Jamu is a traditional drink that is considered herbal medicine as well. There are various types of jamu. For example, jamu beras kencur, kunyit asem, temulawak, pahitan, cabe puyang hingga uyup-uyup. Jamu is made from spices and roots such as turmeric, ginger, betel etc.
The recipe and benefits are passed down from generation to generation. However, doctors cannot say much about the benefits and dosage.
The reason is there are many jamu beverages that haven’t been being clinically tested.
“There are various jamu beverage and each has different ingredients and has different effect. They can be considered herbal medicine. But, they are different from modern drugs that have been being tested clinically. Whereas jamu is based traditional knowledge passed down from our ancestors, ” Fiastuti Witjaksana, doctor of clinical nutrition at MRCCC Siloam Semanggi, Jakarta, Indonesia said to CNN Indonesia.
Because of that, Fiastuti said there was no exact information about dosage and other rules about their consumption. According to her, there should be exact dosage. In other words, we cannot drink Jamu the way we drink mineral water.
Unfortunately most people don’t know about that. And they drink Jamu excessively. Fiastuti said she couldn’t tell for sure if someone drank jamu with the right dosage since there’s no research done about that. Besides that there’s no warning about the side-effects of each Jamu.
“How much turmeric, how much tamarind, how much should we drink Jamu Kunyit Asam? No research about that tell us if we should drink Kunyit Asam, the tamarind should be five grams, the side-effects will be this or that,” she explained.
“There are no exact rules, sometimes drinking light Jamu likes beras kencur may doesn’t have porosis effect, but there’s Jamu that have porosis effect because they contain too much acidity. This can cause damage in stomach, as well as in kidney. There is no exact dosage,” she added.
From her own experiences, Fiastuti said, there were some patients came at her with stomach damage as well as kidney damage because they drank jamu. However, Fiastuti didn’t want to say what kinds of jamu her patients drank. Fiastuti said that if we want to drink jamu, we drink it as necessary.