Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Herbal remedy for intestinal worm from Kwau village in Arfak Mountains

There are a lot of species of herbal medicine from Kwau village in the tropical rainforest of Arfak Mountains. When I visited Kwau village, Samuel Mandacan - an indigenous Papuan who has been working as a natural healer introduced a plant to me. In local language its name is Sesbou. Sesbou has a number of medicinal merit for our health. According to his explanation, the root or tuber of the plant can kill worms that live inside human intestine particulary children. 
 Before using the plant, the Sesbou has to be cleaned by rinsing it with water. After that the tuber or roots are cut and pounded or grated. Then the grated tuber is squeezed to get its juice or extract. Mix the juice with some warm water. Not all of the juice will be drunk. For children, the recommended amount is only one tea-spoon. The amount of Sesbou juice is powerful enough to kill the worms that live inside their stomach. 
Beside its use as herbal remedy to clean our stomach from intestinal worms, the leaves of Sesbou are used by the Arfak tribes to accelerate the release of pus from an abscess that they suffer from. Its application is very simple. cover the abscess or boil with a Sesbou leaf. Within a few days, the pus or the suppuration will come out and the wound it has created will dry fast.
During my trip hiking around the tropical rainforest of Kwau village in the Arfak mountains, Samuel Mandacan and Hans Mandacan - two tourist guides who study the traditional herbal medicine, introduced various kinds of medicinal herbs to me. I am amazed by their explanation and the local wisdom which they have. I hope that their knowledge could be preserved and if necesarry be promoted to the public so that we will give more appreciation to the roles of rainforest in our life.
We have known that rainforest plays very important role in absorbing carbon dioxide gases that we release to the atmosphere through our daily activites such as driving cars, cooking food and burning domestic or industrial wastes. In addition, the rainforest is the source of food for the indigenous people who live in or around it. Birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects form one ecosystem that is vital to the survivability of the rainforest itself.
Nowadays, the size of the rainforests in various parts of the world is shrinking due to irresponsible and illegal logging. The resources of the rainforest are being exploited in large scale such as timber and animals. Furthermore, palm oil companies in Indonesia expand their businesses by clearing tens or even hundreds of thousands of hectares of rainforests in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua islands. We need to protect and preserve the rainforests because their important environmental roles in our life.
By introducing eco-tourism scheme in this blog, I hope that more and more people will be interested in visiting Kwau village to enjoy the natural beauty of Papuan rainforest and at the same time study the local wisdom of the indigenous people who live in harmony with the nature.
The money which you pay for the accommodation, food and guiding service to the local people is very important in supporting their economy so that these indigenous people will not be tempted to give up their rainforest to loggers and palm oil companies. 
If you are interested in visiting Kwau village in the Arfak Mountains of Manokwari regency- West Papua Province - the Republic of Indonesia, please, contact me, Charles Roring, via email: peace4wp@gmail.com. I will be happy to arrange your trip to the village.

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