Indonesia has long known about Jamu. Blended as a type of herbal tea and imbibed as a medicinal beverage for centuries, Jamu represents an offering made to the ancient Balinese and Javanese gods. A small company based in the San Francisco Bay Area called Sajen Jamu is the first to bring this beverage to the United States. Founder Morsinah Katimin originally from Central Java, has a strong passion for sharing her often overlooked heritage. “The Chinese have their acupuncture and herbal teas, the Indians have their Ayurveda, Indonesians have their Jamu”, she says.
Who better to bring this art of healing to the U.S. than somebody who has Jamu making as their family tradition. Morsinah’s ancestral grandmothers blended Jamu for their families and communities in small hamlets (Para’an and Gagaran) in the mountainous regions of Central Java near Borobudur, an Ancient Buddhist Temple.
Each family who makes Jamu in Indonesia has their own concoction of root spices, leaves, barks, fruits, stems, flowers, and flower buds that when combined promote health, wellness, and beauty. Here in the States, Morsinah also uses real ingredients…minimally processed, sustainable, and organic whenever possible. Her Sajen line is sold in the following 3 varieties:
Jamu – Turmeric
Certified by the American Diabetics Association, this drink is sweetened with organic agave and packed with detoxifying anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Tumeric is known to eliminate free radicals in the body while lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In addition to this super root, this variety also boasts a powerful cocktail of manganese, iron, magnesium, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Vitamin E2.
Jamu – Ginger Turmeric
A perfect alternative to the caffeine jolt, this is a delicate blend of the two root spices most commonly found in Asian cooking. Aromatic, peppery, pungent, and sweetened just right with agave, it’s easy to see why very few kitchens in the Malay Archipelago are without these two roots.
Tisane – Beets Q
A delicate blend of red beets commonly found in Central Asia, Europe, and the Americas, along with fruit juice commonly used in Asian cooking all work in concert to boost your energy and help fight high blood pressure. Red beets are known for their high levels of anti-carcinogens and carotenoid content. They are an excellent source of folic acid and Betacyanin, its characteristic red pigment that’s easily absorbed into the blood stream leading to what several studies say eliminates free radicals.
And guess what? The best part is trying it out for yourself. You don’t have to bother hunting down a bottle in your local health food store. Just make your selection in their online store and you’ll be as close to Indonesia as you can get without booking a flight!
Photo courtesy of Sajen Jamu