IIUM Repository

Ethnobotanical study on plant materials used in Malay traditional post-partum bath (Mandi Serom) among Malay midwives in Kedah

Abdul Razak, Nur Illani and Othman, Rashidi and Pahang, Josephine Tening (2018) Ethnobotanical study on plant materials used in Malay traditional post-partum bath (Mandi Serom) among Malay midwives in Kedah. In: Second International Conference on the Future of ASEAN (ICoFA) 2017, 15th-16th August 2017, Kangar, Perlis.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (302kB) | Request a copy


A study was carried out on the traditional knowledge of plants used in mandi serom, a traditional post-partum bath among the Malays in the state of Kedah, Malaysia. In Malay culture, mandi serom is an essential treatment after childbirth. Information was obtained from 15 Malay midwives (bidan kampung) through interviews, and also by observing and participating in their activities during each visit. A total of 40 species of plants were collected during the botanical surveys. The species are dominated by trees, followed by zingibers, herbaceous, shrubs, and climbers. Plant parts most commonly used are leaves, whole plant, bark, seeds, bulb, flowers, roots, and gall. Only three species are similarly used by all the midwives which are Cymbopogon nardus (serai wangi), Lawsonia inermis (inai), and Pandanus amaryllifolius (pandan). The majority of Malay women in Kedah put their trust in midwives to conduct mandi serom during the post-partum confinement period. The plants are used to rid the body of odour, for spiritual cleansing, for hygienic purposes, and to ward off mystical forces known as makhluk halus in Malay culture. They believe that without proper formulation from the midwife, mandi serom may not be healing and effectual. This is the first systematic study of Malay post-partum bath (mandi serom) in northern Malaysia. This study helps to preserve traditional knowledge of Malay midwifery practice and protect Malay natural heritage, and at the same time, these new ethnobotanical records can be subjected to clinical studies and serve as a guideline for women health care in Malaysia.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Plenary Papers)
Additional Information: 3842/65749
Uncontrolled Keywords: Malay midwifery, Traditional bath, Ethnobotany Traditional knowledge, Medicinal plants, Malay culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP190.5 Islamization of Knowledge
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > Islamic art and architecture > Islamic garden
Q Science > QK Botany
R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design > Department of Landscape Architecture
Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design
Depositing User: Dr rashidi othman
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2018 09:24
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2018 09:24
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/65749

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year