I was lazing on the sands of Krabi’s beaches when I had to make a decision that would affect the course of the rest of my life. While I had no return ticket, it occurred to me that I may wind up in Bali. Looking back now, I was lucky to make it to the island when I did because a week later, the whole island shut down because of COVID.
But what happened next was unexpected.
I had counted the hours during my layover, I could barely sit still on the flight and seeing the island come into view my adrenaline went through the roof.
I rushed excitedly off the plane, dropped my backpack at the hotel, but as I started exploring the local sites, I noticed something was off.
The food looked amazing, but I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t concentrate and my coordination was off. I figured I was just exhausted from the flight, you know, jetlag. I was fighting to stay awake on my way back to the hotel, yet I couldn’t sleep once I arrived. I hurt all over and couldn’t move.
Since I wasn’t covered by travel insurance, I started looking for alternatives to the hospital online. Everything from having a vitamin drip therapist come to your hotel room with vitamin IV infusions to a plethora of over-the-counter drugs and so-called cure-alls.
But what piqued my interest was a piece about jamu, headed “Grandmas Secret Weapon for Combating Flus.”
It listed all of Jamuku’s benefits:
- flushes the toxins out of your body
- gives you energy
- boosts the immune system
- anti-inflammatory properties
- fights viruses
- lowers cholesterol
- great for overall wellness
There were many more, but what struck me was how honest this one jamu maker was, which is why I am writing about it.
The piece was written by the owner of a jamu shop called Jamuku. She described how she drank her grandmother’s jamu every day as a child and never had to take medication as a consequence. Her grandmother would sing songs while making jamu and teach her all the secrets, such as how to make jamu with your heart since jamu is a prayer for greater health. I’m not religious, but it reminded me of my grandmother, who always added a dash of love to my soup.
Her grandmother also said that jamu was not medicine, against the claims of other jamu makers. “It’s a healthy herbal drink that you drink to avoid becoming sick, not to cure a sickness,” she explained.
Is this the best jamu in Bali?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I was sold at that point. I figured, why would anyone write a story about an herbal drink if it had zero benefits? Besides, I had already done my research prior to finding her story.
Some feel jamus advantages are anecdotal, which means there is no scientific evidence to back them up (though I did find a study), while others just honor their culture or elders by keeping the custom alive, similar to how I cook my grandmother’s soup for my kid. What I discovered was that, regardless of what people think, they continue to use jamu in copious quantities in the hope of never having to see a doctor.
That’s when I realized it was more than just a herbal medicine drink; it was a cultural phenomenon. It’s also why I purchased every flavor of Jamuku on the menu.
Jamu, from what I understand, is an Indonesian traditional medicine. It’s pretty much herbal medicine made from natural stuff, like roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits.
And to be honest, I was concerned that the jamu might have a strange, unappealing flavor, like dirt or something. But because I was so physically spent, I was willing to try anything.
To my pleasant surprise, the first bottle went down smoothly and tasted so refreshing and good that I immediately drank another. My whole body began to warm up almost immediately, and I could hear my stomach giving thanks to Jamuku.
I’m going to be honest with you, just as the jamu shopkeeper was. I wish I could say that I felt 100% better the next day after sleeping on it, but alas, that was not the case. My fever had broken, I slept better that night, and I felt like I had a normal appetite again. This was a good sign.
By noon, I had finished the first batch and immediately placed an order for more; to make a long story short, by three days I felt completely well, and I haven’t been sick since.
By drinking Jamuku daily, I have avoided the need for medical attention. In fact, neither my wife nor my kid had been sick since we started drinking Jamuku. Without a doubt, this is the best jamu in Bali.
So, take it from an expat in Bali, start drinking Jamuku today. It will thank your body with every sip.
Where can you get Jamuku? Good question, they sell it on GoJek, Grab, and Shopee!
Read about the Padang Padang Rip Curl Event here.