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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4683059, 14 pages
Research Article

Phytochemical Profile and Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activities of Medicinal Plants Used by Aboriginal People of New South Wales, Australia

1Indigenous Bioresources Research Group, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
2School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
3Yaegl Local Aboriginal Land Council, Maclean, NSW 2463, Australia

Received 29 January 2016; Accepted 29 June 2016

Academic Editor: Laura De Martino

Copyright © 2016 Kaisarun Akter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aboriginal people of Australia possess a rich knowledge on the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of sores, wounds, and skin infections, ailments which impose a high global disease burden and require effective treatments. The antibacterial and antioxidant activities and phytochemical contents of extracts, obtained from eight medicinal plants used by Aboriginal people of New South Wales, Australia, for the treatment of skin related ailments, were assessed to add value to and provide an evidence-base for their traditional uses. Extracts of Acacia implexa, Acacia falcata, Cassytha glabella, Eucalyptus haemastoma, Smilax glyciphylla, Sterculia quadrifida, and Syncarpia glomulifera were evaluated. All extracts except that of S. quadrifida showed activity against sensitive and multidrug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus with minimum inhibitory concentration values ranging from 7.81 to 1000 μg/mL. The sap of E. haemastoma and bark of A. implexa possessed high total phenolic contents (TPC) and strong DPPH radical scavenging abilities. A positive correlation was observed between TPC and free radical scavenging ability. GC-MS analysis of the n-hexane extract of S. glomulifera identified known antimicrobial compounds. Together, these results support the traditional uses of the examined plants for the treatment of skin related ailments and infections by Aboriginal people of New South Wales, Australia.