Traditional medicine is medicine made from natural ingredients such as plants, parts of animals, minerals or combinations of these ingredients that are being processed traditionally. Indonesian traditional medicine has been used for generations for medical purposes.
Types of Indonesian Traditional Medicines
According to Dr. Abidinsyah Siregar, DHSM, M.Kes, Director of Bina Pelayanan Kesehatan Traditional, Alternatif dan Komplementer Ditjen Bina Gizi dan KIA Kementerian Kesehatan, there are three groups of traditional medicines:
Jamu is usually made from recipes that are passed down from generation to generation. Most of jamu recipes are not going through clinical test such as phytopharmacy. A recipe can be called as jamu if it has several criteria: safe, its benefits based on empirical data, and it isn’t served with chemical substances at all. The example of jamu are beras kencur, kunyit asam and temulawak. There are also some jamu that are processed and packed modernly.
Phytopharmacy is traditional medicine that can be considered equal with modern medicine because the production process is standardized and its benefits have been proven. This medicine has been undergoing clinical tests on human.
Phytopharmacy packaging usually has fingers of leaf symbol on green circle. The examples of phytopharmacy in Indonesia are Nodiar, Stimuno, Rheumaneer, Tensigard and X-Gra.
3. Standardized herbal
It is similar with phytopharmacy. The only difference is standardized herbal has not been tested on human. It has only been undergoing pre-clinical tests, which are scientific verification about the benefits of standardized ingredients, the process of extracting standardized medicinal plants, standardized process to make hygiene products and acute or chronic toxicity tests.
The criteria for a medicine to be called as standardized herbal: that the claimed of health benefits have been tested scientifically, it has been undergoing pre-clinical test, meet quality conditions, and there are some standardization to its main ingredients. Standardized herbal in Indonesia usually have green circle with three stars in their packaging. The example of standardized herbal are Diapet, Lelap and Kiranti.
Standardized herbal can be phytopharmacy after it has been undergoing clinical tests on human. From those three groups of Indonesian traditional medicines, phytopharmacy is on the first rank from its quality and safety factors. Phytopharmacy has been undergoing long process of research and detail clinical tests.