Jakarta street food: Jamu

I’m a bit ashamed to say I’ve never tried this.  Not so much a food as a health drink.  These ladies (jamu sellers are always ladies) mix up a dose of herbal remedy for any illness you might have.  What she’s serving in the clip looks like a mix of orange juice and pure caffeine.  Personally, I don’t think there’s much to stop them from using stronger chemicals than those found in nature, so I prefer not to take a risk on damaging my liver. (I prefer whiskey for that)

Maybe it’s not the jamu, but the number of Indonesian men who die in their 40s and 50s from kidney and liver diseases is quite amazing.  I wonder if there are any health statistics to confirm my fears.  In any case, they seem to drink a lot of bottled tea, energy drinks, strong coffee, highly sugared natural tea and very little water.  It can’t be good for them.


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