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Different language groups have different bush medicine knowledge, based on where they live in Australia. Many Aboriginal people still use this knowledge today.
Steaming, smoking and heating were also important bush medicine remedies, and could be carried out on the sick and on newborn babies.
Some examples of bush medicine include:
In general, there are two types of accepted causes of illness in aboriginal tribes - natural, and supernatural. Natural causes would be treated with natural remedies, and supernatural illnesses could only be treated with a spiritual cure. It was believed that evil spirits caused any illness without an obvious explanation and these would be treated by the tribe's medicine man who would specialize in spiritual cures. This is vaguely similar to the important distinction between physiological and psychological diseases commonly accepted today. However, a physiological disease may lead to a psychological one.
A Major distinction that needs to made when referring to Australian Aboriginal Bush medicine is that the ingredients that are used vary from area to area. This is irrelevant of state boundaries and is dictated by geographical availability of the plant and raw materials needed for each individual 'cure' Other well known bush medicine from south Eastern Australia include
Braken, for instant relief stings, burns and similar ailments.
Tea Tree leaves, and Bark, for the treatment of infection and other skin ailments, including relief from Demetitus, Thrush(Candida), Herpes, Genital Herpes, Warts (of all kinds from Verrucca to Genital), psoriasis, respiratory ailments, and many other similar topical treatments.
Eucalyptus(Gum trees various species) Used for a range of ailments from respiratory to skin infection in some areas where tea tree subspecies are not found.
Within various tribal sections of Australia the Topography and the dominating ecosystem (ranging from desert, tropical, temperate) is dramatically different. In Northern Australia the Plant, animals, and minerals that are available are completely different to those found in Southern Australia, As is the difference between South Australian and Western Australian Flora, fauna, and mineralisation. In various areas the materials that are used for traditional medicine vary significantly.
Some traditional medicine has been proven within western cultures and science to have verified and proven results.
Archaeological and Anthropology studies within various parts of Australia have found that initial European contact with Indigenous Populations unwittingly unleashed a wide barrage of European evolved viruses and diseases. Diseases such as Smallpox were endemic in post European settlement indigenous populations and can directly be attributed to the decimation of the Aboriginal population in Post Settlement Australia (1788–Present NSW; 1800–Present Victoria; 1820 South Australia: 1850–Present Qld, Western Australia). These diseases produced a reaction with the indigenous population that saw some cover themselves from head to toe in ochre, (white coloured clay used in ceremony and as a 'white' colour in traditional artwork)and ash, as a spiritually medicinal way of warding off the evil spirits.
Traditional Australian medicines from various areas area currently being investigated for their active properties, and are being researched by various pharmaceutical companies worldwide.