New book reveals secrets of bush medicine

For tens of thousands of years before colonisation, the Noongar people were much healthier than most Aboriginal Australians are today.

A new book sheds light on some of the secrets of that healthy lifestyle and the role medicinal plants played in the lives of Noongar people.

Noongar Bush Medicine is the first comprehensive guide to the medicinal plants used by Aboriginal people of the south-west of Western Australia before European settlement.

The book describes how to use plants in treatment and protection from common ailments.

Written by Noongar elder Vivienne Hansen with retired nurse educator John Horsfall, Noongar Bush Medicine was compiled using knowledge passed on by  elders.

It covers more than 90 different species and features images of each plant.

There is no comparable book on plant medicines available, according to UWA Publishing.

The authors hope the book will help to ensure that traditional knowledge is not lost forever with the passing of elders and traditional healers.

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