Jumat, 24 Februari 2012

Jamu Gendong 23 - Javanese herbal health drinks vendor


Dhenok, the jamu gendong vendor

When mom still alive, her morning routine was to buy a glass of jamu (Javanese herbal health drinks) from Dhenok, the jamu gendong vendor. It is called jamu gendong because these vendors (usually women) carry (gendong) home-made herbal drinks in baskets on their backs and offer them door to door in the morning. 

Out of many jamu vendors that passed by my sister's house, mom preferred Dhenok because she is friendly and didn't mind to listen to mom's ramblings. Dhenok has become an important part of mom's morning ritual she would miss her if she didn't see Dhenok around. When me or my young bro came over to visit mom, she had more reason to buy more jamu from Dhenok for all of us. The typical ingredients of jamu consist of rice powder, turmeric, ginger, bitter galangal (brotowali), lime leaves, Javanese palm sugar, turmeric, lesser galangal (kencur), betel leaves (daun sirih), water, salt and assorted herbal ingredients. There is jamu to refresh and restore energy, jamu to cleanse the blood, jamu to get rid of masuk angin (to cure a case of the chills), jamu to lose weight, jamu to increase children's appetite, jamu for painful period, jamu to increase potency etc. A glass of jamu costs only 2,000 Rupiahs or 25 US cents.
Dhenok woke up at 4am every morning, prepare the jamu with fresh ingredients and make her rounds started from 6:30am. Now even though mom is no longer around, Dhenok always stops by at my sister's house over the weekend. She is indeed a very nice person and has loyal customers around the neighborhood.

The heart of the Javanese tradition of jamu
A woman’s life cycle consists of: birth, puberty, pre-marriage, pregnancy, giving birth, lactating, menopause, and post menopause, each with its own physical and mental challenges. In Javanese culture, we believe that harmony is paramount to achieve the balance between physical and spiritual health in order to prepare us for these challenges. The Javanese people also believe that nature provides us with all necessary food and medicine to help us prepare our self. Our tradition teaches us how we should combine various plants to make our food and remedies and how we should take charge of our wellbeing. We call this art of herbal healing as Jamu. 
Our Natural Heritage
Jamu as the core of our Spa practices is one example on how Javanese culture respect Nature as the main source of food and medicine for all life. Indonesia is blessed not only with its rich natural resources but also tradition of preserving this valuable ethno botanical knowledge. It is arguably a dying science amidst modern lifestyle which prefers to embrace genetically modified food and chemical compounds as medicine over natural derived food and medicine. Million of hectares of natural habitat for plants and animals are being cleared to make way for other destructive activities like logging, mining, or monoculture plantation/farming because human forget how precious the various of plants are for our main source of food and medicine. It is through the tradition of Jamu, we will show to people from around the world that we will preserve our biological diversity and our ethno botanical knowledge as our most valuable heritage.

Adapted from the text of the photographic/essay exhibition, "Jamu: the Herbal Remedies of Indonesia."

Jamu is a go-to solution drink for all kinds of common ailments, ranging from infertility to increasing libido.  People in the island of Bali and Java depend on these drinks for their health, energy, strength, body-mind balance, and internal and external radiance.  Its origin remains a mystery but its impact on the lives of these people is enormous.   
There are more than three hundred blends of jamu today, some are bitter while others are sweet but jamu is known, taken regularly, would keep those health worries away.  It functions as more than health drink to the people of Bali and Java, it has become a routine for these people to drink it to relieve aches and pains, revive energy, maintain strength, and body-mind balance.  The people of the island of Java consume it daily to balance their inner and outer physical beauty, and mental clarity. Jamu is an integrated health system perfected by the people of the island of Java in Indonesia.
Long before time was measured in terms of hours and minutes, and long before the world discovers aspirins and antibiotics, people in the island of Java and Bali discovered the concept of jamu as a solution to their health issues.  Our ancestors worked to perfect jamu, a complex blend of spices, and other ingredients that provide them with solution to keep themselves healthy, balance, and happy. They used their indigenous knowledge and skills in blending  jamu, perfect drinks, that provide nutrition needed for healthy body and mind.  A glass of jamu a day will keep those chronic ailments away.  
It helps people to heal quickly, rejuvenate, and strengthen immune system.  One needs to drink it once a day and very soon you will feel and appreciate it.  Jamu is a liquid blend of several types plants, flowers, leaves, barks, roots fruits and tree saps and people of the island of Java drink jamu daily. The Javanese people in Indonesia believe that jamu is precious gift from Almighty that helps them to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle.
According to the people in the island Java, Indonesia, jamu is a functional drink, wellness drink, and healthy drink that provide balance in our life.  It is also a way of life, “My life is like Jamu – some days I need to be bitter while other days I have sweet days”  
Increasing numbers of Americans are drawn to natural medical therapies such as Chinese herbology and the Ayurvedic medical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Borrowing from and contributing to both these systems of medicinal plant use is a close relative, jamu, the traditional plant medicines of Indonesia. Woefully unexplored by students of herbal wisdom, jamu offers many plants and methodologies which are worthy of in -depth study and new to the ethnomedical literature. Rich in flora and tradition, the potential contributions Indonesia's "Apotik Hidup" ("Living Apothecary") could make to world medical knowledge and public healthcare are great.
Lulur (Javanese) - Boreh (Balinese) - Indonesian Spa practices
Lulur (Javanese) - Boreh (Balinese) - Indonesian Spa practices
Lulur (Javanese) - Boreh (Balinese) - Indonesian Spa practices
Lulur (Javanese) - Boreh (Balinese) - Indonesian Spa practices
Lulur (Javanese) - Boreh (Balinese) - Indonesian Spa practices

