Passed down from mother to daughter since the days of the Javanese Mataram Kingdom around 1300 years ago, jamu remains an important part of the daily wellness routine for many Indonesians.
The herbal potion is said to alleviate a large number of ailments from the common hangover to depression and even cancer. There are literally hundreds of jamu recipes, and while traditionally the elixir could be purchased from a gendong, who would sell jamu door to door, today the health conscious can get their jamu fix at a number of Bali cafes. Here are some of our favorites.
This hole-in-the-wall cafe on Jl. Batu Bolong in Canggu specializes in delicious homemade vegan food, cooked slowly and with lots of love. Oma Jamu, which translates to Grandmother Jamu, also serves one of widest range of health drinks in the area. Some of the more popular options on the menu include Nice Dream, a mix of cashew milk, turmeric, black pepper, ginger and honey; Healthy Everyday, with turmeric, tamarind, white curcuma and coriander; and there is even a Clean Servik, which contains a combination of papaya leaf, red spinach, starfruit leaves, carrots, and coconut water. Other wellness drinks on offer include kombucha (by glass or bottle), as well as a range of herbal teas and energy boosters.
Jl. Raya Batu Bolong no. 49, Canggu
Wayan’s Coconut Juices Bar (Jalan Raya Penestanan, Sayan, Ubud)
With a huge range of fruit and vegetable juices, Wayan’s Coconut Juices Bar is a health fanatic’s dream. From guava and avocado to strawberry and tomato, Wayan’s juices form a base that can be supplemented with additional goodness. Customers can choose from the super food energy extras listed that include turmeric, ginger, spirulina, maca and aloe vera; or other extras such as coriander, mint, tamarind, passion fruit and fennel. Best of the drink concoctions come in three sizes: small (300 milliliters), medium (650 milliliters) and large (1.5 liters).
Wayan’s Coconut & Juice Bar
Jl. Raya Penestanan, Sayan, Ubud
On her website, Dayu says that she wants to share flavorsome Western and Indonesian food that is nourishing to the mind, body and soul, as well as pesticide, chemical, GMO and additive free. Alongside vegan and vegetarian fare, the small Ubud café also serves a plethora of specialty health drinks and herbal teas. Try Tamarind Tulsi, local tamarind and a blast of holy basil blended with coconut water and honey; Chocolate Coco, a mix of avocado, chocolate, mint and coconut juice; or Detox D’Light with carrot, green apple, cucumber, lemon and ginger. The warung’s hot teas range from fresh peppermint and ginger to aid digestion to turmeric and lemon to cleanse the blood and build immunity. Dayu’s Warung also runs daily cooking classes.
Jl. Sugriwa no. 28X, Ubud
Nadis Herbal Store
A health food shop rather than a cafe, Nadis Herbal Store sells freshly made jamu, and is the perfect spot to learn how to make your own health tonics. Nadis runs regular two-hour and three-hour jamu making classes, some of which also include herbal walks. The store’s signature jamu recipe, which includes turmeric, galanga, tamarind and palm sugar, is said to be an antiseptic that is also slimming, cleansing and energizing. The small store also sells herbal products such as soaps, essential oils and creams.
Nadis Herbal Store
Jl. Suweta no. 15, Ubud
Stay juicy. Like Coconuts Bali.