Bidayuh woman produces ‘minyak angin’ from aromatic ginger

Jovita (left) shows the 'minyak angin' and other products at DBNA booth during Bung Bratak Day 2023 held at BBHC, Bau, on May 1, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

BAU, May 1: Did you know that the Bidayuhs used to make ‘minyak angin’ (ointment) from scratch with the aromatic ginger (kaempferia galanga) in the past?

Botanist Jovita Elderson from Kampung Singai said traditionally, the Bidayuh would go out to find the plant from the forest for medicinal uses, especially for massages after giving birth.

“They would mix it with coconut oil to produce the medicated oils and balms,” she told DayakDaily when met during Bung Bratak Day 2023, held at Bung Bratak Heritage Centre (BBHC) here today.

The Bidayuh girls photographed at Bung Bratak Day 2023, held at BBHC, Bau, on May 1, 2023.

Now, the 42-year-old Bidayuh woman has taken the step to ‘upgrade’ the Bidayuh traditional medication and produce a value-added ‘minyak angin’ product with anti-inflammatory analgesic, anti-diarrheal, anti-bacterial, and insecticidal properties.

She said the ‘minyak angin’ started commercialisation in March this year under Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA).

Other products include anti-pigmentation soap, anti-acne soap, eczema care and body odour elimination soap.

Jovita has just completed her PhD in ethnobotany, specifically in the Zingiberaceae plant in Sarawak. — DayakDaily