Our History

Did you know that Lucas' Papaw Ointment has a proud history spanning over 100 years?

See how the work and passion of one man led to the creation of a special product that is now used by thousands of people around the world every day.

About the Formulator – Dr. T.P. Lucas

Born in Scotland in 1843, Thomas Pennington Lucas developed a love for natural history, botany and medicine from a young age. His interests in these areas led to a lifetime passion for botany and an esteemed career as a medical practitioner.

As his degrees, diplomas, and honours indicate, Dr Lucas was among the leading medical men of his day.

M.R.C.S., England

L.R.C.P., Edin.

Lic. Mid., Edin.

Lic. Soc. Apoth., Lond

Late fellow Med. Soc., London

Memb. British Med. Assoc.

Fel.Lin.Soc., N.S.W.

Fel. Roy. Sac., Queensland

Fel. Entom., London

Royal Society's Club. Land.

Fel. Entomological Soc., U.S. America.


In addition to his studies and involvement with many prestigious groups, Dr. Lucas was also a contributor to The British Medical Journal London as far back as 1875.

Originally practicing medicine in London, Dr. Lucas came to Australia in 1876 seeking a warmer climate. He initially moved to Melbourne where he practiced for 10 years before moving to Brisbane in Queensland. It was in Queensland that the story of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment really starts to take shape.

The "Discovery" of the Benefits of Papaw

After moving to Queensland, Dr Lucas carried out numerous scientific studies, botanical and medicinal experiments, looking for a natural remedy for disease. Dr Lucas started to combine his medical training with his profound knowledge of natural history and botany. While carrying out his botanical research, Dr Lucas studied tens of thousands of botanical specimens. The specimen which commanded his closest attention and to which he devoted special study was the papaw tree.

The papaw plant and its fruit impressed Dr Lucas so much that his investigations led him to describe it as “the world's greatest healing agent”. From then on, Dr. Lucas devoted his researches to its application to modern medicine and, as a consequence, its benefits to humanity.

Papaw Ointment & the Vera Papaw Hospital

The passion Dr Lucas had for medicine and caring for people led him to open a special Hospital called "Vera". At the hospital, located in Brisbane, patients were treated solely by his Papaw remedies. Take a look at your red plastic jar or tube of Lucas Papaw Ointment and you will see the trade mark "Vera Papaw Hospital" picture is still printed on them today.

The hospital recorded many fantastic results, including cases of disease which had until then been deemed incurable yielding to this latest treatment. As people saw the benefits of the ointment its use spread around Australia and the world. There was even a testimony to Papaw written in 1910 by the Great Ormond St. Hospital London.

The Legacy of Dr Lucas and his Ointment

On his death, Dr Lucas left to his widow the complete formulae of his preparations and all directions for compounding them. Mrs. Lucas (who for many years had been actively engaged with him in his hospital work) gave active and devoted attention to continuing the production of the ointment that her husband had worked so hard to create.

After the death of Dr. Lucas it was impossible to carry on the overwhelming work that the Vera Papaw Hospital entailed. However, it was possible to make available for the public benefit the remedies which were used for treatment and therapy.

Now several generations on, the all important papaw remedies have been passed on to the descendants of Dr Lucas. Today, the family owned business continues to manufacture Lucas’ Papaw Ointment to the same formula that Dr. Lucas used to prepare the ointment he worked so hard to create in his lifetime.



Setting the story straight

Dear Lucas Papaw Customers

There is currently a lot of interest in our products on social media and in the press. Over the past 105 years, we are honored to have become a household name and a staple item in many medicine cabinets across Australia, and indeed around the world. We are very proud of the benefits of our products, of the healing nature of what we do and our ability to help people of all ages in their everyday lives.



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Lucas' Papaw Remedies and Lucas' Papaw Ointment are registered trademarks.
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