Jamu is generally used by Indonesians as a natural medicinal drink to maintain health and cure various diseases. The tradition of drinking this herbal medicine is estimated to have existed since 1300 AD and is a historical drink.
Jamu is a nutritious drink from Indonesia as a health drink, prevents and cures various diseases. Jamu is served in various types, considering that Indonesia has quite a lot of herbal plants. Each region has a different type of herbal medicine, according to the herbal plants that grow in the area.
Processing of Jamu is not too complicated, most of them only take the extract from the juice of herbal plants. There is also pounded. Often made from turmeric, ginger, galangal, ginger, kencur, and cinnamon. Especially for palm sugar, rock sugar, and lime, it is usually used as a fresh and sweet flavor enhancer.
Uniquely, in the manufacture of herbal medicine, the dosage of each ingredient is also adjusted, temperature, duration of pounding or boiling, and others. If not considered properly, it will lose the properties of the ingredients and can even harm the body. Likewise with its development, the tradition of drinking herbal medicine has experienced ups and downs according to the era. Broadly speaking, it is divided from the pre-historic era when the processing of forest products was flourishing, the Japanese colonial era, the early days of Indonesian independence, to the present.
Indonesian people since the days of the Mataram Kingdom until now still use herbal medicine. This typical Indonesian drink has become a matter of pride as is the case with Ayurveda from India and Zhongyi from China. Since then, women have played a more important role in producing herbal medicine, while men have played a role in finding natural herbs. This fact is reinforced by the discovery of artifacts of Cobek and Ulekan – mash tools for making herbal medicine. The artifacts can be seen at the Liyangan archaeological site located on the slopes of Mount Sindoro, Central Java.
In addition to the Cobek and Ulekan artifacts, other evidences were also found, such as the tools for making herbal medicine which are commonly found in Yogyakarta and Surakarta, to be precise at Borobudur Temple on the Karmawipangga relief, Prambanan Temple, Brambang Temple, and several other locations. It is said that, in ancient times, the secret to the health and supernatural powers of warriors and royal officials came from the training and assistance of herbal ingredients.
Along with its development, the tradition of drinking herbal medicine had decreased. Precisely when modern science first entered Indonesia. At that time the campaign for certified medicines was successful in changing the mindset of the Indonesian people so that interest in herbal medicine decreased. Apart from the matter of standards or certificates, the efficacy of herbal medicine was also questioned.
During the Japanese colonial period, around the 1940s, the tradition of drinking Jamu became popular again because the Indonesian Jamu committee was formed. That way, the trust in the efficacy of herbal medicine increases again. Over time, sales of Jamu have adapted to technology, including many packaged in the form of pills, tablets, or instant powders that are easy to brew. At that time it collided with the decline in the condition of Indonesian agriculture which resulted in a shift to the industrial world including the herbal medicine industry (read: the Phytopharmaca industry).
From 1974 to 1990, many herbal medicine companies were established and growing. In that era there was also a lot of guidance and assistance from the Government so that the herbal medicine industry players could increase their production activities.
Since the first time the Indonesian people use Jamu as a health drink until now, Jamu processing is based on the knowledge that has been taught from generation to generation. However, nowadays, the tradition of teaching herbal medicine making has rarely been practiced, so selling jamu in the arms is rarely found. Nowadays, there are fewer and fewer young people who want to learn to make herbal medicine. Most of them think that getting Jamu is enough to use the Jamu which is sold in sachets and instant.
It should be noted, Jamu is believed to have originated from two Old Javanese words, Djampi which means healing and Oesodo which means health. The term Jamu is introduced to the public through people who are believed to have traditional medicine knowledge. Must not be certified, the efficacy of herbal medicine has been tested as traditional medicine. So that until now, this nutritious drink that is typical of Indonesia is always maintained. Ancestral heritage must be preserved forever.