An ethnobotanical study of traditional steam-bathing by the Batak people of North Sumatra, Indonesia

Marina Silalahi, Nisyawati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aimed to document (1) the Batak people's knowledge of the use of medicinal plants for steam-bathing, (2) the preparation and operation of steam-bathing, and (3) the benefits of steam-bathing. To attain these objectives, data were collected by using ethnobotanical survey and interview methods. The survey was conducted in Kabanjahe and Berastagi traditional markets, in Kaban Tua village, and in Tanjung Julu village. The participants for the interview were nine medicinal plants traders, nine midwives, and 32 mothers. The basic principle of steam-bathing by the Batak people is based on thermotherapy and aromatherapy. A total of 59 species (belonging to 37 genera and to 25 families) have been documented as medicinal plants for their use as steam-bathing materials by the Batak people. The traders, midwives and mothers are all aware of the benefits of steam-bathing. Gaultheria leucocarpa Blume and Cinnamomum porrectum (Roxb.), the species that produce distinctive aromas and reduce pain, would be interesting to study for their phytochemical and pharmacological properties.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPacific Conservation Biology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Cinnamomum porrectum (Roxb.)
  • essential oils
  • Gaultheria leucocarpa Blume

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