Lotions and Potions

Plant of the Month: Lotions and Potions!

Flora, Plant of the Month, The Scoop

I generally keep away from the medicinal uses of native plants as there’s a lot of cultural significance and sometimes ceremony attached to the use and preparation of them, but there are a few I refer to as “first aid plants” which I find are quite useful to have a knowledge of and are good for minor aches and ailments.

Common Hops Bush (Dodonaea triquetra), part of the Sapindaceae family which have quite a few medicinal plants, Common Hops is probably one of the more useful plants while working in or wandering through bushland areas. Common Hops is a great local anaesthetic for treating ant bites and other stings, crush up a few leaves in a bit of water, get it to lather up a bit and apply the crushed leaves to the sting area and you’ll be surprised just how effective it works.


Dodonaea triquetra SAPINDACEAE, NSW
Photo J. Plaza ©The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust

Bloodwoods (Angophora, Corymbia). “Bloodwood” refers to the copious amount of sap the trees produce when wounded, the saps are full of tannins which constrict blood vessels (and also really, really dry up your mouth if you’re silly enough to lick it, don’t ask me how I know..) so are very effective at stopping minor bleeding (particularly if you’re on blood thinners), dried sap crushed into a powder and sprinkled over the wound will stop bleeding almost instantly (disclaimer to avoid being sued, for big wounds seek medical care).