Indonesia has always been a country rich in ethnicity. Each of them has its own method in traditional medicine and complementary. Nevertheless, in terms of Kerokan, the entire nation believes that it is an effective method. The terminology “Kerokan” came from the Javanese word “Kerok”, which means to rub. The technique includes abrading the skin over various parts of the body with a coin. This alternative therapy supposed to eliminate the symptom of the common cold, such as nausea, body fever, and dizziness. Although distinguished as a Javanese’s trademark, Kerokan is not only conducted in the Javanese community. In particular, at Borneo Island, Kerokan is a common routine. Possible to conclude that Kerokan is not a regional heritage, instead of a nation-wide culture.

The origin of Kerokan hasn’t been discovered yet. There is numerous practice similar to Kerokan in other countries. Researchers claim that they are somehow interconnected. For instance, Cao Giaodi in Vietnam, Gua Sha in China, and Khoud Lam in Laos. All of them apply to rub coins or dull objects repeatedly on the body’s surface. This is on the ground of Southeast Asia has been influenced by Chinese traditional medicine since the fifth century. In this manner, Indonesian folk medicine is mainly influenced by the Chinese Philosophy of  Yin and Yang. Yin is described as the cold, and Yang is described as the hot. A healthy body must cover physical harmony and a state of balance between Yin and Yang. For the majority in Indonesia, Kerokan is carried out to release excess cold wind. Internationally known as a common cold, this symptom is referred to as masuk angin which translates as “the entrance of wind”. People believed if the reddish mark appears on the body, it means the cold wind is being pushed out from our body.

Examining through the medical approach, rubbing coins repeatedly on the surface of our skin will generate heat energy. Premised on the concept of pressure and fiction of 2 objects, the blood vessel will be extended in width as the result of the heat. It ameliorates the process of oxygenation as the blood circulation is being improved. The swift blood flows are needed by muscle tissue as a supplier for the oxygen in sufficient quantities. Into the bargain, the endorphin is increased resulting in people feel more relaxed, relieved, energized, and experiencing the disappearance of pain after kerokan. In a nutshell, don’t worry if you catch a cold and running out of medicine, maybe a coin is all you need.

By: Carmenita Wati – 2301872186


Desstya, A., Prasetyo, Z. K., Suyanta, S., & Yanti, F. A. (2019). Science Concept in Kerokan. Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews, 374.