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The Corroboree


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  1. Gimli

    Excerpts on Pituri

    Duboisia hopwoodii – Australian Medicinal Plants: A complete guide to identification and usage; E.V. Lassak & T. McCarthy (One book worth having on your shelf) Among all narcotic substances used by the Australian Aboriginal people, none surpassed ‘Pituri’ in importance. Its fame led the north Queensland write J.R. Chisholm to remark: ‘what opium is to the Chinaman, what whisky is to the Scotchman, so is “pituri” to the western blackfellow. It is his very soul – without it he has no life almost The drug has been prepared from certain species of the family Solanaceae, in particular Duboisia hopwoodii, and, in certain areas of Central Australia, Nicotiana excelsior and Nicotiana gossei. The name ‘pituri’ was given to the drug by a small tribe that inhabited the sandhills country of the upper Mulligan River in western Queensland, near the boundary with the Northern Territory. The common use of this name throughout Central Australia has been attributed by T.H. Johnston and J.B. Cleland to the influence of the white man. The spelling itself has been rendered in many different variations, for example, pedgery, bedgery, pitcher, probably because of the difficulty in reproducing exactly the sounds of various unfamiliar Aboriginal languages, as well as owing to the interchangeability of ‘p’ and ‘b’, and ‘d’ and ‘t’ observed by Roth in some of these languages in parts of western Queensland. Johnston and Cleland go on to suggest in their interesting articles on the history of this Aboriginal narcotic that ‘pituri’ should be reserved for the drug originally prepared in western Queensland from Duboisia hopwoodii and that the Aranda name ‘ingulba’ be used for the drug prepared from the species of Nicotiana. The Luritja tribe’s name for the drug, ‘mingulba’ is probably nothing more than a derivation of the latter. The preparation of ‘pituri’ has been described by J.H. Maiden as follows: “The drug is in the form of leaves, more or less powdered, mixed with finely broken twigs, forming altogether a brown herb. So fine is the powder, and so irritating, that the most careful examination of a specimen is attended with sneezing… They gather the tops and leaves when the plant is in blossom, and hang them up to dry.” A.W. Howitt, the leader of the rescue party that found King, the sole survivor of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, made the following entry in his diary for 10 September, 1861: ‘The native … gave me a small ball of what seemed to be chewed grass as a token of friendship’. Later on the same day a member of Howitt’s party was presented by the Aborigines ‘with a small quantity of some dried plant from a bundle which one of them carried; it had a strong pungent taste and smell, and I am at a loss to conjecture its use unless a kind of tobacco’. These two passages refer most certainly to ‘pituri’ in its prepared, chewed form, and to its condition prior to use, respectively. ‘Pituri’ was chewed by the Aborigines in much the same way, and probably for the same reasons, as tobacco by the Europeans. And just as in some societies a pipe is passed from one smoker to the next, so, according to an account left by Maiden, the chewing of ‘pituri’ took on at times the significance of a social event, ‘a quid being passed from one native to another, and when they have had sufficient, one politely plasters it behind his ear’. The latter custom is not nearly so strange if one remembers the chewing gum mania of the early post-Second World War years when many a youngster preserved his precious lump of gum in exactly the same place – behind the ear! Sometimes the drug was prepared by moistening the roasted dried leaves and stalks of Duboisia hopwoodii and rolling them in the ash of the bark, leaves, or twigs of certain species of Acacia, Cassia, Eucalyptus, before working them up into quids or rolls about 6cm long and 1.5cm in diameter. The quids were sometimes mixed with threads of native flax (a species of Psoralea) to make them stick together. The chief narcotic constituent of Duboisia hopwoodii (as well as of the two species of Nicotiana, N. excelsior and N. gossei) is the alkaloid nicotine, identified in the plant by A. Petit as early as 1879. Some of the difficulties encountered by early researchers working on the chemical structure of ‘piturine’, the total alkaloidal extract of Duboisia hopwoodii, were due to ‘piturine’ being in a mixture of nicotine and a second alkaloid, nor-nicotine. These two compounds are chemically closely related and may be very difficult to separate from one another. Nicotine is a powerful poison affecting the nervous system. Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, mental confusion, twitching and convulsions. Free nicotine is readily absorbed through the mucous membranes, but its salts (i.e. compounds resulting from its reactions with acids) are not. As with most alkaloids, nicotine usually occurs in plants bound to certain common organic acids, such as citric acid and malic acid. It may, therefore, be liberated from these salts by the action of alkalis such as are present in the ash of most plants, thus explaining the practice of mixing ‘pituri’ with ash prior to chewing. It is not quite clear whether the Aborigines discovered the enhancing effect of ash on the potency of the drugs by themselves, or whether it was an innovation introduced by some of the early European immigrants. The basification of plant tissue with ammonia, like, or magnesia, required for a complete and efficient recovery of alkaloids present, has been a standard procedure in the chemical industry for a very long time. For instance, the alkaloid caffeine may be solvent-extracted from ground tea leaves after mixing them with magnesia. ‘Pituri’ has also occasionally been smoked by the Aborigines. It appears, however, that his practice has been copied from tobacco-smoking Europeans. The initial effect of ‘pituri’ is that of a stimulant. Later, the user starts to feel a bit ‘heavy’ and finally sleepy. Dr Joseph Bancroft also found that its use caused severe headaches in Europeans. Also, according to Dr Bancroft: “The blacks about Eyre’s Creek appeared to use it preparatory to undertaking any serious business, i.e. as a stimulant generally. As an example, one old man Mr. Gilmour and party fell in with refused to have anything to say or do until he had chewed the pituri, after which he rose and harangued in grand style, ordering the explorers to leave the place. Mr. Wiltshire, however, states that it is not used for exciting their courage, or for bringing them up to fighting pitch, but to produce a ‘voluptuous dreamy sensation” Maiden again reported that: “In small quantities it has a powerful stimulating effect, assuaging hunger, and enabling long journeys to be made without fatigue, and with but little food. It is also used by the Aborigines to excite them before fighting” The explorer King, mentioned above, who lived for several months under very difficult circumstances with a tribe of Aborigines on Cooper’s Creek near the present Queensland-South Australian border, occasionally ‘obtained a chew of pituri which soon caused him to forget his hunger and the miseries of his position’. As a matter of interest, the natives of eastern Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, chew the stimulant, alkaloid-rich leaves of Khata Edulis to lessen the pangs of hunger and to combat fatigue. Peter Latz mentions that ‘pituri’ is still chewed in Central Australia even today, especially by the old people. Some fix or six plant species are being used, but the ones most sought after, the ones considered to be strong and ‘cheeky’ generally, are also those containing the highest amount of nicotine. Peter Latz also observes that chewing ‘pituri’ has little effect on him, presumably because he is a heavy smoker. R. Helms, the naturalist of the Elder Expedition 1891-92 was surprised that, although Duboisia hopwoodii was found from the Everard Ranges to the Barrow Ranges and throughout the Great Victoria Desert, it was not used by the Aborigines living there. He assumed that its narcotic properties were unknown to them, that only the prepared drug was known outside the district where it was produced, and that those who obtained it by exchange were ignorant of its appearance in its natural state. These views appear to be inconsistent with the evidence available. The Australian Aboriginal people were very capable experimenters in the field of plant use. For instance, they were aware of the narcotic properties of the botanically very different Isotoma petraea, (family Lobeliaceae), which is also rich in nicotine, and used it for the same purposes as Duboisia hopwoodii; and in the Everard Ranges they utilized Nicotiana excelsior. It seems odd, therefore, that they should have failed to recognize the potential usefulness locally growing Duboisia hopwoodii, unless of course, it did not produce the desired effects. This latter possibility may be a more likely reason for the non-use of the plant. Could it be that the plants growing in the Everard Ranges contain altogether too small amounts of total alkaloid to have any real activity? Or do they contain predominantly the much less potent nor-nicotine? The related Duboisia myoporoides exhibits very large variations in its alkaloid content. There are also reports that the Aborigines used the smoke of the burning leaves of Duboisia hopwoodii as an anaesthetic (probably owing to the drowsiness-inducing effect of nicotine) to lessen the pain during certain operations. An example of a frequently performed operation during which ‘pituri’ was used is the circumcision of boys during their initiation ceremonies.
  2. Gimli

