Besides as traditional drink, jamu is also considered herbal medicine to maintain health. There are various jamu beverages such as beras kencur, kunyit asam, temulawak, pahitan, cabe puyang, uyup-uyup and more.
They are made from various spices and roots such as turmeric, ginger, tamarind, betel leaves, pahitan and palm sugar. All of those ingredients are believed can heal various diseases such as diabetes, cholesterol, sore, and even to lose weight.
The recipes have been passed down through generations. However, from the medical world, doctors can’t say much about the benefits of some jamu recipes. The problem is that not all jamu have been scientifically proven.
“There are various jamu and each recipe has different effect and it can be called as herbal [medicine]. It is not the same with pharmaceutical drugs that have been through research. While jamu is not [tested], only through hereditary knowledge,” Fiastuti Witjaksana, docter of clinical nutrition at MRCC Siloam Semanggi said to CNN Indonesia, Sunday (8/20/2017).
And because there were not enough research, Fiastuti said there were limited information about dosages and who are allowed to consume jamu. Whereas, Fiastuti said, each jamu had its own measurement. In other words, you could not just drink jamu any time you wanted like you drank mineral water.
Sadly, only few people knew about his. As the result, many people drank jamu excessively. Fiastuti said that she couldn’t say much about the right dosage because there was no research about it. Another problem was most jamu products didn’t inform us how many measurements of each ingredient it used as well the side-effect. Even though this information is important to determine the dosage and frequency of drinking jamu.
“How much turmeric, how much tamarind, how many times it should be drunk every day nobody knows. There is no research that says if we drink kunyit asam, the turmeric should be 5 gram, tamarind 5 gram, the side-effects.. there are no research yet,” she said.
“There are not clear rules, sometimes light jamu such as beras kencur may doesn’t have side-effects, but jamu with porosis effect because it is acidic. It can cause stomach, kidney damage as well. There is no clear dosage,” she continued.
Fiastuti even said that some of her patients suffered stomach damages as well as kidney damages because jamu. But, she refused to tell which jamu her patients drank. She suggested that anyone wanted to drink jamu, they should make sure that the dosage was not excessive.