Jamu, a cure-it-all Herbal Elixir

Earlier last month, I was invited to attend an informative and life changing workshop hosted by L’Atelier Aquafitness, an aqua fitness boutique based in Dubai, and Bali Fit Paradise, wellness retreat based in Bali, Indonesia. The event covered 2 main topics: Jamu & Healthier food ingredients both of which I absolutely enjoyed and learnt a lot from. However, the most memorable thing that I walked away with from this event would have to be meeting the beautiful souls from both L’Atelier & Bali Fit Paradise. Kareema – founder of L’Atelier Aqua fitness; Stephany, co-founder of Bali Fit Paradise, and Elizabeth, head chef at Bali Fit Paradise, honestly can’t thank you enough for these amazing workshops.

Karima – founder of L’Atelier Aquafitness

   
 
From left to right: Stephany – cofounder of Bali Fit Paradise and Elizabeth – private chef & nutritionist at Bali Fit Paradise

“You are what you eat”. If only I could get a penny every time someone says that to me, I’d be a millionaire by now 😅  Ok maybe not, but I’d probably have a lot in my bank account. Being a health and culture enthusiast, traditional recipes that have been passed down and refined over hundreds and hundreds of years will always intrigue me.

Traditional herbal medicine differs with every country. Each country offers their unique twist by using ingredients easily available to them and offer a wide range of benefits to the human body. Jamu is no different. Hailing from Central Java, Indonesia, Jamu has been around for over 1,000 years being passed down from one generation to another.

To address the elephant in the room, Jamu is simply a mixture of various plant parts ( roots, flowers, seeds, fruits ) aimed towards improving / cleansing our bodies. The mixture could be consumed or applied to the body depending on what you’d like to achieve.

Jamu has evolved over the years, and the form of ingredients used have also changed with the times. Back then, Jamu was only made using fresh ingredients and Javanese Palm sugar. Recipes were made exactly by the book with almost no alterations. Now a days, Jamu can be made using fresh ingredients or their equivalent in powder form and honey or coconut nectar. Recipes are also altered to add on to the benefits or enhance the taste.

Benefits of Jamu are endless. Depending on the ingredients used Jamu can help with anything. Some of it’s well known benefits include:

  • Detox: Jamu is a go-to remedy for detoxing & flushing toxins out of our systems. This enables the human body to boost it’s immune system curing minor and major illnesses. Elizabeth, head chef of Bali Fit Paradise  shared her experience with Jamu and how it played a major role in curing her stage 1+ womb cancer. With no cancer history in her family, Elizabeth was taken by surprise with the news. After visiting various doctors, she decided to completely revamp her lifestyle and eating habits. Following a healthy lifestyle, clean diet and religiously consuming Jamu, she was declared cancer free a little over 2 years in to her journey ☺️
  • Beauty: Put simply, when your insides are clean & well taken care of, your outside will glow and radiate with health, resulting in glowing skin. In addition to healthy insides, Jamu is also used to help with many skin concerns. If you’ve ever been to Bali, Indonesia, you would’ve probably come across many stores selling a wide variety of colorful powders – Aloe vera, Yam, bamboo, and the list goes on. These powders are widely used as an external beauty Jamu to help with any skin issue. Stephany, Co-founder of Bali Fit Paradise was a perfect testimony. Her skin had the most beautiful glow I’ve ever seen and simply radiated with health.
  • Various other benefits: The most amazing thing about Jamu is that you could mix a number of ingredients together to help with any concern you face. From weight loss to help cure cancer, there is a Jamu for everything! Just make sure to do your research well and be constant. After all, nothing ever worth having comes easy ☺️

During the workshop, Elizabeth taught us how to make some of these Jamus at home using basic ingredients which can easily be found anywhere. Here is a good Jamu that has endless benefits

Kunyit Asam

Benefits:  Boosts immune system. Antibiotic. Relieves menstrual cramps. Lowers blood pressure. Overcomes constipation. Detoxes the liver. Helps treat diarrhea.

Dosage: 1 shot glass – 2x a day ( first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, then again at night just before bed )

Ingredients:

  1. Finely grated turmeric from a thumb of turmeric root  [ Note: You may substitute this with Turmeric powder ]
  2. Tamarind juice freshly made from Tamarind ( you may use Indonesian or Thai Tamarind both work well )
  3. 1 tsp of organic honey. [ TIP: To check if your honey is pure with 0 additives, put it in the freezer overnight. Pure, organic honey will NOT freeze 😃 ]

Directions [ for 1 shot glass]:

  1. Finely grate a thumb of Turmeric root then extract the turmeric juice by squeezing the grated turmeric
     
  2. Prepare some Tamarind juice by adding some water to the tamarind seeds and mixing them well
  3. Add a tsp of organic honey, mix well and drink up

Directions [ for 500ml ]:

  1. You may use either fresh turmeric or turmeric powder and blend with 250ml of water. Should you be using fresh turmeric, you may either blend it in a blender and strain it to extract the water or you may use a really fine grater and grate the fresh turmeric then squeeze out all the juice.
  2. Soak the Tamarind in 250 ml of water , mix well and sieve out the tamarind juice.
  3. Mix the turmeric and tamarind liquids on aa medium heat and bring to boil for 15-20 minutes
  4. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes then add honey to your taste.
  5. Stored in a well-sealed glass container. can be stored in a fridge for a week.

    NOTE: Make sure the drink is warm before adding the honey. Adding honey to hot drinks removes all the benefits of the honey. 

For weight loss, simply substitute the honey with freshly grated ginger. Ginger will work on burning fat and help you shed those pounds. 

Jamu serves as an excellent alternative to medicine when it comes to regaining your health. We can all agree that we would prefer to use natural ingredients to help boost our immune system and fight any disease. Followed with a healthy lifestyle and well balanced meals, Jamu is sure to do your body real good.

I would like to thank L’Atelier and Bali Fit Spa for organizing such an educative and informative workshop. Thanks to this partnership our health has improved and we’ll never have to worry about medicine again. I would also love to thank Roxanne from Tishtash for sending me an invite. Really appreciate it!

Keep you eyes peeled for part 2, where I will be sharing more on L’Atelier Aquafitness, Bali Fit Paradise and healthy cooking alternatives that would not only improve your health, but help you shed those pounds 😉  😉

 

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