Javanese Lulur Ritual
Javanese Mandi Lulur is an ancient beauty treatment, which originated centuries ago in the palaces of central Java as a “purifying” ritual for Javanese princesses as they prepared for their wedding day. It was in Java, that many secrets of health and beauty, utilizing the naturally occurring herbs, spices, foods, clays and minerals were created and used for the benefit of the royal family.

The Mandi Lulur or ‘royal wedding’ treatment, is traditionally given to women each day for 40 days preceding their wedding, to soften and sweeten their skin and prepare them for this most important of days.

The treatment begins with a ritual foot scrub followed with a one hour Balinese massage. Next, the entire body is painted with the light brown granular aromatic paste the traditional Javanese Lulur. The Lulur paste is made from a blend of finely ground rice, nuts, turmeric root, ginger, cinnamon and sandalwood powder, ground together in a mortar and pestle. A little water is then added and a few drops of Jasmine oil to form a granular paste. Once the paste is dry it is gently rubbed off to exfoliate and polish the skin and is used to slough away dead skin cells, bringing forth fresh, new skin. The remaining paste is then rinsed off with warm water. Traditionally this is done with a coconut ladle dipped into your waiting bath.

After a cleansing shower; cool, fresh natural yogurt is splashed and lightly rubbed all over the body. The yogurt’s enzymes stimulate the cell activity and restore the pH balance of the skin, which feels as soft as silk after the yogurt is washed away.
The final and most wonderful step is to relax is a warm bath that has been strewn with aromatic flowers such as jasmine, tuberose, frangipani, gardenia and ylang-ylang. Thoughts of royal princesses and fragrant gardens fill your mind as you sip a herbal tea and float away on a fragrant cloud of bliss.

Your winter weary skin will be left soft, supple and shining. The Javanese Lulur Ritual is a truly delicious experience that you may enjoy at these spas.

Balinese Boreh
The Balinese Boreh is a traditional herbal scrub used at the end of a hard working day to relieve muscle aches, increase blood circulation and create relaxation. Boreh accomplishes this by using heat therapy combined with exotic spices that stimulate the circulation and warm the skin with an aromatic blend. It is also used as a treatment for headaches and fever.

The history is that the hand-crushed spice would be applied on the legs of the rice farmers after a day’s work of standing in the water tending the rice. The ingredients of this fragrant paste is a combination of powdered sandalwood, whole cloves, ginger, cinnamon, coriander seeds, rice powder, turmeric root and nutmeg, all ground in a mortar and pestle and combined with water to make a thick consistency.

Boreh has now been adapted and used in Asian and American spas in the form of a scrub. The treatment encompasses Indonesian massage, followed by the application of a masque of crushed spices to the whole body, excluding the face, which heats and heals. The herbs used in the boreh scrub include cloves that are traditionally used to ward off chills, cold and muscular numbness. Ginger gives relief to arthritic joints, sore muscles and poor circulation. Rose water distillate is a byproduct of producing rose essential oils. Its fragrance is refreshing and exotic. It’s blended with the boreh scrub to enhance the healing properties of the scrub. Rose water distillate has an added value of being a skin toner, providing soothing and skin softening properties.

