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What Everybody's Buying in Queensland, Australia: Lucas' Papaw Ointment

January 31, 2014 at 12:25 PM | by | ()

Welcome to "What Everyone's Buying," a new series on souvenirs, wherein we investigate what tourist trinkets are the hottest selling in hotspots around the world.

Okay, we know that Australia has some once-in-a-lifetime things to see, do and experience, but friends at home only really care about what you're bringing back for them. No, we're not talking about baby koalas or even a few boomerangs to trial in your own skies, as we've got a gift recommendation that's multipurpose and a good reminder of a great time down under: Lucas' Papaw Ointment.

Who would have thought that so much joy would have been had from a little red tube of mashed up tropical fruit? Take it from us that this stuff is the real deal.

Papaw ointment is an absolute must-have for treating chapped-lips, dry skin, the occasional scrape or scratch, and mosquito bites. The product has been found in ladies' handbags, medicine cabinets, and jean pockets for over 100 years and it's totally an Aussie "cure-all." Papaw ointment is made from fermented Queensland-grown papaya, so you're most likely to find it for sale around the state of Queensland.

The recipe hasn't changed since 1906, around the time when papaya was thought to be the finest natural, anti-bacterial medicine yet discovered. Apply the ointment to minor burns and scalds, sunburn, cuts, insect bites and splinters, but, due to its petroleum jelly and healing qualities, its most popular use is to combat diaper rash and dry skin.

Where to buy: Any chemist (pharmacy) around the country carries the range of products, so it's pretty easy to find. Even some grocery stores and souvenir shops will stock the product in smaller sizes. Be mindful that some chemists will even sell their own version, but Lucas' is the original in the 'sworn-by' red tube.

We've found the salve in small tubes from 15-25g ($5-7.50 AUD) which are perfect for throwing in a bag or packing in your carry-on for easy application. For more liberal uses, larger tubs are available from 75g to 200g ($12-23.50 AUD) and are a little less convenient, but will work for larger coverage.

[Photo: Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

It's on obsession

I think it's Australia's best kept secret. Almost everyone has a tube/tub of this... I'm pretty sure it's handed out at birth; Or so it seems.