An ethnopharmacological study of medicinal plants in New South Wales

Nynke Brouwer, Qian Liu, David Harrington, James Kohen, Subramanyam Vemulpad, Joanne Jamie*, Michael Randall, Deidre Randall

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    The Australian Aboriginal people have used plants as medicine and food for thousands of years, however, this traditional knowledge is documented only to a limited extent, and is in danger of being lost. The Indigenous Bioresources Research Group (IBRG) aims to help Australian Aboriginal communities to preserve their customary medicinal knowledge, and to provide information that can be used for their cultural or educational purposes, as well as for scientific advancement. This work is undertaken in close collaboration with Australian Aboriginal communities in New South Wales. The project is multidisciplinary, combining an ethnobotanical and an ethnopharmacological approach, which includes biological and chemical investigations, as well as developing best practices for protecting traditional knowledge. This paper describes the general strategy of the project as well as methods used in the ethnopharmacological study. Ethnobotanical databases are set up for each participating community. Plant material is collected, extracted, and active compounds are isolated using a bioassay-guided fractionation approach. All extracts and compounds are tested for biological activity in antimicrobial assays (disc diffusion, resazurin, fluoresceindiacetate), neurological assays or anti-inflammatory assays, depending on their traditional use.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1252-1262
    Number of pages11
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


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