PULIH MARI BALI WUTUH PURNA WALUYA JATIJAMU: INDONESIAN NATURAL HERBAL REMEDY
"Jamu" is an old Indonesian heritage of elixirs and remedies for health and beauty. Made from natural herbs; either from the leaves, the fruits, the roots, the flowers or the barks, etc; jamu has been rejuvenation, medication and beauty secret that has been passed down through generations of Indonesian women.
Since old ages, Indonesian people had studied about the benefit of natural herbs, and today, Jamu is a perfect ‘back to nature’ solution to choose against harmful effect of modern life.
There are hundreds of herbs for jamu prescriptions, among other are:
* Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)
* Lempuyang (Zingiber Oronaticum)
* Temu Lawak/ Wild Ginger (Curcuma Cautkeridza)
* Temu Ireng (Curcuma Aeruginosa Roxb)
* Kunyit/ Tumeric (Curcuma Domestica)
* Kencur/ Greater Galingale (Kaemferi Galanga)
* Lengkuas/ Ginger Plant (Elpina Galanga)
* Bengle (Zingiber Bevifalium)
* Lada Putih/ White Pepper (Piper Nigrum)
* Pala/ Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt)
* Secang (Caesalpinia Sappan Hinn)
* Sambang Dara (Rexco Ecaria Bicolar Hassk)
* Brotowali (Tiospora Rumpii Boerl)
* Sereh/ Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle)
* Kumis Kucing/ (Orthosiphon aristatus Bl. Miq)
* Adas (Foeniculum Vulgare Mill)
* Jeruk Nipis/ Calamondin (Citrae Aurantifalia Sivingle)
* Ceplukan (Physalic Angulata Him)
* Nyamplung (Calophylum Inaphyllu)
Kayu Manis/ Cinamon (Gijeyzahyza Glabra)
* Melati/ Yasmin (Jataninum Sunbac Ait)
* Rumput Alang-alang (Gramineae)
Kinds of Jamu
There are many varieties of Jamu formulas. The most popular are:
- Jamu to maintain physical fitness and health.
The locally popular are ‘Galian Singset’ (to keep women body fit and slim) for women, and ‘Sehat Lelaki’ (to keep men body healthy). There is also ‘Sari Rapet’, which makes a women sexual organ in a good condition, as for the man the matched product is jamu ‘Kuat Lelaki’ (strong man). There are jamu especially formulated to taking a great care to pregnant women during pre and postnatal. There are also jamu for the babies.
- ‘Jamu Godok’, which is made by boiling several herbal ingredients.
This kind of jamu has a very bitter taste and is very good to detoxify the body and to cleanse the blood.
- Jamu to cure various kinds of illness, such as:
- Jamu as cosmetics, such as:
Today, Jamu comes in instant formula made by jamu factories, but the fresh home made ones still be sold in the market. In Indonesia, we can still find many ‘warung jamu’, a small store ( as a permanent building or in a tent) which serve both factory made and home made jamu. We can sometimes find mobile jamu seller (although nowadays it has become a rare occasion to see them), usually a woman, on foot (popular as 'tukang jamu gendong') or on bicycle, carrying basic formulas of jamu.
Jamu power: Indonesia's cure-all elixir
The belief in the healing qualities of an ancient herbal medicine is as strong as ever in the Javan town of Yogyakarta
Tucked deep in the heart of one of Indonesia's Yogyakarta markets, Ibu Siswu sits surrounded by bowls of herbal pulp, pots of elixirs and tiny coconut shell cups. After mixing the pulp in a brownish liquid she squeezes out the juice over a strainer. The result is a bitter-tasting tonic called jamu, a traditional herbal medicine venerated by Indonesians of all ages for its power to heal ailments or enhance one’s beauty, strength or stamina.
A young man wearing a t-shirt that reads, “They grow a mustache on you,” accepts the cup from Siswu and gulps down the cloudy liquid. His friend has a harder time, and winces with each sip.
Most teenagers prefer modern jamu capsules to the bitter tonics prepared by women such as Siswu. Her clients pucker their faces as they ingest the medicine, which is best taken immediately after preparation. Siswu scoffs at such cowardice: “Jamu should never be sweet,” she says.
An ancient tradition
The practice dates back to the time of the Buddhist empire that built Borobodur, and its association with the royal family, which popularized the drinking of herbal tonics, has added to its allure. Despite the loss of many traditions due to modernization, Indonesians still cling to their belief in jamu’s transformative powers.
Jamu makers often are elderly women -- Ibu being an honorary title meaning mother -- and jamu recipes vary from seller to seller. Most are highly guarded family secrets passed down over generations.
Other jamu makers in Prawirotaman market sell the herbs used as the base for the tonics. One woman has packets of powder that can be added to water for use in baths or skin masks. Her most interesting novelty, however, is ampo, or “healthy earth,” which comes from the nearby province of Bantul. Replete with high mineral deposits, the earth is finely sliced, rolled, dried and roasted, making it a favorite snack among older women.
Disease control and fertility aid
The tonics cover nearly every infliction imaginable -- from easing labor to increasing strength to treating coughs and fevers and protecting children from disease. Mothers give jamu to their children from the time they start walking, and even animals benefit from these elixirs, since farmers feed the used pulp to their cattle.
Ibu Siswu sells mostly to women who come to shop at the market (the most popular drink is one that aids breast milk production). Men tend to visit more modern jamu shops, which stay open late and sell pre-packaged versions of jamu. These shops specialize in medicine that increases one’s sexual drive and virility. The popular brand Kuku Bima, or “nail of the god” drives up men’s sperm count; while empot-empot helps women recover their sexual drive, and according to the box, “give something more than what is expected by a husband.”
Much like a doctor-patient relationship, people return to the jamu seller whose methods they trust. Because the ingredients are fresh and all natural there are few side effects aside from the occasional upset stomach. Over the past few decades, however, home industries have sprung up to supply modern jamu shops, and these require government licensing.
Marlina Movitasari, who runs tours of Yogyakarta’s jamu markets, says some traditional methods have become increasingly scarce -- not out of a lack of respect, but because fewer youths are learning the technique of making jamu from their elders. But if the number of customers Ibu Siswu sees each day is any indication, jamu’s popularity is still thriving.
More on Jamu
A few of the most common herbs in Jamu and their uses:
Turmeric = for detoxifying, to curb snoring, to ease menstrual cramping and reduce body odor.
Galangal = for seasickness and sore throat. Singers often drink concoctions with this root to keep their vocal cords performing at top notch.
Ginger = for detoxifying, morning sickness and to warm the body, improve circulation.
Lemongrass = for alertness, to stop gum bleeding and repel mosquitoes.
Tamarind = for constipation and to improve skin softness.
Sulfur = for rashes and itchy skin. Also used frequently in beauty products.
Where to buy: Pasar Prawirotaman, off Jl. Parangtritis, Yogyakarta
Cost: Rp1,000-5,000 (US$0.11-0.54) per glass
>>> Daftar Jamu Godog Kendhil Kencana