Common Name: Sarsaparilla
Transcript of Aunty Fran Bodkin explaining the uses of Hardenbergia Violacea:
The Hardenbergia violacea, this is one of the prettiest plants I’ve ever come across, it’s a beautiful little plant. It actually, for some reason or another we believe it actually began here in the Sydney basin and gradually spread everywhere. But the strongest and most beautiful plants grow naturally here.
It was boiled and the liquid was strained and it was sweetened, mainly with native bee honey and taken to treat stomach cramps.
But the other thing that it was used for, and this is quite an unofficial use, was for kids who wagged school and (what) would happen is if my grandmother ever caught me wagging school, she would take me home, take the Hardenbergia bush and boil it and then make me drink the water without any sweetening or anything like that.
Now this next use is going to explain. The roots and leaves were boiled then allowed to cool, it was sweetened with honey and it made a very refreshing drink which tasted like sarsaparilla. Now if you can imagine sarsaparilla without any sweetening, that was what my grandmother used to made me drink. Now I used to wag school but made sure she never found out.