Ethnomedicine in the malay community in the manuscript ramalan tentang gempa, obat, doa, azimat

Karimatus Sahrozat, Priscila Fitriasih Limbong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Traditional medicine with natural ingredients has existed in Malay society since hundreds of years ago. It is a valuable cultural heritage, useful for health treatment and needs to be continuously inherited. One of the sources that summarizes the practice of traditional medicine is the classic Malay manuscript entitled Ramalan tentang Gempa, Obat, Doa, Azimat (RtGODA) stored in the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia. This study used the manuscript as a source of data. This research aims to explore the practice of traditional medicine of the Malay community in the past and its relevance to the present. In processing the text, this study used a philological approach which includes inventory, description, transliteration, and text analysis using ethnomedicine perspective. The results show that ethnomedicine practices of the Malay community in the past were related to nature, beliefs, and culture of the people of their time. In addition, the results of this study also indicate that the past medical practices are still relevant and can be used as alternative treatment in the present. In the RtGODA manuscript, the discussion about traditional medicine consists of two parts: (1) the opening of the manuscript and (2) the explanation about ethnomedicine practice in the past Malay community. The discussion of traditional medicine in this text shows that the past Malay community has had the awareness to try to cure illnesses. In addition, the past Malay community also believed in the existence of God’s power, in this case Allah, every disease can only be cured by Allah’s permission. Meanwhile, the practice of ethnomedicine in RtGODA manuscripts can be classified into three major groups, namely (1) treatment with natural ingredients, (2) treatment with prayer or amulet, and (3) treatment by combining natural materials and prayer or amulet. Each type of treatment is believed to cure certain diseases. In addition, the past Malay community has been able to distinguish various types of diseases and create different treatment methods for each different disease. In fact, the past Malay community was able to create more than one alternative medicine to cure one type of disease. This shows that the Malay community in the past had knowledge as well as a high concern for personal health.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDissecting History and Problematizing the Past in Indonesia
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781536193992
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Classical manuscript
  • Ethnomedicine
  • Malay traditional medicine
  • Philology


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