Wamadai is a purplish flower found near the shoreline mangroves on several islands. In past times, women who were gathering food would also collect the little flowers and place them under the family sleeping mats before dark. The flowers stop 'Bak', a small blood-thirsty burrowing insect, from coming up from the ground, crawling into living areas, and biting people who were asleep. When the Bak smells the Wamadai it drives them away like a repellent. This medicine was used for hundreds of years and ceased in the 1800's when missionaries arrived with alternative methods of insect control.
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