|a Mbok Jamu ready to serve guests for breakfast at Grand Aston Hotel Yogyakarta|
Jamu (english pronounciation: Jam Mu) is traditional medicine from Indonesia. It is predominantly herbal medicine made from natural materials, such as parts of plants such as roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. Jamu is claimed to have originated from Java Island, 1300 years ago. But each island in the Indonesian archipelago has different Jamu recipes with ingredients and different properties
Some Jamu materials acquired from animals, such as honey, royal jelly, milk and eggs from native chicken are also often used.
The old Jamu medicine book came from Mataram dated from circa 1700 contains 3,000 entries of jamu recipes, while Javanese classical literature "Serat Centhini" (1814) describes some jamu herbal concoction recipes. Though heavily influenced by Ayurveda from India, Indonesia is a vast archipelago with numerous indigenous plants not found in India, and include plants similar to Australia beyond the Wallace Line.
|a Mbok Jamu were concocting jamu powder for consumer|
Jamu usually sold in two forms, powder and liquid. Its fluid sold by Mbok Jamu, a woman who sells herbs ready to drink in the bottle. The traditional method on carrying the jamu in basket is called Jamu Gendong (lit. carried jamu), they can still found in the big city in Java Island. There is also modest street-side warung tent stall that specializing on selling jamus.
Jamu powder produced by modern factory with quality standards overseen by the ministry of health. Produced in factories by large companies such as Air Mancur, Nyonya Meneer or Djamu Djago, and sold at various drug stores in sachet packaging. Jamu powder is ready to drink and brewed by consumers its self
Today, jamu is a growing local herbal medicine industry worth millions of dollars. In 2014, Jamu contributes Rp 3 trillion (US$73.29 million) to overall sales. 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.