Medicines and Drugs, Liquids and Cosmetics

  • Geoffrey Blainey


The average Australian, adult and child, knew more about botany one thousand years ago than they know today. Knowledge of botany supplied them not only with much of their food but also with drugs and cosmetics and—in a drought—with water.


Mineral Specimen Great Australian Bight Native Tobacco Clear Fresh Water Stun Fish 
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  1. 171.
    L. J. Webb, ‘The Use of Plant Medicines and Poisons by Australian Aborigines’, Mankind, 1969, vol. 7, pp. 137–46.Google Scholar
  2. 172.
    T. T. Webb, ‘Aboriginal Medical Practice in East Arnhem Land’, Oceania, 1933, vol. 4, p. 95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 175.
    Pituri: T. H. Johnston and J. B. Cleland, ‘The History of the Aboriginal Narcotic, Pituri’, Oceania, 1933–4, vol. 4, pp. 201–23, 269–89; exhibit in S.A. Museum, Adelaide.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 176.
    Narcotics in fishing: J. B. Cleland in B. C. Cotton, p. 120; E. Palmer, ‘On Plants Used by the Natives of North Queensland’, R.S.N.S.W., 1883, vol. 17, pp. 106–8;Google Scholar
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  6. 178.
    Quest for water: A. T. Magarey, ‘Aborigines’ Water Quest in Arid Australia’, A.A.A.S., 1895, vol. 6, pp. 647–58; J. B. Cleland, in B. C. Cotton, pp. 114, 142;Google Scholar
  7. L. C. E. Gee, Bush Track and Gold Fields (Adelaide, 1926), esp. 61–3.Google Scholar
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    Wilgie Mia ochre: K. R. Miles in A. B. Edwards ed., Geology of Australian Ore Deposits (Melbourne, 1953), pp. 242–4.Google Scholar
  9. 184.
    Ausitralites: C. P. Mountford, Brown Men and Red Sand, pp. 35–6; E. J. Dunn, Australites, Bulletin 27 of Geological Survey of Victoria (Melbourne, 1912), p. 14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Blainey

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