Jamu: the traditional herbal health drink of Indonesia
Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal medicine made from turmeric, ginger, and other herbs. It has been used to maintain good health and to prevent diseases for centuries.
While traveling through Indonesia, I tasted Jamu for the first time. Spotting yellow liquid perched precariously atop wooden carts or tucked neatly into woven baskets, I decided to investigate the mysterious substance. The recipe for Jamu varies from person to person, family to family. The juice can be tailored to treat certain ailments. Many Indonesian people drink Jamu on a daily basis to maintain good health. Sometimes Jamu tastes bitter and needs to be chased with honey and other times it tastes delicious.
I learned how to make Jamu in Ubud. The basic recipe requires putting turmeric and ginger in a blender and adding a raw egg, honey and tea or water. I found daily consumption of Jamu dramatically reduced my symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Upon returning to the U.S, I continued to supplement my diet with homemade turmeric-ginger beverages. My sustained wellness is a testament to the medicinal properties of turmeric, the primary component in my version of Jamu.