CulturallyOurs Indonesian Jamu Juice With Turmeric And Ginger

Traditional Jamu Juice From Bali

02.21.20
CulturallyOurs Indonesian Jamu Juice With Turmeric And Ginger

Jamu, a juice from Bali, is traditionally made with fresh turmeric and ginger. It is considered more of a tonic because of all the health benefits that are associated with the ingredients that go into this drink.

Herbs and spices are truly a precious gift from Mother Nature. Each plant has an individual composition of valuable ingredients and above all secondary plant substances which, when used correctly, can bring us many healing benefits. In the spice shelf, on the windowsill or in the garden, the healing powers of nature are waiting to be discovered. Over the millennia that humans have used herbs, treasures of knowledge have been accumulated all over the world that explain how, when and why certain herbs are used.

Today, our friend, Paula Saalfeld, is sharing a recipe for a juice drink from Bali called Jamu. This delicious tonic will help you integrate one of the very powerful plants – turmeric – into your daily life.CulturallyOurs Fresh Turmeric Root from Indonesia For Jamu JuiceFrom Paula,

Long before the Balinese started taking western medication, they had been treating themselves with traditional herbal remedies from their fields and forests. Bali culture is very much in tuned with nature. They use plants like turmeric and neem which are known to have natural antiseptic properties, cloves that can help with toothache or to get rid of intestinal parasites, gota kola leaves which is good for fevers, headaches, memory and skin ailments, and unripe guava fruit for diarrhea.

For hundreds of years, healers and herbalists gave information by word of mouth to their children and students. Nowadays, fewer and fewer young people are interested in mastering the traditional knowledge of herbal medicine. The same goes for many other parts of Indonesia, where knowledge and understanding of traditional plants is dying out.CulturallyOurs Spices from Indonesia For Jamu JuiceBut still, there are a few herbalists in Bali who want to keep this tradition and knowledge alive.

Traveling to Bali, I noticed turmeric jamu on the menu of many restaurants and also saw it in many different shops in the  markets. Usually served chilled, it is a brightly gold colored drink, intensely flavored with turmeric, ginger, tamarind and lime. It is a very potent drink with a strong flavor so it might take some getting used to. But I fell in love with it immediately. I got to taste many different versions since every family has its own unique recipe.CulturallyOurs Fruits from Indonesia For Jamu JuiceIn general ‘Jamu’ is just a word for a traditional Indonesian medicinal juice, predominantly made from natural ingredients including roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. In Indonesia, jamu is used to address a wide range of ailments, depending on the ingredients used.

I found that some turmeric jamus were better than others and it was obvious when dried turmeric was being used instead of fresh turmeric root. But in general, drinking Jamu made me feeling refreshed and balanced. Now, back home in Germany, with the tips from a Balinese herbalist in my mind, I created my own recipe, which I really enjoy every now and then.

Health benefits of Jamu juice

As one of the most powerful healing herbs, turmeric is known for helping with different health issues. The bright, strong color, coming from the curcumin already tells that it’s rich in antioxidants and therefore supports the liver and kidneys with detoxification and aids as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It is also know to help with digestion, lowering cholesterol and being anti-carcinogenic. All in all it’s a great immune-boosting spice, that can be taken on a daily to prevent illness and support healing.

CulturallyOurs Fresh Turmeric Root from Indonesia For Jamu Juice

Recipe for turmeric jamu juice

It’s possible to make jamu using dried turmeric, but I really recommend seeking out fresh turmeric root if you can. It tastes fresher and cleaner, and is probably better for therapeutic purposes. Fresh turmeric is usually found in Asian supermarkets or even in speciality health stores. Fresh ginger is more commonly found in almost any supermarket around the world.CulturallyOurs Fresh Turmeric Root from Indonesia For Jamu Juice

Ingredients:

  • 150 g fresh turmeric root
  • 20 g fresh ginger root
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh lime/ lemon juice or 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 4 cups water
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp honey, (or any other sweetener of your choice)

Method:

  1. To grate the turmeric, slightly peel the roots to remove loose skin and any blemishes, using a spoon
  2. Then steam the roots for about 20 minutes. This step is important for the containing starches, that need to be broken down for the benefits to be absorbed
  3. Make sure to keep the steamed water and put the roots with more fresh water (4 cups in total) in the blender until it’s all smooth
  4. Strain it through a very fine sieve, nut milk bag or muslin cloth
  5. Pour it into glass bottles to refrigerate
  6. TIP: Black pepper supports absorption of curcumin, so you could also add a little bit if you like.

Keep in mind that fresh turmeric stains everything it comes into contact with, so don’t use your best chopping board. If the stain bothers you, you can wear gloves while peeling the turmeric. Also make sure to wash your blender immediately, and thoroughly. When made with fresh turmeric root, this drink can last unto a week in the fridge.

You can drink this cold or even warm it up slightly of chilled juice is not your thing.CulturallyOurs Turmeric and Ginger Jamu Juice from BaliHerbs and spices truly are nature’s gift to us humans. More than 2000 years ago the Greek physician Hippocrates said:

Let food be thy medicine

This wise advice is still valid today.

Have you heard of Jamu juice from Bali before? And have you tried Jamu juice before? This sounds like a 100% goodness in a bottle and we know we are eager to make a batch today. Perfect for boosting the immune system especially during the winter.

{Words and photos by Paula Saalfeld, Instagram: @plantifultaste }

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Leave your comments below

  1. Ann says:

    This looks like a drink we can all use, just to boost our immune systems a bit 🙂