Bush medicine...grey nomads...walking is good?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Australian Journal of Rural Health June 2016 Issue

A survey of Aboriginal traditional bush medicines leads the research papers published in the upcoming June 2016 issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health, the Alliance’s multidisciplinary resource for rural and remote health.

Authors Joseph Tucci and Sabine Wilkens have produced a review of traditional Aboriginal remedies for a range of conditions including communicable diseases, viral respiratory diseases, fungal and bacterial infections, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammatory disorders.  Their survey also includes information on analgesics and anticancer medications.  The authors acknowledge the intellectual property of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in the information collated in this study.  Their conclusion recognises the importance of continued efforts to collate and record the ethnomedical practices of the Australian Indigenous people, as this ancient culture has always had a close connection with their land and environment, and there is much we may learn from these relationships.

Melissa Raven’s research paper on ‘grey nomads’ looks beyond the tourist dream to examine the practicalities of the significant burden on rural/remote health services that the estimated 400,000 – 500,000 grey nomads who travel north for winter can impose on already stretched services. Melissa recognises that the tourist industry out performs the health sector in monitoring and fulfilling the needs of this group.  She points to the need for better data collection and comprehensive follow up studies to optimise grey nomad wellbeing and health care utilisation.

In a paper on commencing and maintaining a walking routine, Sarah Seekamp and her colleagues identify enablers such as early enthusiasm, pedometers and accountability to the research team. Their important conclusion of their study: it became apparent that the physical benefits of walking were the primary motivators to join the walking program; however, it was most often the mental health benefits that participants experienced and hence valued.

Access AJRH online for these and other topics in this issue:

  • childhood asthma in the Torres Straits
  • physiotherapy for indigenous children
  • primary mental health care in South Australia
  • teledermatology
  • community outreach midwifery
  • rural hypertension in South Korea
  • neck of femur fractures
  • occupational therapy student retention