Sore and unwell are considered symptoms of colds. And, most Indonesian people will take jamu to solve the problem. But, research and development on jamu prove that the herbal medicine is not only to cure cold.
Coordinator of Rumah Riset Jamu Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Kesehatan (Balitbangkes) Kemenkes RI, a government agency that works on research and development on jamu, dr Danang Ardiyanto, previously said that in 2014 jamu for light hypertension and uric acid have been scientifically verified. For hypertension, dr Danang said that the ingredients were celery, cat whiskers, temulawak (Javanese ginger or Curcuma zanthorrhiza), meniran (Phyllanthus urinaria) and turmeric (kunyit).
While for uric acid, there are secang (Caesalpinia sappan L.), kemuning (Murraya paniculata) and tempuyung (Field Sow Thistle or Sonchus arvensis). Secang has a function to reduce uric acid synthesis. And, tempuyung and kemuning are used to release the uric acid.
A herbalist from Departemen Farmasi FMIPA UI (Pharmacy Department, University of Indonesia, Jakarta), Abdul Mun’im, Msi, PhD told detikHealth that to treat hypertension, we could use tensidar, which was a phytopharmaca. While for uric acid, we could use conventional medicine to prevent the formation of uric acid in blood.
“There were no additional medicines. While for medicinal plants, there were no advanced research, the test was done to animals, such as celery, cat whiskers, mineral and burahol (Stelechocarpus burahol) leaves were tested on animals,” Abdul Mun’im said.
How about jamu to treat cancer? Aldrin Neilwan, MD, MARS, M. Biomed, M.Kes, SpAK from RS Kanker Dharmais (Cancer hospital Dharmais) and a member of Perhimpunan Dokter Herbal Medik Indonesia (association of herbal, medical doctors in Indonesia) said that in medical, all medicines have to be based on scientific methods. The ingredients should be tested to cure cancer. They should be tested, so we can know if they can kill cancer cells or prevent the growth.
“If it has been found, there are other approaches, like curative approach to cure and kill cancer cells, promotive approach and preventive to optimize body functions. For instance body immune system, can use herbal or medicinal plants to improve life quality, to improve appetite. Supporting approach, as supporting therapy, to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy,” he said.
While Kepala Komisi Saintifikasi Jamu, Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Kesehatan (Balitbangkes) [ Head of jamu scientific verification process, research and development in Indonesia), Dr Siswanto, MHP, DTM, all natural ingredients that can be used to treat cancer are investigated. That’s why they cannot be used to treat cancer yet.
“Jamu generally is used to maintain health and treat light diseases. For instance, celery to treat light hypertension. Jamu to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy such as nausea. And, consuming temulawak (javanese ginger) can improve appetite,” Siswanto added.
Siswanto also said that for jamu for cancer that was tested on animals was red fruit from Papua, but the effect was still weak. While mimba leaves usage was still mixed with other compound. Tapak dara leaves (Madagascar periwinkle or Catharanthus roseus) from North America is pure compund, but its effect still cannot kill cancer cells.
“Jamu that contains pure compounds can help patients to improve their lives qualities. For instance patients with the latest stage of cancers. They might have felt desperate, and jamu can be used to improve their appetites, so their lives qualities can be better. So, jamu to improve life quality,” Abdul Mun’im said.