BMS342 Medicinal and Indigenous Foods (8)


This subject analyses the interaction between nutrition, health and well-being within society by examining the types of medicinal or functional foods and their roles. The subject also brings into focus the role of indigenous or traditional forms of food that are also used for medicinal purposes and the role they play in sustenance of good health.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BMS342
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Biomedical Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
be able to:
  • describe food classes on the basis of physical form, chemical composition and nutritional functions 
  • discuss other non-nutritional functions of food (medicinal, cultural and social) including the role of such food items in complementary medicine 
  • explain the similarities and differences between food and medicine 
  • discuss the use of food as medicine in indigenous communities of the world 
  • describe traditional methods of processing indigenous food 
  • provide examples of medicinal foods of Indigenous Australians 
  • list and discuss factors influencing use of food for medicinal purposes 
  • describe the contribution of functional foods to health 
  • describe methods used in processing of medicinal foods 
  • evaluate the impact of the increasing use of medicinal and indigenous foods on issues of plant biodiversity, intellectual property and ethics 
  • discuss medicinal food products of the future - novel foods


The subject will cover the following topics:
  1. Classification of food on the basis of physical form, chemical composition and nutritional functions
  2. Other non-nutritional functions of food (medicinal, cultural and social uses)
  3. Use of food for medicinal purposes – distinction between food and medicine
  4. Medicinal foods of the Indigenous Australians
  5. Indigenous medicinal foods of the world
  6. Factors influencing use of food for medicinal purposes
  7. Functional foods
  8. Bio-processing and biodiversity
  9. Intellectual property and ethics in relation to medicinal and indigenous foods
  10. Medicinal food products of the future - novel foods


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.