    eBay/Gumtree finds

    Let's get a "ebay/gumtree finds" thread for stuff you find and want to share with others. I'll start.... Is this worth the money that is being asked? http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CRESTED-Trichocereus-Bridgesii-Monstrose-VERY-RARE-button-cactus-lophophora-/281573639607?pt=AU_Plants_Seeds_Bulbs&hash=item418f18c5b7
  3. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9781588291295 Humana.Press.Medicinal.Plants.of.the.World.Volume.3.Chemical.Constituents.Traditional.and.Modern.Medicinal.Uses.pdf Thought someone might like this
  4. As some of you may know, I got into beekeeping a little over a year ago and I have learnt much in that time. Making this thread for anyone interested in seeing inside a hive I started with a swarm (below) which I caught with the help of an acquaintance. The bees simply marched into the nucleus box from their temporary residence on some blokes lawn About 3 months later I got it home and perched it under my Eucalyptus torquata (Coral Gum, from the Goldfields region of WA) for a bit of arvo shade The brood box needed a bit of work unfortunately...
  5. Starting a thread for people to post photos of acuminata grown from my seed. Surely must be a lot of small trees out there by now I'll start off with this specimen, germinated 01/2018 and planted 25/3/18 and now a lovely 3.3m tall Love to see what others have grown
  6. Gimli

    Acacia phlebophylla Seeds

    Why would you turn it into a question thread when the knowledge you seek is already on this forum and only a simple search away?
  7. Photo from a SAB member a while back
  8. Nice one, @Glaukus! Are those narrow from Sallubrious?
  9. Welcome to the second installment of Acacia acuminata broad phyllode seed giveaway! Half of the seed will be collected from my sandalwood plantation and the other half from another stand of jam trees, approx 80-90km away. I will send 5g of seed to every person who posts below. Seed will be sent out around early jan Only for members in Australia. I do not post internationally. All you have to do is post below Happy (belated) wattle day!
  10. Hey guys, if you've grown acuminata from my seed, could you please post photos in the thread linked below. Love to see them http://www.shaman-australis.com/forum/index.php?/topic/47053-gimlis-acuminata-giveaway-show-off-thread/
  11. Seed pods are starting to appear on our plantation trees and I have bags on the way so I can save a bloody tonne of seed. I will start off with 10 lots, but I have no doubt there will be enough to do many more mailouts. Thread will be updated when seed are ready to go into a big red box with auspost written on it. It will be a giveaway, but if anyone feels generous enough to want to send some tricho seeds in return - I will be more than happy to accept Post to AUS only. And go!
  12. Gimli

    Acacia acuminata seed giveaway

    Hey guys, if you've grown acuminata from my seed, could you please post photos in the thread linked below. Love to see them http://www.shaman-australis.com/forum/index.php?/topic/47053-gimlis-acuminata-giveaway-show-off-thread/
  13. Gimli

    Acacia seeds!

