The older generations in Bali have used traditional medicines all their lives and for them, it is natural 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 back-breaking 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 to a thick paste and applied to the body until the paste dries, before being washed off.
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.
Thats fine you might say for the old ways but how can I incorporate this into my own modern life . For me its a keep it simple approach , sure I cant grow everything I need but I can choose to purchase organic, keep my foods as whole as possible without processing, if I choose to eat meat try grass fed and keep it local where possible . And if you are thinking you would like to try to give yourself a Boreh Scrub here is a recipe that you can use from the pantry in your kitchen . Its a bit messy but well worth.
• 2 tsp rice flour
• 1 tsp cinnamon powder
• 1 tsp galangal powder (you can find this from any well stocked asian food supplier)
• 2 tsp clove, finely ground
• 2 tsp of ginger powder
• 1 tsp of coriander powder
• 1 dash of black pepper
• 1 tsp of hot water
• 1 tsp or more of coconut oil (or olive oil or other vegetable oil)
You can also add turmeric powder to treat skin impurities or coffee powder for a more detoxifying effect.
1. Combine all the spices in a bowl, add the hot water first and stir. Then add the oil and mix until the paste becomes smooth.
2. Apply the paste all over your body (avoiding sensitive areas). It’s best to do this in your shower or bathtub. Leave it on for at least 5 to 10 minutes to work its magic. Enjoy a relaxing ginger tea while waiting.
3. Rub the dried mask off your skin vigorously to cause the paste to flake away. Then take a warm shower or a bath to remove the rest.
4. Apply some coconut oil to the skin while it is still wet, then tap dry with a towel. (If you prefer you can use more oil in the scrub in which case you won’t need to apply more oil or a moisturizer afterwards.)