Jamu Your Way to Good Health
Jamu, pronounced ja-moo, is an Indonesian traditional herbal drink that many people in the country still consume in copious quantities, in the hope that they would never have to go to the doctor. Made from all-natural ingredients, jamu, which comes in many different varieties is supposed to help cure all sorts of physical ailments from common cold, heart disease to impotence.
There are different ways to make jamu from scratch and all of them are time-consuming. The most common ways are by cold-pressing the raw ingredients or putting them in a pot to boil and simmer, or by just putting powdered jamu in a glass with warm water.
This vibrant Indonesian tonic has been trusted by generations of locals and is taking the world by storm with its amazing health benefits.
Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit the tropical surfing and foodie paradise of Indonesia will have encountered the myriad of versions of jamu – a local health drink offered by street vendors or during health treatments at spas and retreats. It welcomes visitors at both temples in Java and resorts in Bali, and every area has its own special blend. Literally translated as “medicine”, jamu is a heady blend of roots, spices, herbs and flowers that has been keeping the islanders healthy for as long as they care to remember.
So what is jamu, exactly?
The most well-known version is the bright orange turmeric brew popular on the island of Bali, which consists of a blend of fresh turmeric, ginger and tamarind paste. Add some natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup and a squeeze of lime, and top it up with water and coconut water (or choose just one) and you have a potent tonic that contains a mind-boggling amount of health benefits – and tastes pretty darn good, as well!
Jamu’s health benefits
Jamu’s sky-high nutritional and antioxidant value makes it a potent herbal tonic, especially with its ability to help the body in fighting off viral infections like the common cold. According to Healthnet, the combination of ginger and turmeric has been used for centuries to fight off all manner of illnesses and ailments. Ginger is a powerful immune booster, while the curcumin in turmeric possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling, pain, headaches and osteoarthritis. Widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, it also aids in liver and kidney detox, and can address hormone imbalances as well, especially in women. Tamarind’s high antioxidant content can fight diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes while aiding in weight loss and reducing blood-sugar levels.