    Acacia acuminata are extremely frost hardy, for weeks at a time
  14. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9781588292810 Humana.Press.Medicinal.Plants.of.the.World.Volume.1.Chemical.Constituents.Traditional.and.Modern.Medicinal.Uses.Second.Edition.pdf Thought someone might like this
  15. Welcome to the third (and possibly the last?) installment of the Acacia acuminata (raspberry jam) broad phyllode seed giveaway To receive a bag containing 5g of seed: 1) Post below, preferably with a photo of any wattle you've grown yourself 2) Immediately send me a PM containing mailing address and a name to go on the package in the following format: Name Address Suburb State Postcode If not in the above format, I will skip you. This year I will just print a stick on label instead of handwriting This is limited to the first 40 people and only for members in Australia. I do not post internationally Happy belated wattle day First few flowers coming in only a few weeks ago
  16. I apologize for my tardiness with this giveaway and taking so long for people to get the goods
  17. One for our friends across the pond in the US lc-timber.press.southwest.medicinal.plants.identify.harvest.and.use.112.wild.herbs.2020.pdf
  18. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319995458 Springer.Lessons.on.Caffeine.Cannabis.And.Co.Plant-derived.Drugs.and.their.Interaction.with.Human.Receptors.2018.pdf
  19. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319158136 Springer.Practical.Pharmaceutics.An.International.Guideline.for.the.Preparation.Care.and.Use.of.Medicinal.Product.pdf
  20. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789401792752 Springer.Medicinal.and.Aromatic.Plants.of.the.Middle-East.pdf
  21. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319903644 Springer.Cannabis.Use.Disorders.2019.pdf
  22. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9780896038776 Humana.Press.Medicinal.Plants.of.the.World.Volume.2.Chemical.Constituents.Traditional.and.Modern.Medicinal.Uses.2001.pdf Thought someone might like this
  23. G'day guys, Putting together a small meetup for Trichocereus enthusiasts via the fb group. If it goes well we'll do it more often The purpose is for buying, selling, trading and is strictly cacti only. Also allowing Lophopora, Ariocarpus, Aztekium, Astrophytum etc Sunday 16th Feb 9am @ John Macmillan Park, car park where the bowls club is Cheers
  24. Seen a few lists cobbled together, so thought I'd try put together a more complete list? If there are any I've missed (no doubt I have) or a clone is under the wrong category, please comment or swing me a PM Bridgesii: 33 Albi Alko Anna Arid Art Baker5452 Ben Bert Bendigo Big Bertha Brad Bruce Cactus Land ? Cliff Con Cornucopia ? Crazy Spine CSD Eileen Emerald City Emma Essendon ? Ferret ? Fields Bridgesii Funkoid Glenrowan Greedo ? Hans ? Helen JB Kai Killer Green Cactus Light ? Lorraine ? Lotusland Lumberjack MB95 Medicine Man Melted Wax Mike (Old Mike - WA) ? Mongy Mum & Dad N1 Nats Wax Psycho0 Serra Canyon ? Sherman Short Spine Sina Sir Jeans SS02 TBM TBM Variegated TBMC TBMC Variegated Tig ? Tim ? Urban Tribes #1 Urban Tribes #2 Wowie Chalaensis: SS04 Knuthianus: Bluth Fields Knuthianus SS03 Macrogonus: Bendy ? Fields Macrogonus Hyperspacepixie ? Tipz Tripsis ? Pachanoi: Alf Altmans Monstrose ? Awful Bogan Capel Clone One (MT01) Clone Two (MT02) Fields Pachanoi Frasers ? Hahn Hamiltons Huarazensis Hutchison 1597 Hutchison 6212 J2 Justin Juuls' Giant KK339 Kimnach Kimura’s Giant Landfill L.E.R. Mike ? MT03 Woody MT06 Lupita Music Teacher NoThink Olivia Omar Oscar OSP (Old School/Skool/ Pedro/Pachanoi) Ogunbodede PC Rob Rod Roy Saquarema Skip Strybring Torres & Torres TPM TPQC ? WA Pachanoi ? Warrah ? Yowie Zeus Peruvianus: 86 Anakie Argentinensis Bonny Bryan Cactus Garage ? Chavin (MT05) Christies Clyde Colossus Dawson's Peruvianus Fahim01 Endorfinder (Huancabamba) Gawler Gnosis Goliath Hahn Hamiltons HB1 - Herbalistics? (HB01*) ? Ivan J1 J3 John Kimba ? Len Los Gentiles MG Red Spine Norma Ohlone Old Teds Rosei #1 Rosei #2 Sausage Sharxx Blue SS01 TPC TPM TPM Variegated Trent Tripsis #2 Yoda Scopulicola: Scop A Scop B Cordobensis FR991 HELON Hulk SGC16 Super Pedro ? Worm Zed's Terscheckii: Big Blue ? Dawsons Long Spine Ruby Visions Validus: Fields Validus ? SA SS 1 - South Australian Short Spine 1 SA SS 2 - South Australian Short Spine 2 Other: Dr Funkenstein Judith Eventually I'll add link to trichocereus.net or other for each