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Bush Food / Bush Tucker / Bush Medicine

Australia - Indigenous Culture

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Bush Food / Bush Tucker / Bush Medicine
Australia's indigenous people have a history and culture that dates back many thousands of years. It is a culture that is closely connected to the land around them, through the variable landscape of mountain ranges to the desert sands, from the rivers and lakes to the arid outback, tropical far north, to the temperate coastal regions.

The landscape and everything in it, features prominently in all aspects of Aboriginal culture, it is an affinity that has evolved over many thousands of years, developed into a close understanding of the native flora and fauna around them.

After the devastating impact on their culture by the appearance of Europeans, the Aboriginal people lost some of the knowledge that was their heritage. The changes to their way of life and the death of many of their elders, meant that much of their tradition and knowledge was not passed on.

The indigenous people of Australia, today are rediscovering and relearning from those elders that have survived, proudly reclaiming their heritage and rights. It is their knowledge of bush foods and bush medicine that sustained their culture, that has now captured the interest of others. A market has sprung up around this knowledge of Australian Bush Tucker, Bush Food and Bush Medicine.

Whilst bush food and bush medicine may usually be associated with plants, Aboriginal people also used the native wildlife as both food and medicine. Certain animals and insects, not only provided sustenance, but held important medicinal usages.

Bush Medicine by June Sultan
Bush Medicine by June Sultan

Many indigenous artists depict 'bush food' and 'bush medicine' in their art works, often being an intrinsic part of Aboriginal art. Listed here is information on some of the bush foods to be found in Australia, more to be added over time. Check out our Aboriginal Symbols for related information.

Extreme care must be taken when identifying edible food plants and those used in bush medicine. Some bush foods are only edible at different stages of the plant cycle, or when treated appropriately. Bush medicine should only be used under the guidance of a qualified physician. Information here is only provided for research. You should always seek experts in the field to confirm the identification of the plant and whether they are edible or appropriate.

Bush Foods / Bush Tucker / Bush Medicine

Woman and Children Gathering Bush Bananas - Trephina Sultan Thanguwa
Woman and Children Gathering Bush Bananas - Trephina Sultan Thanguwa
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