The Benefit of Acanthus ilicifolius Tea for Mama Ethel

Let’s meet with one of the mangrove cultivation champions from Kokonao Village, West Mimika District, Papua.

Her name is Ethel Iri but familiarly called Mama Ethel. She is one of the Coastal Field School (CFS) group members assisted by Blue Forests in Kokonao Village.

Photo by: Mayang Sari Takdir

Mama Ethel always actively participates in CFS activities, one of which is the training of Acanthus ilicifolius mangrove leaf cultivation. Kokonao people call it ‘dowau’ to be served as tea. 

Mama Ethel experiences many benefits after making and consuming dowau tea in terms of health, as well as the economical aspect. Mama Ethel’s dowau tea is favored by the medical team in Kokonao Village, and even the local community health center wants to establish a partnership with her to produce it. Besides inside the village, the tea market also goes to Timika and even some regions outside the city.

Throughout the CFS activities, group members including Mama Ethel were never given “sitting money” which is a term means money paid in return for meeting participants. However, they continued to participate in every series of activities. According to Mama Ethel, “we are not given money, but there is ‘money’ in the dowau leaves”

Until today, Mama Ethel continues to produce dowau tea because it is also for her private consumption to cure her tightness and rheumatism, which she feels is very beneficial.

“we are not given money, but there is ‘money’ in the dowau leaves”


Photo by: Mayang Sari Takdir

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