Revealing the Secret of Healing Coughs in Usadha Bali

Health is considered a significant investment in life, yet cough is a common health complaint that often occurs. In Bali, Usadha has become an ancestral heritage for healing various types of coughs. Ancient Balinese manuscripts detail the steps of cough treatment involving herbal concoctions and spiritual mantras. Various methods are employed, including the consumption of natural spices, applying concoctions to the body, and following specific dosage guidelines. This reflects the cultural richness and traditions of Bali in addressing cough issues with natural ingredients and spices. Despite the modern world bringing advanced medicine, the Usadha Bali tradition remains an intriguing choice for maintaining health through a unique approach.

Nov 11, 2023 - 11:11
Sep 25, 2023 - 19:12
Revealing the Secret of Healing Coughs in Usadha Bali
Usadha Ingredients (Source: Private Collection)

Health is a valuable asset for everyone. Maintaining health through a healthy lifestyle, nutritious food, and proper medical care is an important investment in achieving happiness and success in life. Although efforts to maintain health are crucial, genetic factors, the environment, and unforeseen events can affect our well-being.

Cough, a common ailment experienced by many, can occur when the respiratory tract is disrupted by foreign substances or as an early symptom of diseases such as influenza, asthma, or even tuberculosis. Cough plays a vital role as a defense mechanism of the body, helping to clear the respiratory passages and can also indicate underlying health issues. While modern methods and medications have been developed to address coughs, there is no harm in trying the traditional Balinese approach known as Usadha.

The treatment procedure for cough using Usadha is elaborated in detail in ancient manuscripts, the primary source of knowledge on traditional Balinese medicine. In Usadha practice, the steps involve several aspects. First, herbal plants like ginger, turmeric, or turmeric are carefully identified and collected because each has different healing properties. These plants are then processed specifically, such as through drying or mixing, to create herbal concoctions.


Galangal, Turmeric and Ginger (Source: Private Collection)


Next, the use of these concoctions is tailored to the type of cough and the patient's condition. Some concoctions are ingested as beverages, while others are applied directly to the chest or throat to alleviate cough symptoms. Moreover, in Usadha practice, specific mantras are used in conjunction with physical treatment. Belief in the spiritual power of these mantras aids in healing and restoring the body's balance.

In the Usadha Rare manuscript, several methods of treating cough in children are explained in detail, involving the use of suitable herbal plants, the process of processing these plants into medicinal concoctions, the technique of using the concoctions (whether ingested or applied), the spiritual aspect through mantras or prayers, and dosage guidelines and treatment schedules. All of this reflects the holistic approach in the Balinese Usadha tradition to address cough issues in children. Here are some quotes from the Usadha Rare manuscript:

  • “Ta. Rare watuk sa, cekuh, temu tis, tingkih, atin bawang, bras mes, sembar dadanya.” Cough medicine using plants such as galangal, temu tis, candlenut, and the inner part of shallots known as “hati bawang”, as well as rice that has been soaked for a long time to make it easy to crush. All of these ingredients are chewed and sprinkled on the child's chest to quickly cure the cough.

Garlic and Shallots (Source: Private Collection)

  • “Ta rare watuk sa. Sulasih miik, padang lepas, temu tis, katumbah sembar awaknya.” How to treat children's cough by using tulasi leaves, wild grass, turmeric, coriander, and all these ingredients are chewed and sprinkled on the child's chest to soothe the cough.
  • “Ta rare watuk giningan. Sa rwaning blimbing wesi, trikatuka, sembar tangkah nya.” Medicine for children with itchy cough using the leaves of ironwood trees, a mixture of three spices (shallots, garlic, and long pepper), sprinkle it on their chest with the mixture.
  • “Ta rare dekah. Sa padang lepas temutis, adas, putih taluh anyar, lengis tanusan sadidik, tahap.” Medicine for children with dry cough using random grass, turmeric, fennel, new egg whites, a little original cooking oil, all are mixed into one and drunk.

Eggs and Grass (Source: Private Collection)


In the Usadha Tiwang manuscript, the treatment procedure for various types of cough is also mentioned. For a common cough, various methods are used, such as consuming natural ingredients like galangal, tamarind roots, and arak year directly or mixing lempuyang, galangal, pule leaves, coriander, and cendana water to be used as a bedakan. There are also methods involving herbal drinks with a mixture of katik pule, miana cemeng, temu tis, sandalwood water, and orange linglang. Additionally, the use of biduri leaves, warangan turmeric, aromatic ginger, galangal, and shallot is an option. Some may also choose to consume galangal and gendis (sugar) or use a mixture of galangal and tamarind. In some cases, ingredients like tingkih leaves, dapdap tis leaves, and shallots are used as bedakan.

For those experiencing long-term coughs, the use of tamarind in food form is recommended. As for phlegmatic coughs, a mixture of turmeric, tamarind, shallots, coconut oil, and fried chicken eggs can help address the condition when consumed.

For coughs with stubborn phlegm, the treatment method involves using galangal, linglang orange juice, and honey, which are consumed as medicine. All of these treatment approaches reflect the cultural heritage and traditions of Bali in addressing various types of coughs with natural ingredients and spices that have been used for centuries.

All of these methods involve natural ingredients such as spices, herbal plants, and food items used according to the type of cough experienced. These methods reflect the richness of the Usadha Bali tradition in addressing different cough problems.

Health is an essential asset, but external factors can affect our body's condition. Cough is a common health complaint, and Usadha Bali is a traditional approach involving herbal plants, mantras, and spiritual practices to treat various types of coughs. These methods reflect the cultural heritage and traditions of Usadha Bali, which are rich in treating different cough issues with natural ingredients and spices.