Healing Plants Near Jenolan
Plants have many uses. Booroo burrangurang is very good for sore tired denna. Aboriginal people break some off and make it into a paste to use as a foot cream. They also put the grass in a biggluma to make a soft surface for a baby to lie on – a natural mattress.
Burrangurang, a plant without flowers or seeds, has its own unique uses. Mixed with women’s breast milk, it is given to children to settle their stomachs. It can also be used as a sponge, to soak up water and sometimes carry with you, before squeezing the water into the mouth.
Thinbaloo are a high protein food source - a snack along the track! However, it is really important to not pick just any mushrooms you see. The knowledge of which ones are good to eat and those that are poisonous is passed down to Aboriginal people through the elders.
Bracken fern is a natural remedy for ant bites. The root rubbed on the ant sting will reduce the pain.
The Lamandra plant is very useful on a long journey, especially where there is no water present. Break off some of the leaves and eat the fleshy part inside. It will trigger the darline, and will keep you going until the next water stop.
As well as providing food and shelter, trees are widely used in Aboriginal culture. The bark of the ngulla is used to make dilly (food) bags, baskets and mats. The bark is stripped off the tree, soaked in clear water to soften it, then dried out before weaving.
Tea tree is also used as medicine. Take some leaves, soak them in hot water and breathe in the aroma. This will clear the airways. If a head ache is bothering you, eat the leaves. In the case of an open wound, crush the leaves mixed with water to make a poultice. A piece of bark wrapped around the wound acts like a bandage!
When the wattle tree flowers, Aboriginal people know the cod are running. But the flowers are more than just a signal – they are also the method by which they would catch the cod. They would throw the flowers into the river. This drugs the cod and makes them easy to pick up with nets. Then they would trade the mewuruk with the dinwere caught in the Abercrombie River by the Wiradjuri people, a neighbouring nation.
The Ngulla was a favourite spice used when cooking fish.