jamuJamu is a traditional anti-inflammatory drink from Indonesia. It is very potent drink with a strong flavor so it might take some getting used to. The taste is earthy from turmeric, spicy from ginger, tart from lime, and sweet from honey.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit the tropical paradise of Indonesia will have encountered jamu. This medicinal anti-inflammatory drink is made by grandmothers, villagers, and even urbanites, and welcomes visitors at both temples in Java and resorts in Bali. Javanese and Balinese traditional healers use it frequently in their healing sessions too.

Literally translated as “medicine”, jamu is a blend of roots, flowers, fruits, herbs, and spices that has been keeping the islanders healthy for as long as they care to remember. The most popular version of jamu is brightly gold and intensely flavored with turmeric, ginger, lime, and honey. 

Whether you drink this tonic for its health benefits or the zingy, refreshing taste, you’ll always want to keep a batch on hand.

homemade jamu juice recipe

Tips for Making Jamu Juice

Ingredients

The ingredients in jamu juice vary widely depending on regional preferences and available ingredients. The most common version of jamu consists of fairly simple ingredients:

  • Turmeric: technically a rhizome, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and is what gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is also responsible for turmeric’s deep and saturated yellow hue. I highly recommend seeking out fresh turmeric root to make jamu juice. It tastes fresher and cleaner than the powdered form. I buy fresh turmeric in my local health food store, but I have seen it in Asian stores as well. 
  • Ginger: just like turmeric, ginger is a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. The main bioactive compound responsible for much of ginger’s medicinal properties is gingerol. When purchasing fresh ginger, look for a young ginger root with a thin skin. The more tough and mature the ginger, the spicier it is. 
  • Coconut water (or water): to add electrolytes, jamu juice often contains coconut water. The mildly sweet taste of coconut water also dilutes the intensity of turmeric and ginger.
  • Lime juice: the pleasant zesty flavor of lime really complements the spiciness of ginger. Lemon juice would provide a very similar effect.
  • Maple syrup: a little bit of sweetener brings balance to the strong flavors. The drink is not at all sweet though. It is not fruit juice. I use maple syrup, but honey is a great substitute. 

jamu juice ingredients

How to Make Jamu Juice in a Juicer

Jamu juice is really quick and easy to make, especially if you have a juicer. Here’s how:

  1. Clean the turmeric and ginger. Scrub away any dirt and rinse the roots under running water. There is no need to peel the skin if it’s thin and blemish-free. If the skin looks shriveled or blemished, peel it.
  2. Juice. Feed the turmeric and ginger through the feeding tube of the juicer, using a tamper as needed.
  3. Boil (optional). Transfer the turmeric juice, ginger juice, and coconut water into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The reason for heating the mixture is to increase the absorption of turmeric. Another option is to add black pepper, which helps boost the absorption of turmeric by up to 2,000%! (1)
  4. Mix. Add the lime juice and maple syrup and stir until well combined. 

How to Make Jamu Juice in a Blender

Using a high-speed blender as a juicer is another way to make jamu juice:

  1. Clean the turmeric and ginger. Scrub away any dirt and rinse the roots under running water. There is no need to peel the skin if it’s thin and blemish-free. If the skin looks shriveled or blemished, peel it.
  2. Slice the turmeric and ginger. Once washed, slice the turmeric and ginger into thin pieces. The thinner the pieces, the easier they will be to blend. Keep in mind that turmeric stains everything it comes into contact with. So, if you’d like your cutting board to stay in the same condition it was before making jamu juice, line it with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Blend. Add the turmeric, ginger, and coconut water into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Both turmeric and ginger are quite fibrous, so the blend will never be completely smooth, but there should be no large pieces left. 
  4. Boil (optional). Transfer the content of the blender into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The reason for heating the mixture is to increase the absorption of turmeric. Another option is to add black pepper, which helps boost the absorption of turmeric by up to 2,000%! (1)
  5. Strain. Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag placed over a pitcher or a bowl. Using your hands, squeeze the nut milk bag to get as much juice out as possible. You can also use a fine mesh strainer and press on the solids with the back of a spoon. 
  6. Mix. Add the lime juice and maple syrup and stir until well combined. 

how to make jamu juice in a blender

How to Store Jamu Juice

  • Refrigerating: transfer the jamu juice into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. The juice will separate as it sits, which is completely normal. Just give it a good stir before serving.

