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Medicinal Plants in Australia Vol 2: Gums, Resins, Tannin and Essential Oils

285 x 210 mm, 344 pages, >650 colour plates

Epub ISBN9781925078060, now available, $35.00, Hardcover out of print

Cheryll Williams

It has taken centuries to truly appreciate the healing attributes of much of the Australian flora. This book is about the influential role the early discoveries had on medicinal practice in Australia, and the new role these traditional medicines are fulfilling.

Resins, gums and tannins are natural products that once had important therapeutic and commercial value, among them kino from the eucalypts and angophoras, and gums and tannin sourced from acacias. The medicinal-quality essential oils extracted from eucalypts were particularly valued. Many of the traditional herbal and floral experiments of the early colonists were forgotten upon the discovery of antibiotics, which swept the world of medicine into a new and dramatic era of chemical discovery. Today, however, with the advent of drug-resistant strains of bacteria, fungi and viruses, attitudes toward the earlier remedies have begun to change.

In this light, the evaluation of Australian plants with medicinal potential has taken on renewed importance. This volume continues the story of these developments, and of the ever-expanding body of knowledge that has resulted in excellent clinical and very profitable commercial prospects. In addition to the discovery of new species of Eucalyptus that can yield high-grade oils, essential oils from the genera Melaleuca and Leptospermum show excellent therapeutic potential. The success of Tea Tree oil in the international marketplace is one example.

Native medicinal plant products promise to have far greater implications for our health than is immediately apparent.