Jamu Juice Is Trending, But What Is It Exactly?
Hermawan Wicaksono/EyeEm/Getty Images

Jamu juice is all the rage right now, and, as with most health trends, we’re intrigued. But,

what is Jamu juice exactly and why should we be drinking it? We spoke to Jordan Dorn, Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Zuma Nutrition, to get the full scoop on the not-so-new beverage that’s taken the internet by storm, and let’s just say the health-boosting potential of Jamu juice isn’t all hype. 

What is Jamu juice?

Jamu juice is a centuries-old Indonesian drink traditionally consumed for its medicinal properties. The base for this herbal concoction is typically fresh turmeric, ginger, honey, water and lemon. That said, there are a variety of Jamu juice recipes, some of which include coconut milk and additional spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and clove, to name a few.

The history of Jamu

Per Dorn, Jamu juice originated in Java, Indonesia more than 1,000 years ago to keep royal women healthy and beautiful after bearing children. Over the years, Jamu juice continued to be promoted as a drink for supporting women’s health, and ultimately, became an Indonesian tradition that was enjoyed by royalty and common people alike. Today, Jamu juice is gaining popularity in Western countries where it is touted as an elixir with considerable anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits. Bottom line: Jamu juice plays an important and time-honored role in herbal medicine abroad and now it’s trending, perhaps for good reason. (But more on that below.)

Jamu benefits

So is Jamu juice the secret to better health? According to Dorn, Jamu has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can strengthen the immune system, enhance circulation, improve digestive health, and possibly boost energy levels and mental focus as well. If you’re still not ready to drink the Kool-Aid, so to speak, you might consider that there is some compelling science to support these claims. Let’s take a look.

1. Jamu juice might reduce inflammation

Although there are different recipes for Jamu juice floating around, they all typically have one ingredient in common: turmeric. This vibrant yellow spice contains large amounts of an active compound called curcumin—a chemical with potent anti-inflammatory properties. (Psst: Inflammation has been linked to a wide range of ailments and diseases, from diabetes to arthritis and pretty much everything in between.) In fact, curcumin has garnered considerable attention in the scientific community for its potential use as a pain-reliever that can achieve the same effects as other anti-inflammatory drugs (think: Ibuprofen). This 2014 study published in Phytotherapy Research is just one of many that suggests curcumin can effectively reduce inflammation in the body.

2. Jamu juice might boost the immune system

Another cool thing about this turmeric-spiked beverage is that curcumin is an antioxidant-rich polyphenol. In case you missed it, antioxidants work to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protect against oxidative stress, a phenomenon responsible for premature aging, as well as a host of other health problems. Research also shows that antioxidants also play a key role in maintaining healthy immune function—you know, because damaged immune cells aren’t all that good at their job.

3. Jamu juice may aid digestion

Ginger, another key ingredient in Jamu juice, is similarly impressive. Research shows that consuming ginger can reduce gas, prevent constipation and improve digestive health overall. What’s more, the aforementioned anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin have been shown to aid blood sugar regulation and support weight loss. As such, it stands to reason that the ginger-turmeric combo found in Jamu juice can do good things for your metabolic health.

4. Jamu juice can boost mood and improve attention

Feeling foggy? Grumpy? Suck down some Jamu juice and you just might start feeling better. OK, maybe not immediately—but it certainly won’t hurt. According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the curcumin found in turmeric “possesses many properties which may prevent or ameliorate pathological processes underlying age-related cognitive decline, dementia or mood disorders.”

5. Jamu juice might improve circulation

A 2017 study published in the Open-access Impact Journal on Aging is one of several to suggest that curcumin has a positive effect on blood circulation and can even play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease. In other words, a glass of Jamu juice a day might just be a heart-healthy choice, too.

How to make Jamu juice

Ready to hop on the Jamu juice train? (We don’t blame you.) Good news, friends—this elixir is blessedly easy to make at home. Just follow Dorn’s recipe and get ready to raise a glass to good health.

Step 1: Finely slice 1 cup of fresh turmeric root and about a finger’s length of ginger root.  it into thin pieces. Feel free to leave the skin on, but you can also peel as well.

Step 2: Add the turmeric and ginger into a high-powered blender with 4 cups of water (or coconut water, if preferred) and a pinch of ground black pepper (optional).

Step 3: Blend for 1 minute or until there is an even consistency. 

Step 4: Pour the mixture into a pot and bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes. After cooking, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then add a small amount of honey and the juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed.

Step 5: Stir the ingredients until they are evenly mixed.

Step 6: Lastly, strain the mixture using a fine-mesh sieve, nut milk bag, or cloth, and pour it into a glass bottle to refrigerate, so you can enjoy the beverage chilled.

RELATED: The Best Wellness Products of 2022

From Around The Web