Spicy Balinese Boreh

One of my favourite spa discoveries when I first moved to Bali was the boreh  –  a traditional spicy detox treatment popular in the mountains of Bali, where nights can be chilly. The deep penetrating heat of local spices is also favoured by fishermen and farmers, as it increases blood circulation and relieves aching joints. Whenever I feel the onset of a cold or flu, or am feeling achy from too much exercise I head to my local spa for this treatement which warms you up from the inside and is incredibly restorative.  You can also make boreh at home, you just need some spices and a mortar and pestle. It works best if you wrap yourself (cling film will do) although lying in the sun for a few minutes also works if you don’t fancy wrapping yourself in plastic!


10 grams each:  whole cloves, ginger, coriander seeds, rice powder, nutmeg, sandalwood

5 gms each:        cinnamon, turmeric

5 grams:              spice blended oil, or rose water

3 carrots:            finely grated

Grind all the spices in a mortar and pestle, add the oil and mix to a thick paste (add extra rice powder if you don’ want it too spicy!) Gently apply to your body (wrap yourself in plastic – or banana leaves if available, or sit in the sun for a few minutes.)  Once the paste has dried rub the skin so that the mixture flakes away. Softly rub the grated carrot onto the skin to replenish moisture, then shower or take a warm bath.


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