The Boreh paste is applied all over your body avoiding sensitive areas, and then your body is wrapped with cloth to keep the paste in contact with your skin. The sensation is of deep penetrating heat that melts away your tension and at the same time invigorates. The masque is left to work its magic while a massage is given, foot, scalp or Reiki.

After 5 or 10 minutes it is necessary to rub the skin vigorously to cause the paste to flake it away, a shower is then needed to remove the remaining paste. A moisturize and relax by drinking a cup of herbal tea, which will also rehydrate and cleanse your body.

Sooth your tired muscles with a Balinese Boreh at these selected spas.

Derived from the leaves, roots, bark, flowers, and stems of higher plants as well as the minerals and fungi of Indonesia's abundant tropical forests, jamu come in the form of nonprescription pills, powders, teas, tonics, topical oils, and creams. About 1,000 indigenous plants, from Acacia to Zingiber, are grown or gathered to make jamu. Remedies usually consist of about three to a dozen ingredients and are used to treat just about every malady imaginable, from urinary tract infections to infertility, to cancer, to depression. Jamu to promote general health and beauty are also very popular. There are herbs to: "stay young," "keep breasts firm," "improve male virility" (sometimes called "He-Man Jamu"), "improve married life," as well as a myriad of herbs to aid a mother before and after she gives birth. It is estimated that 80% of all Indonesians take some form of jamu daily. (A noteworthy consensus for a diverse population -- the world's fourth largest -- of about 191 million people spread over 13,667 islands, sharing 500 language groups). Bought in pharmacies, department stores, street stalls, from door to door vendors, grown in backyard garden plots, or foraged in the forest, jamu use spans ethnic and economic barriers.

From Behind the Kraton Wall
The origin and development of jamu is not completely known. The earliest evidence of internal and external use of herbs dates back to the eighth century. In Central Java, on the walls of the Borobudur temple (the largest ancient monument in the Southern hemisphere and the world's largest stupa -- a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine), there is a relief of a kalpataru tree: a mythological tree that lives forever. Beneath the tree, people crush ingredients for the preparation of jamu. Ancient scripts handwritten in Javanese, such as "Serat Primpon Jampi," ("Handbook of Magic Formulas") and "Serat Racikan Boreh Wulang nDalem" ("Handbook for Mixing Medicinal Ingredients") contain recipes recorded for the exclusive use of Javanese royalty. In the earliest surveys of flora of the Indonesian archipelago, botanists noted the curative properties of jamu. The Dutch botanist, Rumphius (Georg Eberhard Rumpf) (1628-1702), the "Pliny of the Indies," covered medicinal uses of plants in his classic wo rk on the Indonesian island of Ambon, Herbarium Amboinense (published in 1741), as did Karel Heyne in his 1927 De Nuttige Planten Van Indonesie, and Issac Henry Burkill in his 1935 Dictionary Of The Economic Products Of The Malay Peninsula.

The popular practice of jamu today, especially beauty products, owes much to the once secret herbal pharmacopoeia of the kingdoms based in Solo and Yogyakarta, Central Java. While villagers employed a simpler form of jamu, the heavily guarded Kraton (Palace) recipes included mare ingredients, some of which came from India and China. Good health and beauty was considered evidence of a leader's divine right to rule. Also, jamu was required for the many wives of the king to maintain their youth, fertility, and their strength during child birth; it was also needed for the king to maintain his virility. Solo, once the seat of the former great Mataram dynasty, is now a center for the marketing and large-scale production of packaged jamu. Some of the major manufacturers claim that their herbals are based on the original Solo court recipes. (How these recipes jumped the Kraton walls to become standard home remedies is still a matter of conjecture.)

At the heart of the Javanese tradition of jamu use is a cultural icon known as jamu gendong (jamu -- herbal remedies, gendong -- meaning to carry on one's back). Jamu gendong is usually carried and sold by young, attractive women who reportedly hail from Solo, Central Java. Their generally youthful appearance and beauty is believed to be evidence of the salubrious benefits of regular jamu use. Instantly recognizable in traditional dress, the jamu vendors peddle door to door, their backs laden with recycled Johnny Walker and other beverage bottles full of ocher and khaki-colored potions swaddled in batik cloth.

>>> Daftar Jamu Godog Kendhil Kencana

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