Eucryphia glutinosa (Poepp. & Endlich.) Baill. Eucryphiaceae. Santo sour cherry. Woodland tree. Distribution: Ancient genus from Gondwanaland. Native of Chile, other species being found in eastern coastal Australia. It is now rare in its habitat, since it was much used as a timber tree. Australian aboriginals have used leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) as an antiseptic and styptic. A recent investigation by the Australian Government Rural Industries and Development Corporation (B R D’Arcy, 2005) finds that leatherwood honey is rich in phenolic acids that possess some antibacterial and anti-oxidant activity. These natural products have been proposed as preservers of freshness in foodstuffs - a possible alternative to the synthetics currently used.
- Dr Henry Oakeley