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Home » Padang » Batangeh: Traditonal Spa of Minangkabau in West Sumatra

Batangeh: Traditonal Spa of Minangkabau in West Sumatra

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Indonesia's rich  cultural diversity is also reflected in the various methods for  body treatment used across the archipelago. Although  the country's  modern spa scene offers a wide range of techniques and technology catering to  the needs of a healthy body, nonetheless,  age old potions and ancient methods of Indonesian traditional spa offer their own appeal and continue to be popular.


If the Balinese have  Boreh, the Batak ethnic group of North Sumatra have  Oukup, and the Minahasa of North Sulawesi have Bakera, the Minangkabau of West Sumatra also have their own, age old tradition of spa treatment called : Batangeh.


Batangeh is the traditional treatment known to Minangkabau women to sustain their beauty and health. It is a form of traditional sauna intended for medicinal purposes, besides retaining their physical wellness. There are two types of Batangeh which are: the Dry Batangeh and the Wet Batangeh.


Batangeh involves the use of various items such as a clay pot, pandan mat, sarong, bench or chair, furnace, and a variety of leaves, roots, seeds, and wood barks. For the scrub, natural ingredients containing essential oils such as lemongrass, pandan, betel, ylang, and others are the main substances.


Minangkabau women including brides, new mothers, and those who have just recovered  from illness usually take the Batangeh treatment.


Through this  traditional sauna, the body will feel truly refreshed. While those who have just given birth use the treatment to return the functions of the  uterus as well as recover to their overall physical wellness. The Batangeh Spa is also a remedy for ailments such as rheumatism, sinus, skin diseases, and others.


The Batangeh treatments vary  according to areas in West Sumatra:



In Payakumbuh, the Batangeh potion is  made from jambak leaves, banana leaves, bananas, lemongrass, and betel. There are also others who mix lemongrass, urekusa, asam kesturi, and gambelu. All of the ingredients are used to remove body odor, as well as to tighten the vagina and skin’s pores.



In Solok, turmeric and the  lemongrass branch are used to cure hemorrhoid. There are also those who use the mixture of vinegar and red bricks for post birth remedy. They do this by burning the brick until it is bright reddish and then place this in a pot before pouring vinegar over it. The patient sits over the pot covered in a sarong until the heat subsides.



The Batangeh spa of Pagaruyung is especially dedicated for brides. Ingredients widely used here consist of lemongrass, nilam leaves, cloves, pandan, lemon leaves, lemon juice, adas manis, and various roots.



In Batusangkar, the mixture consists of kunyik bolai, jariangau, sipadeh, kunik, galundi leaves, and ringan-ringan. The potion is believed to be able to even cure stroke.



In the capital city of West Sumatra, Padang, Batangeh is used to cure rheumatism. Ingredients used consist of jaringau, jua leaves, ringan-ringan, and others. There is also a potion that is believed to be able to cure stress which is made from jaringau, lemongrass, and capo.

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Batangeh: Traditonal Spa of Minangkabau in West Sumatra

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