Australian Bush Medicine
Acacia ancistrocarpa – Fitzroy Wattle, Pirraru – Northern Territory, Western Australia and partly Queensland.
Leaves chewed with water and mixture spat on sores to stop infection. Leaves mashed in water and used to bathe sore head.
Acacia cuthbertsonii – Wattle – Western Australia, Northern Territory Central Desert.
Stringy bark peels readily in long rough ribbons – uncommon tree, so highly prized. Bark ribbons wrapped tightly around forehead for headaches; also used as bandages.
Acacia estrophiolata – Wattle – Central Desert.
Root bark heated and red liquid used to bathe sores and wounds. Effect probably explained in terms of tannin content. Gum scroped off tree and soaked until soft, then used as ointment for scabies.
Acacia farnesiana – Mimosa bush – Central Desert.
Thorns used to pick out splinters.
Acacia holosericea – Strap Wattle – Queensland, Northern Territory & Western Australia.
Spreading shrub three to four metres high, with ‘soapy pods’. Infusion of roots drunk for laryngitis.
Acacia kempeana – Wanderrie Wattle, Witchetty Bush, Granite Wattle – Northern Territory
Leaves chewed to relieve congestion or a wash made by soaking leaves in hot water.
Acacia leptocarpa – Wattle – Western Australia – Yellow-flowered small tree; leaves hammered then soaked, then liquid applied externally. Good for sore eyes – Kimberleys.
Acacia ligulata – Wattle – Central Desert.
Bark boiled or soaked and drunk as a cough medicine. Also good for dizziness, nerves and fits. “When man very sick, dig a hole, place embers and coals on bottom and cover with a thick layer of branches and leaves so there will be plenty of smoke. Lay sick man on branches and cover him with more leaves. Smoke heat cause sweating, sickness comes out in sweat”
Acacia lysiphloia – Central Desert
Used like Acacia ligalata for ‘smoking’ ill people. “When man very sick, dig a hole, place embers and coals on bottom and cover with a thick layer of branches and leaves so there will be plenty of smoke. Lay sick man on branches and cover him with more leaves. Smoke heat cause sweating, sickness comes out in sweat”
Acacia melanoxylon – Blackwood tree – Victoria
A hot infusion of the roasted bark was used for bathing rheumatic joints.
Acacia pellita – Soap brush – Northern Territory.
Body wash used to soothe aching muscles made by soaking leaves in hot water.
Acacia pruinocarpa – Wattle – Central Desert
“When a woman is about to have a baby she goes to women’s camp to give birth- women dig hole of crushed anthills heated to keep the mother warm. They get mulga witchetty and mantarla to make a lot of smoke. Mother first laid on top of leaves, then the baby – to smoke out the blood”
Acacia salicina – Cooba – Queensland.
Leaves burnt and ash smoked to produce drunkenness, drowsiness or dopiness and finally deep and lengthy combined with Duboisia hopwoodii
Acacia tetragonophylla – Dead Finish – Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory.
Inner bark soaked or boiled and liquid drunk as a cough medicine.
Bush Food Aboriginal Food and Herbal Medicine by Jennifer Isaacs