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What is Indonesian Jamu? … Jamu who?

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Jamu is herbal medicine at its best.

I first tried it, oh so many years ago, and although I wasn’t immediately taken (it has a very distinctive taste), I was surprised at how quickly I felt better.
In an age where juicing and health cleanses are all the rage, why hasn’t this been leading the front-line in the whole healthy drinks brigade?
And how on earth, did I quickly forget about this wonder juice?
It’s not as if the ingredients are impossible to track down? You can usually get them all down a local market in London.

But what’s Jamu?
Correct me if I am wrong (but I am only relaying what I was told) but its efficacy comes from centuries old healing knowledge. It is said that this traditional herbal way is able to heal all manner of ailments, while still maintaining at its core, natural and fresh ingredients.
Hawkers sell it on the street, and although you couldn’t call it Jamu, similar tinctures and concoctions can be seen all across South East Asia; even here in the heart of Bangkok.
A quick google search will tell you that the ingredients found in Jamu, such as: tamarind, turmeric, galangal and ginger, work wonders for the immune system.
That is why, this time around, when I was feeling a little worse for wear, I decided to give it a go. This is my simple but tested version of Jamu:

A Beginner’s Guide to Indonesian Jamu


I’ve put down all the measurements I personally use, but if its your first time and your don’t fancy that peppery gingery  tang, you should definitely err on the conservative side.
30g Fresh Ginger
30g Fresh Galangal
30g Fresh Turmeric
1 medium over-ripe mango
1 lemon / lime
4 tbsps honey – it doesn’t have to be organic, or manuka honey, but these obviously give you the best possible charge of antioxidants and best concentration of immunity boosters.

Wash all your rhizomes and place them in a saucepan, with about 500ml of water and cook for 5 – 10 minutes. You should notice that the water is turning a dusty yellow, that’s the turmeric’s doing.
Remove from heat and place the whole thing in a food processor with the remainder of your ingredients. Personally speaking, I prefer mine to have bits, so I would recommend you only give it a few pulses before you drink it.
If you have a mason jar, it can keep for about 3 days.

This is not just a drink for sick days, so why don’t you give it ago.

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