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It has taken centuries to truly appreciate the healing attributes of much of the Australian flora. This book is about the influential role the early discoveries had on medicinal practice in Australia, and the new role these traditional medicines are fulfilling.
Resins, gums and tannins are natural products that once had important therapeutic and commercial value, among them kino from the eucalypts and angophoras, and gums and tannin sourced from acacias. The medicinal-quality essential oils extracted from eucalypts were particularly valued. Many of the traditional herbal and floral experiments of the early colonists were forgotten upon the discovery of antibiotics, which swept the world of medicine into a new and dramatic era of chemical discovery. Today, however, with the advent of drug-resistant strains of bacteria, fungi and viruses, attitudes toward the earlier remedies have begun to this light, the evaluation of Australian plants with medicinal potential has taken on renewed importance. This volume continues the story of these developments, and of the ever-expanding body of knowledge that has resulted in excellent clinical and very profitable commercial prospects. In addition to the discovery of new species of Eucalyptus that can yield high-grade oils, essential oils from the genera Melaleuca and Leptospermum show excellent therapeutic potential. The success of Tea Tree oil in the international marketplace is one example. Native medicinal plant products promise to have far greater implications for our health than is immediately apparent.
Cheryll Williams has over 25 years of clinical experience in herbal and nutritional medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture. She holds a diploma in Herbal Medicine and post-graduate diploma in Nutritional Medicine, two diplomas in Homoeopathy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Acupuncture. She has previously published a series of articles on medicinal plants in Australian Wellbeing magazine, and is currently working with Wildlife Rescue in the tropical rainforest.