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Dalwallinu Acacia Symposium: 13–14 July 2001

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A search for novel biologically active compounds in the phyllodes of Acacia species

Kristen Wickens and Marcello Pennacchio

Department of Environmental Biology, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845

For thousands of years, indigenous Australians have relied on native plants as a source of medicinal agents. With a wide distribution and abundance, Acacia species were used routinely for this purpose. Preparations from at least 30 species of Acacia were either applied externally for skin sores, cuts, scabies and burns or taken internally for colds, coughs, sore throats and headaches. Some were used in smoke treatments for mothers and their babies. We briefly review the traditional medicinal uses of Acacia species and report on some findings obtained through preliminary screening of extracts from more promising species such as Acacia pruinocarpa and A. dictophleba.

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