Drinks and Beverages,  Health,  Indonesia,  Java

Jamu – the Indonesian way to Health

Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal medicine made from natural things like roots, herbs, and spices. People in Indonesia have been using jamu for a long time to stay healthy and treat sickness. Some common spices used in making jamu are turmeric, ginger, galangal, cinnamon, pepper, and tamarind. Each spice has special health benefits and tastes that make jamu special.

In Yogyakarta, a city in Indonesia, jamu is really important in their culture and for staying healthy. Many women won’t start their day without a shot of jamu! You can find people selling jamu in markets, creating special blends to help with different health needs. These sellers often learned their recipes from their ancestors, making the tonics very authentic and effective. Yogyakarta’s bustling jamu scene shows how connected they are to nature, health, and their traditions.

When I visited a spice house in Karang Rejo Village as part of a seminar on ASEAN Spice: The Connecting Culture of Southeast Asians, I got to learn even more about jamu. We had a great time touring a spice garden and learning how to make different types of jamu drinks. Trying out the different jamu flavours made me appreciate the natural and cultural importance of this traditional Indonesian medicine even more.

Indonesia excels in harnessing its rich natural resources of spices and herbs to promote health and well-being. Through traditional practices like jamu-making, Indonesians blend a variety of natural ingredients to create functional medicines that help maintain vitality. Moreover, these flavourful spices and herbs are seamlessly integrated into Indonesian cuisine, not only enhancing taste but also infusing dishes with medicinal properties, showcasing a holistic approach to health and cooking traditions.

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