The Secrets of Balinese Beauty – Balinese Boreh

A Balinese Boreh is a centuries-old healing recipe of herbs and exotic spices traditionally used as a "body revival" in the form of a mask and scrub. “Bo” in Balinese means “ready”, and “reh” comes from the Balinese word for blood, ”rah”, so Boreh literally brings your body to life.

In the past, rice farmers returned from their fields after a day’s work standing in the water tending their crops. In their kitchens they took a mortar and pestle and hand-crushed local ingredients such as cloves, ginger, cinnamon, coriander seeds, rice, turmeric root and nutmeg, among others. They combined them with water to make a thick aromatic paste, and then smoothed it over their bodies.

This aromatic body mask kept them warm at night, warding off chills and colds and providing relief to sore muscles and joints. When the first sunrays came up they took their morning bath in the river and vigorously rubbed the mask away kick-starting their circulation. This ritual prepared them for a new day, while also protecting them from insect bites back in the paddy fields.

This culture of herbal medicine has been passed down through the ages and still today you can find ancient Boreh pastes for sale at traditional Balinese markets.

At Fivelements Bali we combine a traditional Balinese Massage with a selection of powerful local Boreh blends and a harmonizing flower bath. These are performed in our beautiful treatment suites set just above the sacred Ayung River. View Beauty Spa Rituals at Fivelements.

But between visits to Fivelements, we highly encourage you to make your own Boreh ritual at home. Boreh clears the pores, promotes the release of toxins and a profound sense of relaxation resulting in delightfully fresh, smooth and refined skin, as well as enhanced energy, clarity and wellbeing.

Fivelements Boreh Recipe


• 2 tsp rice flour
• 1 tsp cinnamon powder
• 1 tsp lesser galangal powder
• 2 tsp clove, finely ground
• 2 tsp of ginger powder
• 1 tsp of coriander powder
• 1 dash of black pepper
• 1 tsp of hot water
• 1 tsp or more of coconut oil (or olive oil or other vegetable oil)

You can also add turmeric powder to treat skin impurities or coffee powder for a more detoxifying effect.


1. Combine all the spices in a bowl, add the hot water first and stir. Then add the oil and mix until the paste becomes smooth.

2. Apply the paste all over your body (avoiding sensitive areas). It’s best to do this in your shower or bathtub. Leave it on for at least 5 to 10 minutes to work its magic. Enjoy a relaxing ginger tea while waiting.

3. Rub the dried mask off your skin vigorously to cause the paste to flake away. Then take a warm shower or a bath to remove the rest.

4. Apply some coconut oil to the skin while it is still wet, then tap dry with a towel. (If you prefer you can use more oil in the scrub in which case you won’t need to apply more oil or a moisturizer afterwards.)


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