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Jamu - a natural, herbal, health boost?

A Catch-All Word For A Broad System Of Traditional Medicine

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The tradition of using specific herbal mixes for health can date as far back as 1300 years ago, in the Nusantara region. Susan Jane-Beers wrote a very informative book on the cultural impact and uses of jamu.

However, the effect of these mixes are not often fully understood, or clinically tested. The herbs themselves are edible and quite often used in cooking, but how are these spices meant to help our health?

The Jamu Renaissance

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Many of the effects that have been claimed by people who consume jamu can be traced back to a certain active ingredient that is present in these herbs. With modern techniques (eg. freeze drying, distillation) these active ingredients can be extracted and concentrated to enhance their effects.

The effects of the active ingredients have also been studied with scientific lab methods. Furthermore, the drawbacks of some active ingredients can be mitigated when medical methods are applied.

For example, the curcumin (turmeric's active ingredient) used in Lúminara has been enhanced with gamma-cyclodextrin that helps with its problems with bioavailability.

What Does This Mean For The Jamu Industry?

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The industry is sure to boom, if it were to be given the right kind of attention. However, there are many who go by the moniker of jamu simply for the appeal to sentiment of natural goodness. There are many effects of jamu-related ingredients that are still poorly researched, and as such, one is advised to trust properly certified merchants of jamu.



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