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Plants of Country

Today we rely heavily on buying our food and medicine from shops. But nature, especially plants, play a key role in Noongar culture, food and medicine.

Here are just some common native plants that are used that you can find in Canning:

A flooded gum

Flooded Gum (Moitch)

Moitch is present along the Canning River. The leaves produce eucalyptus oil which is used by Noongar people for medicinal purposes such as breathing it to clear sinuses.

A grass tree

Grass Tree (Balga)

Balga has many uses including firelighters, shelter material, food and medicine. The resin is highly flammable and is used to light fires. The burning resin is pleasantly fragrant and, when inhaled, can be useful in clearing sinuses. The white pulp inside is used as a medicine for upset stomachs or eaten as food in times of shortage.


Bulrushes (Yangeti)

Yangeti roots are eaten after pounding the white rhizomes to remove the fibrous parts. They are then moulded into a paste and roasted as cakes that taste like asparagus. The centre of the stem at the base is edible too. Young flowering spikes are eaten raw or cooked, though the hard centre of the spike is inedible.

Swamp paperbark

Swamp Paperbark (Yowarl)

Yowarl bark is used for storage vessels, padding, kindling or sanitary purposes. The leaves are commonly used for medicinal purposes and can be sucked or chewed for relief of flu or cold symptoms. The leaves can also be brewed to make tea and are used in smoking ceremonies.

Audio spoken by Ingrid Cumming.

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