Our own Native Curry Bush

We first discovered this while we were out foraging with Damien’s uncle, Noel. It looks like a pretty unassuming, low shrubby bush but when you pick the leaves, the waft of curry powder is everywhere. It’s quite amazing. The curry bush was said to be used medicinally for toothaches and tummy aches. Use it ground, just like curry powder.

Heating this native plant will kill the remarkable scent, but it can be used as a respiratory remedy, which is why it is also known as cough bush. 

Native Curry Bush | Warndu | Photo by Murray Fagg, near Armidale, NSW

  Common Name: Native Curry Bush, Cough Bush, Dead Finish

  Scientific or Latin Name: Cassinia laevis

  Comparison: Curry leaves

  Seasonality: Rare

  Region: Arid

◎  Taste Profile: The aroma of the Native Curry Bush is very strong, and it boasts a similar flavour to traditional curry powder.

◎  Types: Cassinia laevis is a plant native to eastern Australia. C. laevis is closely related to C aculeata, and the two species may intergrade over a narrow zone east of the Victorian border.


  • The curry bush can be used medicinally for toothaches and tummy aches.
  • It makes a great substitute for curry powder.
  • It can be used to help improve respiratory problems.

Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses

Traditional Aboriginal uses of the Native Curry Bush were medicinal, and it was used to ease the pain of toothaches and tummy aches, and ease respiratory congestion.

Western & Modern

Native Curry Bush can be used in cooking just like a regular curry powder. The essential oils can also be extracted from the leaves and flowers.


While traditional uses indicate the Native Curry Bush was helpful for reducing pain and congestion, there are currently no known modern medicinal uses for this plant.



    Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.

    Images: Photo by Murray Fagg, near Armidale, NSW, as featured by Woolsheed Thurgoona Landcare Group.