Getting to Know the Most Popular Medicinal Plants in Traditional Balinese Medicine

"Traditional medicine using medicinal plants such as jejamuan does not only available on Java island. Bali also has similar plant-based medicine, commonly called Usada or Usadha. Then, what are medicinal plants that Usada Bali often uses?"

Published by : Farida  -  26/09/2022 10:57 WIB

3 Minutes read.

Simply put, Usada Bali is the science of medicine. According to the article Usadha: Ilmu Pengobatan Ayur Veda Bali (Usadha: Balinese Ayurvedic Medicine) by I Nyoman Sukartha, 2014, usada etymologically comes from the ancient Javanese language which means medicine. The word is derived from the Sanskrit osadha or ausadha which means herbs used as medicines.

Source: https://bali.tribunnews.com

Types of Medicinal Plants for Usada

The types of medicinal plants used for Usada Bali are no fewer than the medicinal plants on the island of Java. There are more or less the similarities of medicinal plants, but there are still differences in the types and ways of processing them.

Based on the journal article Konservasi Tumbuhan Obat Tradisional: ”Usada Bali” (Conservation of Traditional Medicinal Plants: “Usada Bali”) by Sutomo and Rajif Iryadi, it was revealed that there are at least 67 types of medicinal plants used in Usada Bali.

Source: sawidji.com

In the journal (published on the e-journal page of Udayana University), it was explained that the type of medicinal plant was taken from the ancient manuscript of Lontar Usada. From the data obtained, confirmation is then made to people who understand Usada Bali. From there, the plant exploration was carried out and then resulted in the complete data.

There are at least 67 types of plants that are used as medicinal plants. Some of them are noni, bidara upas (Merremia mammosa), lempuyang (bitter ginger, Zingiber zerumbet), sembung hutan, fennel, papaya, and many more. The medicinal substances are not always taken from the fruit, there are leaves, stems, some even only take the sap.

Source: tamanusadabali.com

From the research of Sutomo and Rajif, there are also rarely found medicinal plants. These medicinal plants include star fruit, belimbing wuluh (Bilimbi, Averrhoa bilimbi), lime, pulai (Alstonia scholaris), and areca nut.

Most Often Used Medicinal Plants in Bali

Of the various medicinal plants used in Usada Bali, there are several medicinal plants that are most often used. Based on the journal Ethnomedicine Tumbuhan Obat Tradisional Masyarakat Bali (Ethnomedicine of Traditional Balinese Medicinal Plants), by Sifi Fatimah Han and Tri Warseno, it was revealed that jahe merah (red ginger) is the most widely used medicinal plant on the island of Bali. This plant with the scientific name Zingiber officinale Roxb is used to treat nausea, warm the body, cure rheumatism, relieve swelling, and others.

In addition to red ginger, another medicinal plant that is quite widely used in Usada Bali is pulai. The bark, stems and leaves of pulai are for back pain. Then leaves of kayu urip (Euphorbia tirucalli) to reduce fever. Quite a lot of people also use mahkota dewa (god’s crown, Phaleria macrocarpa)) to lower blood pressure. Tipak dara (Madagascar periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus) leaves are widely used for diabetes. And pomegranate is used for heart disease.

Red ginger is the most widely used because it is the easiest to cultivate around the houses. In addition, red ginger is still often found in traditional and modern markets.

To continue to preserve these medicinal plants, in Bali, there is a Bali Botanical Garden for the cultivation of medicinal plants, so that they do not become extinct. At the Kebun Raya Bali (Bali Botanical Gardens) botanical research and plant preservation are combined with education and fun excursions.

Source: tamanusadabali.com