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6 Traditional Indonesian Herbal Drinks That Can Boost Your Immune


With COVID-19 breaking out all over the world, it is necessary for you to protect yourself by keeping your distance away from others and make yourself stay at home. Other than avoiding any close contact with others, you also need to stay healthy and that includes having a diet that consists of foods or beverages that can boost the immune system. If you are having a hard time finding healthy nourishments that taste good and at the same time easy to make at home, do not worry! You can try these six tasty, homely, as well as nourishing traditional Indonesian herbal drinks.


1. Jamu Beras Kencur

a milk and various traditional Indonesian herbs

Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal drink that is often used as a remedy. It consists of varying blends of natural ingredients such as leaves, seeds, barks, flowers, honey, milk, and sometimes egg. This particular jamu is made from a blend of rice, aromatic ginger, and palm sugar. Not only does it consist of nutritious content, but jamu beras kencur also produces a pleasant taste. The benefits of jamu beras kencur include keeping blood sugar normal, relieving diarrhea, relieving phlegmy cough, boosting children’s appetite, as well as speeding up postpartum recovery. Here’s how you can make jamu beras kencur at home!


  • 200 grams of rice (soaked overnight)

  • 100 grams of aromatic ginger

  • 2 pieces of ginger

  • 1 spoonful of tamarind

  • 200 grams of palm sugar

  • 100 grams of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1,5 liter of water


  • Add all of the ingredients except rice to the pot. Boil it for about 15 minutes until hot.

  • When it’s done, set it aside and strain.

  • Add the strained mix along with rice in the blender. 

  • Mix well and strain it once more into a cup of glass.

2. Jamu Kunyit Asem

cups of jamu kunyit asam and turmeric roots

Unlike jamu beras kencur, this particular jamu is made from a blend of turmeric root and tamarind that are able to act as an analgesic (pain reliever), antipyretic (preventing and reducing fever), anti-inflammatory, as well as sedative. The benefits of jamu kunyit asem include relieving menstrual pain, acting as an antioxidant, reducing weight, and keeping blood sugar levels in control. Here’s how to make this herbal drink!


  • 400 grams of fresh turmeric (pick the oldest one)

  • 250 grams of palm sugar

  • 100 grams of tamarind

  • 100 ml of warm water to soak the tamarind

  • 2 liter of water


  • Soak the tamarind with warm water. Squeeze then set it aside.

  • Roast the fresh turmeric until brown-ish. Peel the skin, then clean the peeled turmeric and dice it.

  • Blend the turmeric with 500ml of water.

  • Mix the tamarind water with the turmeric blend along with the rest of the water in the pot. Boil until hot.

  • Add the palm sugar. Stir well and boil it again until hot.

  • Turn off the flame and cool the Jamu off, then strain it into a cup of glass.

3. Empon-Empon

a cup of empon-empon and various herbs

Another drink that can boost your immune system is empon-empon. Empon-empon is believed to be able to prevent bacterial infection, inflammation, as well as protecting our body from free radicals. Empon-empon is made up of ginger, Javanese ginger, and lemongrass. This is how to make empon-empon at home!


  • 300 grams of ginger

  • 200 grams of Javanese ginger

  • Aromatic ginger sufficiently

  • Fresh turmeric sufficiently

  • 2 sheets of pandan leaves

  • 4 stalks of lemongrass

  • 4 sticks of cinnamon

  • 300 ml of water

  • 2 pieces of brown sugar, crushed or thinly sliced


  • Rinse all of the ingredients. Slice the ginger, temulawak, and fresh turmeric. Then, crush the lemongrass gently.

  • Get all of the ingredients inside the pot, and boil it down until hot.

  • Turn the flame off and let it rest for a while until all of the ingredients are absorbed.

  • Pour the empon-empon into a cup of glass and use a strainer to separate the liquid from the ginger dregs.

4. Jeniper

a cup of jeniper with mint

Jeniper is an abbreviation for jeruk nipis peras (squeezed lime). As the name suggests, this simple herbal drink is made from squeezed lime that is usually mixed with a little bit of honey or seeds. As you may know, lime is very good for your health as it can revitalize your skin, improves your digestion, boosts your immune system, helps with your weight loss, keeps your blood sugar level intact, reduces the risk of heart problems, reduces the risk of cancer, relieves inflammatory problems, and prevents dehydration. It is very easy to make!


  • 500ml of water

  • 1 piece of lime

  • 1 spoonful of sugar

  • Honey (optional)


  • Heat the water

  • Cut up the limes, then squeeze them into a cup of glass through a strainer.

  • Add 1 spoonful of sugar.

  • Add the warm water into the cup of glass.

  • Add some honey to your likings (optional).

5. Wedang Sereh

a cup of wedang sereh

Other than being used as a cooking ingredient, lemongrass can also be turned into a tasty beverage. Wedang sereh, or wedang serai, is another traditional Indonesian herbal drink that holds a lot of benefits such as preventing diseases, reducing cholesterol, detoxifying the body, relieving insomnia, healing up infections, etc. This is how you can make this healthy beverage!


  • 300 grams of lemongrass

  • 100 grams of brown sugar

  • 3 sheets of lime leaves

  • 600 ml of water

  • Cloves

  • Black pepper


  • Cut up the lemongrass.

  • Heat the water, then add the lemongrass into the pot.

  • Add some cloves, lime leaves, and black pepper.

  • Add some brown sugar and stir the water until all of the ingredients are dissolved.

  • Strain it into a cup of glass.

6. Teh Jahe

a cup of Teh Jahe

Teh jahe which means ginger tea is another traditional Indonesian herbal drink that is very easy to make. To make the taste even better, you can add honey or lemon to the tea. Some of the benefits of drinking ginger extract include relieving pain, alleviating nausea, helping weight loss, reducing the risk of chronic illness, combating rheumatism and osteoarthritis, and keeping the blood sugar level intact. This is how easy it is to make this drink!


  • 2 large pieces of ginger, skin peeled off and crushed

  • 2 bags of tea or powdered tea

  • 500 ml of water

  • Honey or lemon (optional)


  • Add the water along with the ginger into a pot. Boil it until fragrant.

  • While still hot, get the tea inside the pot and stir well.

  • Pour the tea into a cup of glass. Add some honey or lemon if you want.

Have some of these herbal drinks while you’re watching movies, reading books, or working from home. Inspire yourself with wonderful offerings from Indonesia while watching these videos, it will definitely be more enjoyable if you’re accompanied by these comforting beverages. Not only do these beverages taste good, but they are also able to boost your immune system. Don't forget to wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, avoid crowded places, minimize your mobility, and avoid eating with a group of people. Do check out other traditional Indonesian beverages as well!