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Title: Reviewing the importance of aromatic medicinal plants in the traditional pharmacopoeia of Australian Aboriginal people
Contributor(s): Sadgrove, Nicholas (author); Jones, Graham L  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.17660/actahortic.2016.1125.38
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Abstract: Australia has a higher proportion of endemic aromatic species than any other continent. Many novel medicinal plants have therefore been used by the Aboriginal people, particularly including species that produce high yields of volatile compounds. Volatiles are often related to the therapeutic effects, either directly or by complementing fixed medicinal compounds and therefore acting as associated congeners guiding harvest selection. Our research has provided support for this notion, particularly with members of the genus 'Eremophila (Scrophulariaceae)'. In this regard, medicinal usage modalities often involved ritualistic smoking ceremonies (smudging), heating bundles of leaves to produce intact volatiles, such as 'Eremophila bignoniiflora', or alternatively, topical treatments using lipophilic volatile and fixed components extracted into animal fats. Additionally, species outside of Eremophila, such as Pittosporum spp. '(Pittosporaceae), Callitris' spp. '(Cypressaceae)' or 'Geijera' spp. '(Rutaceae)', were also used in a similar manner and are further explored herein. Until now, comprehensive investigation into the pharmacology, chemistry and clinical value of endemic medicinal Australian plants has mostly been restricted to a small number of species of known commercial value including 'Eucalyptus' and 'Melaleuca' species. Informed by an ethnopharmacological approach, our research extends the range of species with potential therapeutic and commercial value and provides the basis for longer term government and private investment in partnership with Aboriginal communities in an emerging health care industry addressing the imperatives of a globalized market while providing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in marginalized regional communities.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Acta Horticulturae, v.1125, p. 297-302
Publisher: International Society for Horticultural Science
Place of Publication: Belgium
ISSN: 0567-7572
Field of Research (FOR): 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
160199 Anthropology not elsewhere classified
111599 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
929999 Health not elsewhere classified
920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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