I E Cock1,2,*
1Environmental Futures Research Institute, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
2School of Natural Sciences, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
Figure 1: Tasmannia lanceolata (Poir) A.C.Sm. (Family Winteraceae), commonly known as Tasmanian pepper or mountain pepper berry, is shrub which is endemic to the woodlands and cool temperate rainforests of Tasmania and the south-eastern region of the Australian mainland. The leaves, berries and bark of this plant have traditional uses as a food flavouring, and as a medicinal plant. Australian Aborigines used T. lanceolata as a therapeutic agent to treat stomach disorders and as an emetic, as well as general usage as a tonic.1 That study reported that T. lanceolata was used by Australian Aborigines for the treatment and cure of skin disorders, venereal diseases, colic, stomach ache and as a quinine substitute. Several of these traditional uses have been validated in recent publications. The antibacterial properties of T. lanceolata have been particularly well reported against a wide variety of bacterial species.2-6 Similarly, the related species Tasmannia stipatata7 and Pseudowintwera colorata (Raoul) Dandy8 have also been reported to inhibit the growth of multiple bacteria. T. lanceolata extracts have also been reported to inhibit the growth of the gastrointestinal protozoal parasite Giadria duodenalis.6,9 Similar extracts also inhibit the proliferation of several human cancer cell lines.6,10
Figure 2: Australian Acacia spp. The genus Acacia (family Fabaceae) is a large genus of more than 1200 trees and shrubs which are widely distributed throughout the world, with more than 700 species indigenous to Australia. The Australian species had multiple medicinal uses by indigenous Australians, including being used to treat diarrhoea and hyperglycemia11 and as a general antiseptic agent12-15 Many Australian Acacia species have been reported to have amtimicrobial, molluskicidal, antihypertensive and platelet aggregatory activities.11 This photograph was taken at Griffith University, Australia in 2015 by Dr Ian Cock.