14 July 2010
The herb guy
Meet the herb guy, Mr Midjin Gayak (that's Midjin and yours truly in the pic :-)) from Kg.Kinapulidan, about 4km from Ranau town. He is 71 although he doesn't look a day over 50. I am very privileged to have met him a few weeks ago, and most privileged to have been given some education on the Dusun herbs and their medicinal values.
I am still trying very hard to commit the names of these herbs to my memory. What I found amazing is that things we have around us, that most of us take for granted for being useless weeds can actually be used to cure a lot of ailments. Take for example the paka or lalang in Malay. The root can be used to cure chicken pox. The general rule of thumb for preparing medicine from herbs is to clean and wash the root (or stem, or leaves or whichever parts of the herb you are using), and boil it for a few minutes. Let cool and drink. In the case of paka, it helps to force the poxes out on the skin surface, and makes one heal faster.
Midjin and his wife Rosmiah have a herb farm of about 2 acres, with about 400 type of herbs growing on the land. Some are native to the place, some they had had to hunt from the jungle and cultivate. They started the farm 13 years ago after Rosmiah was healed from breast cancer. In his worries, Midjin actually dreamed of the herb that healed her cancer. He had never seen the herb before, but following his intuition, went into the jungle and found the plant he dreamed about. Since then the couple have helped a lot of people with various health problems, ranging from simple ones like gastric and fever, to cancer. I have a great respect for what they are doing- and I can feel that they are very sincere in their mission to help others. Blessed be my herbalist friends.