Customary medicinal plant knowledge possessed by the Australian Aboriginal people is a significant medicinal resource. Published information on customary medicinal plant knowledge is scattered in different literature resources, available in heterogeneous data formats, while the knowledge is distributed among various Aboriginal communities across Australia, due to varied languages. Unfortunately, this knowledge is in danger of being lost due to loss of biodiversity, cultural impact and demise of the custodians of the ancient knowledge. To document, conserve and disseminate this knowledge, we have developed the Customary Medicinal Knowledgebase (CMKb), an integrated multidisciplinary resource.


CMKb is an online relational database for collating, disseminating, visualising and analysing initially public domain data on customary medicinal plants. The database stores information related to taxonomy, phytochemistry, biogeography, biological activities of customary medicinal plant species as well as images of individual species. Known bioactive molecules are characterized within the chemoinformatics module of CMKb, with functions available for molecular editing and visualization.


Each species in CMKb is linked to online resources such as the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), NCBI Taxonomy, Australia's SpeciesLinks-Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS) and Google images. The bioactive compounds are linked to the PubChem database using PubChem id. Overall, CMKb serves as a single knowledgebase for holistic plant-derived therapeutics and can be used as an information resource for biodiversity conservation, to lead discovery and conservation of customary medicinal knowledge.

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Showing 1-20 of 21 items.
#Scientific NameCommon NameCommunity name(s)CommunitiesCustomary Usage
1Alocasia brisbanensis (F.M. Bailey) DominCunjevoi, Spoon LilyCunjevoi Details
2Alphitonia excelsa (A. Cunn. Ex Fenzl) Benth.Soap Bush, Soap Tree, Red Ash, Humbug, Leatherjacket, Coopers Wood, Mountain Ash, Red Tweedie, Sarsaparilla, Red AlmondSoap Bush, Soap Tree, Red AshBurrara, Djambarrpuyngu, Emi Details
3Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC.Coastal Jackbean, Coastal Canavalia; Canavalia, Fire Bean, Mackenzie BeanCoastal Jackbean Details
4Castanospermum australe A.Cunn. ex MudieBlack Bean, Moreton Bay Chestnut, Australian Chestnut, BeantreeBlack Bean Details
5Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.Centella, Gotu Kola, PennywortCentella Details
6Citrus sp. Lemon, Bush LemonBush lemon Details
7Corymbia intermedia (R.T. Baker) K.D. Hill & L.A.S. JohnsonBloodwood, Pink Bloodwood, Red Bloodwood Bloodwood Details
8Eucalyptus spp.Gum Tree, EucalyptsGum Tree Details
9Eupomatia laurina R.Br.Guava, Copper Laurel, Grey Beech, Native Guava, Rose-bush, Bolwarra, Scented Laurel Guava Details
10Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis (L.) Ooststr.Beach Morning Glory, Salsa Da Praia (Brazil), Goats Foot, Railroad Vine, Bay Hops, Convolvulus, Coast Morning GloryBeach Morning GloryBelyuen Details
11Lophostemon suaveolens (Sol. ex Gaertn.) Peter G. Wilson & J.T. Waterh.Apple Gum, Swamp Box, Swamp Mahogany, Swamp Turpentine, Paperbark MahoganyApple Gum Details
12Melaleuca spp.Tea Tree, PaperbarkPaperbark Details
13Opuntia spp.Prickly Pear, Sweet Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig, Cactus Pear, Indian Fig, Mission Cactus, Mission Prickly Pear, Panini, Prickly Pear Cactus, Smooth Mountain Prickly Pear, Smooth Prickly Pear, Spineless Cactus, Tuberous Prickly Pear, Tuna Cactus.Prickly Pear Details
14Pandanus tectorius ParkinsonBeach Pandan, Beach Pineapple, Screw PineBeach Pineapple Details
15Phytolacca octandra L.Inkweed, Pokeweed, Dye Berry, Red-Ink Plant, Red-Ink WeedInkweed Details
16Psidium cattleyanum var. littorale (Raddi) FosbergPurple Guava, Cattley Guava, Cherry Guava, Strawberry GuavaCherry Guava Details
17Pteridium esculentum (G.Forst.) CockayneBracken, Austral bracken, Bracken fern, Common brackenBracken Details
18Rumex spp. Dockleaf, dockDockleaf Details
19Sida rhombifolia L.Sida Retusa, Arrowleaf Sida, Common Sida, Arrowleaf, Sida-weed, Paddy's Lucerne, Paddy Lucerne, Cuba Jute, Broomjue SidaPaddy Lucerne, Pattilusen Details
20Smilax australis R. Br. Wide Leaf Sarsaparilla, Sarsaparilla, Lawyer Vine, Austral Sarsaparilla, SmilaxWide Leaf Sarsaparilla Details

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  •   Macquarie University Faculty of Science and Engineering ,

            North Ryde ,

            NSW, Australia, 2209
  •   (02) 9850 8283
  •   (02) 9850 8283
  • joanne.jamie@mq.edu.au
  • cmkb

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