Yangga - the amazing Green Ant

Yangga, green ants, have many medicinal uses and are still widely used to combat coughs and colds. They are either eaten alive, or crushed and inhaled like a vapour rub to open up the sinuses. They can also be rubbed into the skin, or taken as a drink with water.

Mothers with infants rub green ants on their breasts to make the milk flow, and many believe that, taken in high concentrations, green ants act as a contraceptive. 

The ants make their nests - Gambul yangga - by folding up leaves and fixing them together. The picture (right) shows a nest in the early stages, but if you look up when you're in the bush you can usually spot their nests in the trees, like large balls of leaves.

Each nest has several queens, which are many times larger than the worker ants. You can see the difference in sizes in the photo. 

Bush antiseptics, soap & a toothache cure
The bush pharmacy on Jiigurru, Lizard Island 
Guurrbi Picture Gallery

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