5 Health Benefits of Ancient Indonesian Jamu
This ancient Indonesian traditional herbal drink is wildly popular again in 2020.
At the peak of the COVID19 pandemic, people all around the globe were scurrying to supermarkets and staying home as much as possible to avoid contracting the unprecedented virus. In Indonesia, however, an unusual trend revealed itself.
People in Indonesia started stocking up on Jamu, a traditional herbal drink which is known to boost one’s immune system and maintain good health. Local Jamu sellers started selling out their stock, ingredient prices soared more than 50%, and Jamu makers reaped handsome profits while a gloomy future looms. Even Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo swears by his Jamu -- he has consumed it daily for 18 years. Wow.
Almost unknown to consumers outside of Indonesia, Jamu has been homemade and consumed for over 1,200 years since the Mataram Kingdom in Java, using fresh and raw ingredients such as tamarind, galangal, ginger, and turmeric. This potent concoction of earthy and spicy herbs is made by grandmothers, villagers, and even urbanites, and is also recently available to tourists who visit local warungs (restaurants) and massage parlours. Javanese and Balinese traditional healers use it frequently in their healing sessions too.
So why is Jamu such a excellent health supplement? Here are the top five benefits which explain why:
Widely Used for its Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Let's get to the root of the problem.
Turmeric is a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic treatments due to its highly potent nature. It was first used as a dye, and gradually became a key ingredient in many branches of folk medicine including TCM and animalistic rituals of the Austronesian peoples. Turmeric contains curcumin which reduces swelling, pain, headaches, and osteoarthritis. Some people also use it for inflammatory bowel disease, itching, stress, and depression too. Combine it with the earthy, slightly bitter, and unique taste, there is no question about its superstar role in all jamus.
Promotes Good Heart Health
If you steal someone’s heart, do you get cardiac arrested?
Various Jamu ingredients contribute to a better, livelier heart. It is widely believed that turmeric prevents heart attacks and diabetes while tamarind, the thick gooey edible fruit, reduces blood sugar level and promotes good cardiovascular health due to its potassium content. Furthermore, honey lowers blood pressure and is great for both heart and eye health due to its naturally high levels of antioxidants. Ginger lowers cholesterol levels to aid your healthy, balanced lifestyles. Isn't it fascinating how our ancestors from centuries ago realised the positive effects of herbal ingredients and incorporated all of them into a palatable, delicious, homely jamu drink? We think so!
High in Antioxidants
I made a chemistry joke. There was no reaction.
Jamu treats your body and mind holistically, replenishing your body with lots of powerful minerals and vitamins for optimal vitality and energy levels. Tamarind is rich in organic compounds, making it a frontrunner for its high antioxidant content. Honey also contains a high level of antioxidants, while lime rejuvenates your skin, boost your vitamin c levels, and help with iron absorption.
Natural Detox for Liver and Kidneys
What do you call someone who can't stick with a diet? A desserter.
For many of us, especially distraction-filled urbanites, having a clean lifestyle of good, wholesome, natural food everyday is simply not that easy. Along with all the late-night snacking, sinful buffet spreads, and party nights with free-flow drinks, we seldom pause to listen to our body. Thankfully, drinking Jamu can help with reseting some of that accumulated toxins in your body. Ginger, turmeric, and tamarind are all excellent ingredients to help detoxify your liver and kidneys, purifying you from the inside-out to unleash your natural immunity and power. Ginger also replenishes your body's levels of iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, flavonoids and phytonutrients.
Boosts Digestion and Well-Being
Too many benefits to digest altogether? We feel you.
Tamarind is an excellent source of dietary fibre, which binds to toxins, bile salts and surplus cholesterol, and then detoxifying them out of the body safely and cleanly. It is a commonly used natural laxative, gently aiding digestion and alleviating stomach discomforts due to constipation. It is also sometimes termed the "slimming fruit" due to its effectiveness in weight loss practices. Ginger also promotes healthy weight and helps digestion (cue: beware of farts!). Lastly, honey soothes many minor ailments, reducing cough symptoms, and promote better sleep. Jamu truly heals you inside and out, giving you a calmer peace of mind and glowing skin!