Alternative Medicines from Medicinal Plants of Aboriginal People of Northern New South Wales [ 2008 - 2012 ]

Also known as: Alternative Medicines from Aboriginal Medicinal Plants

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Subramanyam Vemulpad (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Joanne Jamie Dr James Kohen Prof Shoba Ranganathan

Brief description This research will conserve customary Australian Aboriginal knowledge of historical and cultural significance and apply this knowledge to the discovery of new evidence-based alternative medicines that may help address the growing need for new antimicrobial treatments. It will also be a model for collaboration between Australian Aboriginal communities and research scientists. The customary (traditional and contemporary) knowledge of medicinal plants possessed by Indigenous peoples is a significant medicinal resource, as seen by the reliance on customary medicines by ~80% of the population in developing countries as their primary healthcare. There has been a renewed interest in customary medicines, especially with the increase in microbial resistance and emergence of new diseases, side effects of single compound medications and high cost of drug development. Australian Aboriginal people have a vast medicinal plant knowledge based on thousands of years of using plants as medicines. This especially includes topical use for conditions indicative of microbial infections. Despite their potential, relatively few studies have been conducted on Australian Aboriginal medicines to provide evidence for their use. For Northern New South Wales (NNSW) Aboriginal communities, as is the case for many other Australian Aboriginal communities, this customary knowledge is rapidly disappearing, especially due to premature deaths of the elder custodians of this knowledge. The overall aims of this project are to work in partnership with the NNSW Yaegl Local Aboriginal Land Council and Ulgundahi Elders Aboriginal Corporation to i) document and preserve first hand customary medicinal plant knowledge; ii) identify plants of significant medicinal potential in treating antibacterial and antifungal infections; iii) evaluate their effectiveness using in vitro and in vivo biological assays; and iv) identify the major bioactive components responsible for their medicinal properties.

Funding Amount $AUD 150,400.10

Funding Scheme NHMRC Strategic Awards

Notes Complimentary and Alternative Medicines

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