What is Jamu and what are the key ingredients?

What is Jamu exactly and why are people so convinced it is good for our body?

Families across Indonesia commonly make their own Jamu with traditional recipes passed down by grandmothers and villagers. For many locals, Jamu is an everyday drink to restore one’s vitality and immunity. 

Originating from the Mataram Kingdom in Java, Jamu has been passed down for generations due to its well-known benefits of improving inner and outer health & beauty. Despite having existed for almost 1,200 years, this traditional herbal drink is not commonly known outside of Indonesia. 

The fruits, herbs and spices, which are almost all grown natively in Indonesia, contain different healing properties. Here are the top 10 most popular herbs and spices that are used:

  1. Kunyit in Indonesian or Turmeric
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Highly antioxidant
  • Helps prevent cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer
  • Improves symptoms of depression and arthritis


  1. Jahe in Indonesian or Ginger
  • Helps digestion
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Relieves nausea and morning sickness, cold and flu relief
  • Maintains blood sugar level, reduces cholesterol

  1. Lengkuas in Indonesian, Galangal or Thai ginger or Blue ginger
  • Anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-parasite, analgesic, wound disinfectant
  • Blood pressure regulator & hearth tonic
  • Helps with arthritis & rheumatism

  1. Kencur in Indonesian, Kaemferia Galangal or Aromatic Galangal or Sand ginger
  • Helps relieve cold & cough, headaches and migraine, influenza
  • Treats rheumatic diseases
  • Asthma cure
  • Helps to get rid of acne

  1. Cinnamon
  • High in antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduces cholesterol levels, heart diseases and blood pressure
  • Lowers blood sugar level and has powerful anti-diabetic effects

  1. Nutmeg
  • Promotes healthy sleep
  • Reduces inflammation on the skin including acne
  • Helps with Alzheimer and dementia
  • Detoxifies the organs and relieves kidney stones

  1. Tamarind
  • Reduces blood sugar level
  • Treats hair loss
  • High in vitamins/minerals like potassium which is vital for the cardiovascular system
  • Anti-inflammatory, good to reduce pain in the joints and connective tissues.

  1. Cardamom
  • Potentially reducing colorectal cancer by enhancing antioxidant activity in the body
  • Blood circulation, anti-diabetic effect
  • Essential oil is believed to have anti-depressant properties, protecting from bad breath, a remedy for nausea and vomiting

  1. Betel leaves
  • Improves digestion, reduce gastric pain
  • Treat respiratory problems, prevent body odor and nose bleeding
  • Relieve cough and treat headaches

  1. Honey
  • Rich in carbohydrate due to its fructose and glucose content which makes it a natural energy booster
  • Healthier option as compared to sugar, which has zero nutritional content
  • Contains small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids and trace elements

These are only 10 ingredients from the hundreds than can be used.
Let us know in the comments what your favorites are!