Jamu Juice Variations

There are countless versions of jamu. Here are just a few ingredients you can experiment with:

  • Tamarind: the taste of tamarind ranges from sweet to tangy, depending on how ripe the fruit is. You can either purchase ready-to-use tamarind extract from the store or prepare it yourself by soaking tamarind pulp in hot water, then removing the fibers and seeds, and finally squeezing to extract dark, smooth paste. Note that tamarind will make jamu darker in color.
  • Spices: some of the most popular spices used in traditional jamu are cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. 
  • Coconut milk: a great alternative to coconut water is coconut milk. If you use coconut milk, I recommend drinking it warm, similar to golden milk. 

Other than flavor, you can also adjust the heat. If you don’t like as much spice, take down the ginger and increase the turmeric.

jamu juice recipe

More Anti-Inflammatory Drink Recipes

There are many natural drinks that fight inflammation. Here are some more immune-boosting drinks you might enjoy:

  • Ginger shots: these immunity-boosting shots are the perfect start of a day. They are like a magical elixir and will keep you in tip-top shape all year long. The flavor is a little bit intense, especially if you are new to ginger shots, but so tasty!
  • Green smoothies: you’d be hard-pressed to find a healthier, more well-rounded way of eating that takes less time to prepare than green smoothies. From kale to spinach to pineapple, these wholesome ingredients are a great way add more antioxidants into your diet.
  • Elderberry tea: tea might be one of the most medicinally-useful drinks when you’re feeling under the weather. Elderberries are known to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. The tea has a naturally sweet-tart flavor and a fruity aroma.

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

jamu
5 from 2 votes

Jamu Juice

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 10 (100-ml) servings
Jamu is a traditional anti-inflammatory drink from Indonesia. It is very potent drink with a strong flavor so it might take some getting used to. The taste is earthy from turmeric, spicy from ginger, tart from lime, and sweet from honey.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) fresh turmeric , , chopped
  • 1 (3-inch) piece (20 g) fresh ginger
  • 4 cups (960 ml) coconut water
  • 1 (1) lime, juice only
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup

Instructions
 

Jamu Juice in a Juicer

  • Clean the turmeric and ginger. Scrub away any dirt and rinse the roots under running water. There is no need to peel the skin if it's thin and blemish-free. If the skin looks shriveled or blemished, peel it.
  • Juice. Feed the turmeric and ginger through the feeding tube of the juicer, using a tamper as needed.
  • Boil (optional). Transfer the turmeric juice, ginger juice, and coconut water into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The reason for heating the mixture is to increase the absorption of turmeric. Another option is to add black pepper, which boosts the absorption of turmeric.
  • Mix. Add the lime juice and maple syrup and stir until well combined. 
  • Store. Jamu juice keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. The juice will separate as it sits, which is completely normal. Just give it a good stir before serving.

Jamu Juice in a Blender

  • Clean the turmeric and ginger. Scrub away any dirt and rinse the roots under running water. There is no need to peel the skin if it's thin and blemish-free. If the skin looks shriveled or blemished, peel it.
  • Slice the turmeric and ginger. Once washed, slice the turmeric and ginger into thin pieces. The thinner the pieces, the easier they will be to blend. Keep in mind that turmeric stains everything it comes into contact with. So, if you'd like your cutting board to stay in the same condition it was before making jamu juice, line it with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Blend. Add the turmeric, ginger, and coconut water into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Both turmeric and ginger are quite fibrous, so the blend will never be completely smooth, but there should be no large pieces left. 
  • Boil (optional). Transfer the content of the blender into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The reason for heating the mixture is to increase the absorption of turmeric. Another option is to add black pepper, which helps boost the absorption of turmeric.
  • Strain. Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag placed over a pitcher or a bowl. Using your hands, squeeze the nut milk bag to get as much juice out as possible. You can also use a fine mesh strainer and press on the solids with the back of a spoon. 
  • Mix. Add the lime juice and maple syrup and stir until well combined. 
  • Store. Jamu juice keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. The juice will separate as it sits, which is completely normal. Just give it a good stir before serving.

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 10, Calories: 76kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g

 

Jamu juice is very refreshing during the hot months, yet soothing and warming during the cold months. 

You can drink jamu hot or cold, however you prefer.