Ethnobotany

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.” Paracelsus, the 16th-century German-Swiss physician.

Ethnobotany is the study of traditional knowledge of medicinal plants. It is a multidisciplinary field of natural science involving aspects of botany, anthropology, phytochemistry, pharmacology, medicine, history, geography and other related sciences and arts.

Over centuries, humans have depended on plants as a source of food, medicine and to meet a variety of other needs.

Plants have not only been found useful in the ancient medical systems, they are still playing a crucial role in contemporary healthcare. In countries in Asia and Latin America, people use traditional medicine to help meet some of their primary healthcare needs.

In China, traditional Chinese medicines which are mostly derived from medicinal plants are used within the framework of healthcare services, making up 45% of the medicinal market, while Western-style drugs make up around 55% .

In Africa, up to 80% of the population relies on traditional medicines for primary healthcare.

The use of plant derived products like Botanical Innovations extracts, oils, fermentations, powders and essentials oils for Nutraceutical, Cosmeceutical and Health and Wellbeing is experiencing exponential growth.

There is still a lot to learn. It is estimated that only about 6% of the world’s approximately 250,000 higher plants have undergone a screening in terms of their pharmacological activities, and about 15% have been phytochemically analysed for their chemical constituents.

Australia

We are all visitors to the time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love … and then we return home.
Australian Aboriginal Proverb.

The Total number of plants excluding Algae documented 21,17 in Australia with at least 2,500 remaining undocumented only a very few have undergone a screening of their pharmacological activity.

From at least 60,000 B.C. the area that was to become Australia was inhabited entirely by indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with traditional social, legal organisation and land rights. The population consisted of many tribal, clan and language groups. Males lived on average 67 years and females 73 years. The use of Australian traditional plants for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years.

Australian Plants

Genus

Acacia
Eucalypts
Grevillea
Melaleuca
Leucopogon
Stylidium
Goodenia
Hakea
Eremophila
Hibbertia
Pultenaea
Ptilotus

No. of Species

~1000
~850
260
176
154
154
140
134
134
126
112
100

Family

Mimosaceae
Myrtaceae
Proteaceae
Myrtaceae
Epacridaceae
Stylidiaceae
Goodeniaceae
Proteaceae
Myoporaceae
Dilleniaceae
Fabaceae
Amaranthaceae

Source: Australian National Herbarium

Acacia

The aim of our existence is nothing else than to
study nature and with so doing to understand
how grand and pure it is.
Petrus vander Velden 19th century
Dutch New Zealand Painter

There are approximately 1300 Acacia species world wide with 1000 native to Australia.

Acacia known as thorn trees in Africa or wattles in Australia, are very important economic plants as sources of tannins, gums, timber, fuel, fodder and traditional medicines.

Acacia species have been used as traditional medicinal plants since the early days of civilisation. In Egyptian mythology, acacia was referred to as ‘the tree of life’, reflecting its healing nature.

The bark, flowers, leaves, pods, seeds and roots of Acacia have been used traditionally for the treatment of various ailments by many cultures.

Australian indigenous people use Acacia as food or flavouring agents because of their abundance and ready availability.

Australian indigenous people have also used Acacia species in treating various ailments such as cough, diarrhoea, headache, pain, rheumatism, swelling, skin diseases, and sore throat.

Botanical Innovations Mimosa Absolute
Cassie
Acacia dealbata Mimosceae

Eremophila

“Perfume is like a parenthesis, a moment of freedom, peace, love and sensuality in between the disturbances of modern living.”– Sonia Rykie
Botanical Innovations Eremophila Mitchellii
Buddha Wood Essential Oil

Eremophila is one of the three genus (Eremophila, Myoporum and Bontia) of the Myoporaceae family. There are 134 Eremophila species only found in Australia.

The name Eremophila comes from the Greek
Eremo meaning Desert
Phileo meaning to Love

The plants are generally shrubs or trees with alternate leaves and two lipped flowers of various colours.

The Eremophila are important to the Aboriginal people as medicines and have been prescribed as the “number one medicine” for colds, fever, sores, wounds, headaches, scabies, and almost any kind of ailment,

Eremophila Species with Traditional Medicinal Properties

Eremophila alternifolia Narrow leaf fusia bush
Eremophila freelingii
Eremophila latrobei Native fuchsia or crimson fuchsia bush
Eremophila longifolia Berrigan, emu bush, native plum tree,
weeping emu bush
Eremphila Sturtii Turpentine bush
Eremophila bignoniflora Dogwood
Eremophila Mitchelii Buddha Wood Essential Oil