Indonesian’s Jamu Herbal Drink
Jamu is an herbal drink popular in Indonesia. It is made using a combination of a variety of herbs, roots, barks, leaves, and fruits, etc. This recipe of Jamu is made from turmeric, ginger, and tamarind.
Traditional Jamu has a base of turmeric and ginger. The combination of both of those provides you with a strong anti-inflammatory drink. Turmeric, a common ingredient in Indian food, has been well studied for it’s health benefits, including being anti-inflammatory, a strong anti-oxidant, protecting your neurons (currently being studied for Alzheimer’s Disease), treating/protecting against heart disease, treating/protecting against cancer, among many others. Studies have found curcumin, a substance in turmeric, to reduce inflammation better than medications, and is becoming a popular treatment option for those with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Ginger is also a strong anti-inflammatory, working wonders on your digestive system. Ginger has antibacterial and antiparasitic properties to protect you against both bacterial and viral infections. Ginger has been studied for its effects on regulating blood sugar, important for protecting and/or treating diabetes, again among many others.
This herbal drink is incredibly easy to prepare, and offers you a cheap and healthy, natural medicine to keep right in your fridge.
- What You Need:
- Fresh Ginger
- Fresh Turmeric Root
- Fresh Tamarind – You can usually find this at any grocery store, but you may need to go to an international grocery store. If you can’t find fresh tamarind, you can use tamarind paste in its place.
- Palm Sugar (optional) – 1 large tablespoon
- Honey – 2 tablespoons
The amount of ginger, turmeric root, and fresh tamarind is really up to you. Look at the picture below. We peeled one large ginger stalk, about 8 medium turmeric roots, and about 15-20 tamarinds, which vary in sizes. Exact proportions are not necessary, you can create an herbal drink that’s higher in tamarind, ginger, or turmeric, it’s up to you.
Directions for Indonesian’s Jamu Herbal Drink:
1. Peel ginger and turmeric root –
* WARNING: Turmeric will stain anything that it comes into contact with. Choose a cutting board that you don’t care too much about. Your fingers will be stained as well so wear gloves! If you don’t mind yellow fingers for a day or two don’t worry.
2. Give ginger and turmeric a rough chop – smaller size increases surface area.
3. Peel tamarind pods. You can leave the seeds because they will be strained out later.
4. Throw everything into a pot full of water. Boil at a medium temperature for about an hour or so. Don’t bring to a full boil, too high of temperatures denature enzymes. After about an hour it will have cooked down by half. You can mix another half pot of water or so to bring down the concentration to your desired level.
5. Add the honey and palm sugar towards the end of the hour.
6. Strain liquid into a glass container with an airtight seal-able lid if you’re going to store it in the fridge. You can also drink it hot. We put ours in the fridge, and drink only about a shot glass worth each day for health. It has a strong flavor, you can make it sweeter if desired.