Ask an Indonesian person about jamu, and they’ll probably tell you that growing up, it’s what they had to drink whenever they were feeling poorly. That’s because for over 1,300 years, jamu has been the archipelago’s go-to elixir for all kinds of ailments: a sore throat, skin problems, sexual health, indigestion, diabetes and more. It’s a drink for people of all ages from all walks of life, and is consumed by royalty and civilians alike!
The makers of jamu have always been women, who are referred to as 'jamu gendongs'. They might ask their husbands for a helping hand when it comes to the laborious processes of collecting and grinding the ingredients, which are mainly ginger and turmeric, but it’s women who develop and record the many recipes for all the different types of jamu, master the technique of mixing the ingredients together and take on the task of selling it – usually out of woven baskets, which they carry on their backs.
Most jamu, like ours here at Good Jamu, is 100% plant based. Roots and fruits form the basis of our Island Spice and Tropical Turmeric jamus; refreshing ingredients that invigorate the body and mind. But jamu is often also made using seeds, leaves, barks, and flowers.
Indonesians used to believe that jamu should taste bitter in order to work, that the feeling of a fire running through their body meant the jamu was doing its job. But most of the jamu made today tastes zesty and slightly sweet, with tropical undertones. Its smooth texture makes it delightful to drink, whether it's hydration or vigour you seek. We’d recommend drinking it every morning on an empty stomach, as this allows all the nutrients it contains to be fully absorbed. Read more on how to drink jamu here.
Jamu is a holistic therapy – it should be drank every day to maintain wellness throughout the body as a whole, rather than to cure certain ailments in isolation in the way that modern medicines do.
Drinking jamu is about finding and keeping that sense of inner peace we all strive for by being mindful about what you put in your body. It’s focused on reaping the riches of the earth to balance the body and mind, so that you can avoid the need to rely on chemical medicines to treat illnesses once they’re present.
We carefully select all the natural ingredients that go into our jamu with the motive of making you feel happy on the inside so that you can be the best version of yourself every day, no matter what challenges lie in your way.