Ngerdi Green Ants
Green Ants nest in different types of native trees all year round and have both medicinal, and nutritional properties.
When local people have a cold or flu, they soak them in water and strain the mixture to make tea, or rub the ants into a powder between leaves, and inhale this to clear the sinuses. Occasionally, they also allow the ants to bite them as a form of medicine.
A strong source of vitamins and protein, they are traditionally also picked off the tree and eaten alive, especially the rear abdomen which has a bright, lemony taste.
Green Ants are quickly becoming an exciting and highly sought after delicacy, and can be used to bring a unique fizzy and citrusy quality to your dishes.
In our culture, much of our world belongs to one of two halves or moieties: Duwa and Yirridjdja. This includes all human beings, ancestral beings, flora and fauna, natural phenomenon, sites and land – it’s all connected together.
Green Ants are classified under this system as Duwa.
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When you make them into a tea, or inhale the vapour, or even when they bite you it puts the medicine in your skin and makes you feel better; I was using that one for a long time. It’s bush food too, we used to just pick them off the tree and eat them. It can make you happy, healthy and better.
Leila Nimbadja (Traditional Owner)