Koori coast

Bush foods and medicines

Traditionally knowledge of plant resources was essential for survival and today some knowledge is maintained through everyday life.

We know that when the Black Wattle is flowering the Blackfish are running; when the seas are rough, the mullet are running; when the cobwebs are flying, it's time to get swan eggs; as farmers know, the floods are coming when birds start nesting higher in the trees. Also we know it's not the time to light a fire if you drop a leaf and the wind blows it away. Just a case of being more aware of your environment. Trisha Ellis

Trisha Ellis, Joint Management Coordinator and Chairperson of the Cobowra Local Aboriginal Land Council, takes a group on a bush foods and medicines walk ...

  There’s actually two plants here - there’s the Native spinach. This one here is the Native spinach. You can actually eat the small leaves but once they start to get much bigger than that they develop toxins. So if you want to eat the bigger leaves you have to pick the bigger leaves and you have to blanch it. You have to have boiling water, dunk it in the boiling water, pull it out and that will kill the toxins in it. With Captain Cook and the First Fleet that came out ... (Full transcript)

  Over here where you’re treading, for all the people that suffer from arthritis, this plant is called Native violet. Native viola, it’s round and it’s got two little cheeks down the bottom and they’re serrated. You can see they’ve got a little serrated edge on it, which means sharp looking. That is called Native viola, and that is what Aboriginal people eat to get rid of arthritis. If you eat a couple of these a day it will help to alleviate arthritis.