Indigenous Australians have been using certain native plants to soothe skin, hair and ailments for centuries, and we are excited to share a selection of these powerful, nutritious ingredients with you. Read on to learn more about these Australian native botanicals, and how you can foster cultural and environmental respect and understanding by choosing them in your skin, body and hair care.
Irmangka Irmangka (Scented Emu Bush) has long been used by Aboriginal people of Central Australia to relieve a range of ailments. Traditionally, the leaves are boiled with fat to make a strong smelling treatment for colds, headaches, chest infections, arthritis, muscle and joint inflammation, cramps and bruises. Keep Bush Balm's Irmangka Irmangka balm on hand in case the need arises. This handy balm is made from just Irmangka Irmangka, olive oil and beeswax. Bush Balm is run by the social enterprise Purple House, an innovative Indigenous-owned and operated health service based in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory that runs 18 remote dialysis clinics and a mobile unit called the Purple Truck.
Arrethe (Limestone Fuchsia) has been used by Aboriginal people to relieve eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis for centuries. It mainly grows around the hilly and rocky areas of Central Australia. Appreciate the healing properties of this native botanical by keeping a tin of Arrethe-rich balm on hand, like this one from Bush Balm. It contains just three ingredients: Arrethe, olive oil and beeswax. Supporting social enterprises such as Bush Balm helps to strengthen indigenous communities, preserve an important culture and fosters respect and understanding.
Groote Eylandt Mamarra
Groote Eylandt Mamarra (Small Leaved Paperbark Tree) is found in billabongs and wetlands on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Traditionally, Indigenous Australians steep Mamarra leaves in water to soothe their bodies. A really nice way to appreciate this native ingredient is to use a soothing balm where it is the feature ingredient. The Bush Medijina sleep balm with Mamarra soothes the mind and senses, preparing you for a good night's sleep. Wild and hand harvested Goote Eylandt Mamarra extract is blended with organic coconut and lavender oils to create a sleepy-time scene-setter. Warm a small amount in your hands and massage into your body. It's beautiful for unwinding after a busy day. The Bush Medijina products are carefully handcrafted using traditional methods combined with new techniques to create a new take on the Elders' bush recipes. Bush produce is harvested on country, as taught to the women by their mothers, aunties and grandmothers.
Dumburumba (Native Sandalwood) is found in the bush and by the beach of Groote Eylandt. The leaves have been used by the local Elders for centuries to soothe the skin. Keep a Dumburumba rich balm on hand to soothe itchy, sore, irritated skin, rashes, cuts and bites. Bush Medijina's Skin Soothe Balm with Dumburumba features wild and hand harvested Dumburumba in organic coconut oil, as well as lavender and tea tree essential oils. This rich, soothing balm will quickly provide comfort and relief when it's needed.
Weeping Tea Tree
Dingadilyenjirkka (Weeping Tea Tree) is found along the east coast and northern parts of Australia, including the bush on Groote Eylandt. It was traditionally used by Warnindilyakwa women to help their hair grow long, strong and healthy. Enjoy this native botanical in a hair oil, like the Bush Medijina Happy Hair Oil. Apply the oil to wet hair to help with detangling, or to dry hair to add shine, prevent frizz and protect from pollution. If the scalp is dry apply as a scalp treatment by massaging the oil into your scalp. Leave the oil in your hair for 30 minutes to an hour (or even overnight) before washing out.
Kakadu Plum is found naturally in the Kakadu and Kimberley region of Northern Australia. It has been used for centuries by Indigenous Australians as food and medicine. Kakadu Plum is extremely rich in Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals and aid in your skin's natural regeneration process, in turn helping your body repair damaged skin cells. It is also rich in other antioxidants, like ellagic acid, and is naturally antibacterial and anti inflammatory, working to balance acne prone skin and soothe irritated skin when the ingredient is used in skin care. One of easiest ways to incorporate Kakadu Plum into your skin care routine is to use a Kakadu Plum rich serum. The ultra-strength Retreatment Botanics Kakadu Brightening Serum is a lightweight, oil-free serum that is helps to balance the skin's oil production, and quickly penetrates without leaving a greasy residue. Featuring an advanced complex of native Kakadu Plum, wild Desert Lime and Finger Lime, as well as hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, this multi-award winning serum provides an intensive boost of Vitamin C as well as targets hyper-pigmentation, sunspots, blemishes and redness.
For generations, Indigenous Australians have used Lilly Pilly (Riberry) to for its antibacterial and healing properties. Lilly Pilly is also an excellent naturally occurring Alpha Hydroxy Acid. AHAs gently exfoliate the surface layer of the skin, brighten skin, promote skin cell rejuvenation and improve collagen production. Because of this, a great way to incorporate Lilly Pilly into your skin care routine is to use an exfoliant that is rich in the ingredient. Retreatment Botanics' Complexion Polish is an excellent choice. With its Lilly Pilly, fruit acids, jojoba beads and kaolin clay, this brightening, palm oil free facial exfoliant works to reveal a soft, smooth, luminous complexion. Using this product 1-2 times per week will also help your other skin care products to penetrate more effectively (so you get better value out of them and reduce waste).