Saturday, October 11, 2014

Illnesses Diagnosis With Betel Leaves (佬叶诊病法)

This is an old Malay medicine man way of finding the source of illnesses with the help of a betel leaf. Locally it is called ‘tilik penyakit’ or ‘illness prediction’. The directions for this ceremony run as follows:


First the shaman should choose a betel leaf, if one can find a betel leaf with meeting leaf ribs would be the best. Now take three chews of this betel leaf and spit the chewed betel leaf into a cup filled with water and then cover this cup over with another betel leaf.


Fumigate the cup with benzoic incense and recite the below mantra:


“Barang apa yang menyakitkan orang ini,

Kau tunjukkan kalau ada kamudah-mudahan,

Kalau buatan orang, tunjok di kiri,

Kalau bantu sheitan, bencharlah kau,

Kalau puaka tunjuk di kanan,

Kalau tak sarasi, tunjoklah buih berator melintang matahari,

Kalau kau tak tunjokkan…”


(Whoever makes this person sick?

You must show the signs to me if it can be cured,

If it is other’s black magic, then move to left,

If it is the working of Satan, then disperses it,

If it is haunted, then show it to right,

If it is not matching, show it as bubbles in a straight line,

If you don’t show me a sign,…)


Now, remove the betel leaf and gaze into the water in the cup.


The following are the signs which you must look for:


·         If it looks yellowish it shows that the patient has been affected by rain in the heat of the day.

·         If it is pitted (with hollows), it shows that the patient has been affected by a stopped-up well or buffalo-wallow.

·         If it has long streaks running right through it, it shows that the patient has been affected by the ‘Heart of Wood’.

·         If frothy, then he has been affected by an ant-hill.

·         If you see in it anything that resembles cloth or a ring, it is the working of a soul.


When the source of a sickness is identified, then subsequent remedial actions or medicine can then be prescribed.


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