Gubinge – Terminalia ferdinandiana

Terminalia ferdinandiana – Gubinge or Kakadu Plum

Terminalia ferdinadiana is a deciduous tree, up to 14m tall with orange, pink, grey and flaky bark, and bright lime green leaves when young.

To Nyul Nyul people the plant is known as Gubinge or Kabiny, and the edible fruit are eaten raw. The seed is also edible, with an apricot-like kernel. The sap or gim is extremely popular cooked in ashes or hot sand until burnt and cracked. The bark is also boiled in bailer shells and used as a medicine for skin conditions, sores rheumatism or drunk as tea. Gubinge was traditionally used for colds & flu and to ward of sickness. It’s also great for skin, used to treat sun burn and the sap can be smeared on as second skin for wounds or scarring.

Due to the bush plum having the highest levels of Vitamin C known to man it has become very popular as an ingredient in foods & cosmetics such as condiments, sauces, vitamin c organic powders, soaps and shampoos, lotions and ointments.

Gubinge is wild harvested by aboriginal people in difficult terrain during the wet season when it is very hot and humid. The season starts in December and goes through to May, if conditions allow, but it is often hampered by cyclonic winds which strip trees of fruit and makes the supply of large quantities quite difficult, this situation at present affects the market. There are large companies interested but supply would need to meet demands.

Fire is also another problem to face in the dry season and that is why it is important to look after trees all year round like you would have to in any orchard, the trees in the bush need a lot of attention to produce healthy fruit.

Fortunately for us we have now the opportunity to partner with Loving Earth Company and produce a wild crafted vitamin c powder which is available in health food outlets across Australia. Scott Fry, Managing Director of Loving Earth has visited Twin Lakes and spent time with Bruno in his country wild harvesting and learning about Nyul Nyul culture. Scott’s interest in our land care project has enabled us to continue our work when the Australian Government withdrew its support from Aboriginal Outstations in the Kimberleys and tried to main stream all aboriginal people with the one size fits all approach.

It is our aim at Twin Lakes to participate and add value to the Australian Bush Food Industry. Wild harvesting can be culturally, spiritually and ethically beneficial to aboriginal people and will provide economic and business opportunities. It is also environmentally sustainable, creating social benefits to aboriginal communities on the Dampier Peninsular.

“My old people knew this tree had very special medicine. Gulloord Irimi, my old grandfather told me when I was a little boy.” “One day this tree will help the world, this tree will lbe medicine for a lot of people. Even though they don’t notice it now, one day they will notice it.”

Bruno Dann, Nyul Nyul.

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