What Is Bush Medicine?


2 Answers

Robin Burden Profile
Robin Burden answered
The term 'bush medicine' can apply to the treatments and remedies of any indigenous people who are perceived to live 'out in the wilderness'.

The term is most commonly associated with the medicine and healing methods of Aboriginal tribes in Australia.

What is bush medicine? The term, "bush medicine" can apply to people of various regions around the world, including:

  • Australia
  • The Caribbean
  • Alaska
This is because the term, 'bush' would have been applied to the perceived 'wilderness' by Anglo-saxon settlers in each of these parts of the world.

More often that not, the term refers to the Australian 'outback', and to its native inhabitants: The Aborigines.

The healing methods of the Australian Aboriginals can be divided into two separate categories:

  • Natural
  • Supernatural
Both make use of ingredients found in the local environment, including the leaves, bark, and other material from indigenous plants.

In Australia, different parts of the country have very different plant-life and resources. This means that the specific types of bush medicine used will vary throughout the country, depending on the geographical location of the tribe in question.

Countries like the Bahamas and Jamaica are also steeped in traditions that involve the use of local remedies to cure all sorts of ailments.

Herbs like red sage and Jack-in-the-bush are commonly used to make teas, powders, pills, capsules, and juices.

Whilst I wouldn't recommend bush medicine as a substitute for scientifically-proven methods of treatment, I also wouldn't discount the healing properties that many naturally-occurring plants have.

In my opinion, the traditions of bush medicine would only have survived this long if there was some benefit from them.
Kevin Cronk Profile
Kevin Cronk answered
Bush - a general term for a remote area (ie out in the bush).

In Alaska, bush medicine is doing what you have to do, with what you have to work with.

You're never supposed to use a tourniquet, but in the bush it's better to lose a hand, arm or leg than to bleed to death during a 6 hour drive... Or while waiting for a plane to be able to land in bad weather.

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