Emerging in the 1300s as evidenced by the intricate reliefs of Borobudur Temple in Central Java, jamu is a revered wellness tradition deeply rooted in Indonesian culture. Its fundamental role in holistic health persevered through the Dutch colonial era and continues to thrive today, with age-old recipes passed down through generations. For over 700 years, jamu has been consumed by the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago to improve digestion, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health and vitality.
“Our Traditional Herbal Remedies Workshop invites guests to enhance their well-being while also reaffirming our commitment to carrying forward Indonesia’s wellness traditions that have been championed by generations of Indonesian women for over seven centuries,” says Giordano Faggioli, General Manager of AYANA Estate. The AYANA Farm workshop is led by female staff of The Jamu BAR, founded by Vanessa Kalani, the great-granddaughter of Lau Ping Nio founder of Nyonya Meneer. Born in 1895, Lau Ping Nio founded Nyonya Meneer in 1919 and was the first to produce and distribute jamu nationwide. Today, Vanessa continues her great grandmother’s legacy of sharing the spirit and essence of jamu through modernization with ready-to-drink products and workshops at AYANA Farm.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with AYANA Estate, the leading destination resort in Bali,” says Vanessa Kalani. “Our workshop will introduce the jamu tradition to the resort’s multinational guests while also preserving its legacy. During the workshop, we will maximize the use of medicinal herbs and plants at AYANA Farm’s living pharmacy to create a basic jamu, and offer a personalized version based on the wellness goals of each participant.”
As the base of the jamu recipe featured in the workshop, guests will first create jamu empon empon from potent ingredients including fresh turmeric, which is rich in antioxidants, enhances blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and alleviates indigestion; fresh ginger, which is also rich in antioxidants and has antiviral and antibacterial qualities; fresh kencur or aromatic ginger, which aids digestion, reduces inflammation, and boosts the immune system; and fresh lemongrass, which eliminates harmful toxins from the body.
Participants will then be presented with a selection of seven customizable recipes, which can be tailored to the unique needs of each guest. For those pursuing youthfulness and supple skin, the addition of the medicinal herb kumis kucing and sirih, or betel leaf, is recommended. Those seeking to enhance memory, focus, and visual acuity can enrich their jamu mixture with daun pegagan, commonly known as Indian pennywort, moringa, butterfly pea flower, and celery. For those leading an active lifestyle, the inclusion of the herb daun jinten in the jamu mixture offers benefits such as heart strengthening, relief from muscle aches, and improved lung function, while jamu sorga enhances a couple’s intimacy by boosting estrogen in women and virility in men. Guests can also try widely-known jamu such as kunyit asam, made from anti-inflammatory turmeric and tamarind, and beras kencur, which comprises rice powder, aromatic ginger, and spices to treat colds and coughs by warming the body.
Using natural ingredients, the workshop also invites participants to create traditional Indonesian skin care products such as boreh, a traditional herbal scrub. Comprising ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, and rice powder, boreh is renowned for its cleansing, warming, and invigorating properties that exfoliate the skin while alleviating muscle tension and joint discomfort. Another traditional product featured in the workshop is lulur, a herbal body scrub containing a blend of medicinal herbs and spices. Rice powder serves as the foundational element of many lulur formulations, for its potent antioxidants and reputed skin-brightening qualities. Betel leaves and cloves contribute antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, while candlenut enhances skin hydration and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
To continue their wellness journey, guests can take home their skin care products and recipe books. “We hope this workshop offers our guests a new wellness experience rooted in tradition and sustainability, and that it inspires them to continue these time-honored practices at home,” concludes Giordano.
The Traditional Herbal Remedies Workshop runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The admission fee is IDR 800,000++ per person, and the workshop is suitable for participants aged 13 years and above.