In episode 7 of Goblin Slayer, at around 3:29, there are branches that are used in baths.

What are these branches and what is their purpose (like herbal)? Is it in Japanese culture or any other culture?

  • It is from old ancient roman culture at their bathhouses Dec 3, 2018 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Those are White Birch Branches. It's also mentioned in the manga during Chapter 20.

(Warning: NSFW (Nudity) content and manga spoilers ahead)

I'm not sure of their exact use but according to the Wikipedia page of birches,

fragrant twigs of silver birch are used in saunas to relax the muscles.

This seems to coincide with what is shown in the manga/anime, as it looks like it is used to relieve exhaustion and provide relaxation.


The term for these is a bath broom.
Or "banny venik" (from банный веник) in Russia.
Or "vasta" or "vihta" (depending on the region) in Finland.

Finnish vihta (image by kallerna [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons)

They're mostly used in heated bath houses and, prior to refridgeration, were a rather seasonal luxury. You use them, quite simply, just to hit yourself with in a hot bath house.

Despite how weird (and painful) that sounds, it's actually a rather pleasant feeling experience, mostly compared to massaging yourself, and provided that the branches are fresh enough, you can use a fair amout of force without hurting yourself. The leaves, that should not be dry (or you're doing something horribly wrong) cushion the impact nicely. They're also often use wet.

Here's also a short video about the actual use of the brooms (1:55 for the actual "application"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4ZILOglcHE

Besides all that, the fresh birch also leaves behind a rather pleasant scent.

  • 1
    Oh that's informative. Cause I also know some Indian leaves (Neem leaves) that are used for herbal purposes. those doesn't reveal or give any pleasure but rather they are of great medicinal value. That's why I was fascinated when I saw those branches being used at bath and was curious to know of any similar cultures across the globe.
    – Zarak1
    Dec 4, 2018 at 16:37

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