Friday, December 28, 2012

Jogjakarta: Tukang Jamu

Jamu (formerly Djamu) is traditional medicine in Indonesia. It is predominantly herbal medicine made from natural materials, such as parts of plants, such as roots, leaves and bark, and fruit. There is also material from the bodies of animals, such as bile of goat or alligator used. [Alligators are only native to the United States and China not Indonesia]

Tukang Jamu Gendong
In many large cities jamu herbal medicine is sold on the street by hawkers carry a refreshing drink, usually bitter but sweetened with honey.
Herbal medicine is also produced in factories by large companies such as Air MancurNyonya Meneer or Djamu Djago, and sold at various drug stores in sachet packaging. Packaged dried jamu should be dissolved in hot water first before drinking. Nowadays herbal medicine is also sold in the form of tablets, caplets and capsules.

Jamu is often distributed in the form of powder, pills, capsules, and drinking liquid. Jamu shops, which sell only ingredients or prepare the jamu on spot as required by buyers, as well as women roaming the street to sell jamu, is a commonly seen way to distribute jamu in Indonesia. Nowadays, Jamu is also mass manufactured and exported. There are often concerns as to quality, consistency, and cleanliness in not only the locally distributed but also manufactured forms.

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