« Storm in a Herbal Cup: Indonesian Elixirs get a Modern Twist »-AFP

An employee of a cafe selling traditional Indonesian herbal medicine known as 'jamu' prepares a jamu drink for a customer in Jakarta Jakarta (AFP) – The trendy cafe looks like a typical coffee shop in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, but in fact it sells herb-infused brews promising to fix every ailment from coughs to impotence.

« Indonesians have for generations taken herbal medicine, known locally as « jamu », as a remedy for common ailments, and many children’s early memories include being forced to gulp down concoctions of ingredients such as ginger and turmeric.

Now entrepreneurs have fused the age-old love of tonics made from the archipelago’s vast selection of herbs with the younger generation’s desire for a fashionable setting, and come up with beverages that focus on modern-day problems.

And as demand for alternative medicines grows from the Middle East to Africa, Indonesian jamu manufacturers hope the country can use its expertise in the sector to become a major player in the global herbal medicine industry. (…)

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