Yorta Yorta Bush Medicine First Aid Kit

Treahna Hamm (b.1965)
During the settlement of Australia the bush land, wetlands and waterways were first seen to be barren and empty of medicinal knowledge and practices. These environments were infact a main part of the fragile balance between lore, life and survival of Aboriginal people.

The kit contains bush and river remedies which have been in use for many thousands of years. Paperbark from which the kit is constructed was also used as bandages with antiseptic qualities. Two rolls are highlighted bound and wrapped around small tree twigs. In traditional times, the paperbark would be taken freshly from the trees. Lomandra string can also be used to fasten the small bandages in place temporarily.

River clay has many uses with health, one which was placed on different body parts to draw out toxins, another when clay was rolled into small balls and used as dental hygiene. Black wattle bark is soaked in water. It can be moulded to arms, legs or fingers is a protectorate for sores, welts with healing qualities. Also black wattle seeds when roasted in pods contain high levels of protein.

Billabong sediment taken from deep underneath the water line is known to have purification and cooling qualities which assist in the aid of light burns. It is also a benefit for skin.

Sand and crushed up mussel shells mixed together can be applied to small open cut wounds and can serve as a poultice to relieve soreness and inflammation and also to keep wounds clean and protected.

Ash is used to relieve wounds. Made from specific trees it is sanitizing to cuts, wounds, with protective and healing qualities to assist with cleansing and assisting the scar process.

Pine Sap is a natural antiseptic. It also helps in being a disinfectant with antifungal qualities. The application is done before dressing wounds, sores and can help with scar healing. This can also help protecting and keeping foreign bodies at bay through germ control.

Eucalyptus leaves have many medicinal qualities which insure healing and health. Oil is created by distilling fresh leaves which aid to relieve cold and influenza symptoms. Leaves are also used to create fire which cleanses and heals both spiritually and physically.

Charcoal is used to treat bits and also draw toxins out. It promotes healthy scarring when crushed and put on wounds.
Bottlebrush flowers/blossums when combined with water creates a nectar used a healthy drink.

Stringy bark leaves are used to make a decoction for health and this was also rubbed into sores for healing. Tree twig extractors are used to treat infected splinters and in the cleaning of wounds and sores. Used together, they are very much like tweezers if need be but used with two hands.
Small possum bones are used as medical applicators of bush medicine to specific body parts.

Mussel incisor on a larger scale than the one highlighted in the kit can be used to cut soft bark for bandage preparation and to clean sores and wounds.

Dr Treahna Hamm

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Object detail

paperbark, kurrajong pods, lomandra, she oak pods, bark ink, river bed clay, charcoal, billabong sediment, raffia, bottlebrush wood and bloom, ash, possum bone, mussel shell, black wattle bark, stringy bark, river sand, eucalyptus leaves, tree bark, sap
4.0 x 12.0 x 27.0 cm
Accession Number
Credit line
Medical History Museum, 2017
Object Type
Named Collection
Medical History Museum Category


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