Australian Bush Tucker Bites presents Native Cabbage (Scaevola taccada).
Native to coastal regions of Northern Australia and around the Pacific region, this plant has many medicinal uses.
First Nations people use the juice from the flowers to treat sore eyes, tinea and sores. Stings and bites are treated with both the juice and sap from the stem. Leaves are heated over hot stones to make a simple poultice for aching joints.
While there is little other evidence of other uses in Australia, it is likely that it was used in ways cited by Pacific Island and Papua New Guinean people. Its medicinal value seems significant treating many different aliments such as indigestion, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, headache and more.
The leaves are edible (but not palatable) when cooked like cabbage and the edible fruits are more favoured for their medicinal use than their flavour.
This post was originally published on Medium as a part of the “Australian Bush Tucker Bites” series which is also available as an eBook introducing 52 bush food plants from around Australia.