Bali is famous for its long history of traditional healing therapies, known as Bali Usada. Balinese traditional healing practices use natural herbs and spices, holistic therapies and ancient wisdom to cure physical and mental illness. Traditional healing modalities are prominent in Balinese culture today, which include natural herbal remedies, massages and energy work.
The Balinese live equally in two worlds: the seen or conscious world called sekala and the unseen or psychic world, called niskala. In traditional Balinese healing, both of these elements are addressed in order to truly heal an ill patient. Traditional Balinese healers (Balians) play an important part in Balinese culture and help the patient restore balance in both worlds. A balian taksu draws power from nature or spirits and creates medicine from holy water, flowers and plants; while a balian ketakson will communicate with spirits to seek insight into an illness, sometimes going into a trance to heal people.
Like most aspects of daily life, the island’s ancient healing arts are intrinsically linked to Balinese Hinduism, which is all about maintaining balance. When a person falls ill they are deemed to be out of balance, either due to internal or external factors.
For many generations in Bali the indigenous people have used traditional medicines for health and well-being, it is common to harvest what is needed from their own backyards. Body scrub such as boreh have long been used by farmers in the sawahs (rice terraces) at the end of a long and tiring day. Used to help prevent rheumatism, the boreh scrub is made at home using a mix of cloves, ginger, red rice, galangal and temu lawak (Javanese turmeric), pounded and mixed into a thick paste and applied to the body until it dries, it is then washed off leaving a fresh moisturized skin.
A plethora of plant life grows in unison along the edges of the sawahs (rice terraces) providing food and medicine. Turmeric with roots and coconut palms, taro plants and banana trees, lemon grass and citronella, soursop, jackfruit, pineapple and breadfruit grow side by side. Farmers pull, pick and crush roots and leaves so we can smell the fragrance the red flowers of the hibiscus tree,