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The Cycad Pages
ETHNOBOTANY OF CYCADS
Nadia Audhali and Dennis Stevenson

Australian aboriginal uses
Aboriginal women processing seeds of
Cycas media in northern Queensland
(photo Ken Hill)

AUSTRALIA: Preparation and Uses of Cycads

To remove toxic compounds the seeds were removed from the husk, then cooked and leached in running water overnight. Alternatively the seeds could be dried out and then leached in running water for 3-5 days. Also, aging the seeds was sufficient to remove the toxicity and the seeds could then be eaten raw or cooked. However, this method which is used for Cycas angulata, requires skill to be able to pick out the edible seeds from the inedible. On testing, it was found that the rejected seeds contained high levels of the cycasin toxin, while seeds which were judged edible had very low toxin levels (Beck 1992).


The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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