped as a bandage
Bark infusion poured into wounds
ACHES AND PAINS Northern black wattle (Acacia auriculiformis)
Beach bean (Canavilia rosea)
Rock fuchsia bush (Eremophila freelingii)
Beaty leaf (Calophyllum inophullum)
Root decoction applied
Mashed root infusion rubbed on
Wash with leaf decoction
Rub with crushed nut and ochre
STINGS Nipan (Capparis lasiantha)
Native hop (Dodonaea viscosa)
Beach convolvulus (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
Snakevine (Tinospora smilacina)
Peanut tree (Sterculia quadrifida)
Whole plant infusion applied
Chewed leaves bound to sting
Heated leaf applied
Root poultice applied
Heated leaves pressed on sting
RHEUMATISM Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon)
Konkerberry (Carissa Ianceolata)
Beach bean (Canacalia rosea)
Tick-weed (Cleome viscosa)
Stinging tree (Dendrocnide moroides)
Nettle (Urtica)
Bathe in bark infusion
Oily sap rubbed as liniment
Mashed root infusion rubbed in
Leaves applied
Boiled leaves and bark rubbed in
Patient beaten with leaves
SORE EYES Ironwood (Acacia melanoxylon)
Green plum (Buchanania obovata)
Regal birdflower (Crotalaria cunninghamii)
Emu apple (Owenia acidula)
Fan flower (Scaevola sericea)
Root decoction administered
Infusion of inner bark applied
Sap or leaf decoction given
Wood decoction applied
Fruit juice applied
SORE EARS River mangrove (Aegiceras corniculatum)
Lemon grass (Cymbopogon)
Native hop (Dodonaea viscosa)
Lady apple (Syzygium suborbiculare)
Leaf decoction applied
Root decoction poured into ears
Boiled root juice applied
Fruit pulp applied
TOOTHACHE Green plum (Buchanania obovata)
Denhamia (Denhamia obscura)
Supplejack (Flagellaria indica)
Pemphis (Pemphis acidula)
Quinine berry (Petalostigma pubescens)
Tooth plugged with shredded wood
Tooth plugged with inner bark
Benumbing stem chewed
Burning twig applied
Fruits held in mouth






Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living in Australia where I photograph and share experiences and events as I travel. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

2 thoughts on “Bush Medicine used by Aborigines

  1. Pingback: Find Me A Cure

Comments are closed.

Rossville Retreat

Bush Camping by Black Mountain, Cooktown, Queensland

Station Cook

Nutritious, tasty and energy giving foods cooked simply and daily to feed hard workers

Roads Lesser Traveled

Life is just down the road lesser traveled....

Profusión Real Estate

Te mostramos tu hogar

Fotoclub Bergamo

La continuità nella fotografia tradizionale


"Traveling and Retired"

The Godly Chic Diaries



On our way back to Europe in March.

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.

Living in Natures Love

Simple & loving hacks for whole health; mind, body & spirit


Art, health, civilizations, photography, nature, books, recipes, etc.


Discovering the joy of art


Horror, Science Fiction, Comic Books and More

Meandering My Way...

Enjoying wherever the road takes me.

Ben & Leah's Camper

Our Great Australian Road Trip

%d bloggers like this: