And you can make it at home!

Popular on the islands of Bali and Java are healthy herbal tonics called Jamu. Different varieties can improve all different kinds of ailments. In Indonesia Jamu is typically made at home using fresh ingredients from the garden.

Jamu for Menstrual Cramps

Fresh, peeled turmeric root

My tutor and Jamu-making teacher raved about this reciepe as a life-saver for her when she was in so much pain from cramps she had to crawl across the floor to the bathroom.

It’s best if you can use fresh ingredients, but dried will work as well.  Adjust preparation accordingly.

  • Turmeric root (fresh, preferably the central ‘mother’ part of the root)
  • Fresh tamarind

  • Tamarind (fresh, whole)
  • Palm sugar or brown sugar or honey, to taste
  • Salt
  • Lime
  • Optional: Betel leaves

Grate the turmeric

Clean and peel turmeric root. Chop, or grate using a cheese grater. Pull the tamarind out of its shell and add the bean to the turmeric.  Grind with mortar and pestle (or throw into a blender). Transfer to a saucepan.


Add water and sugar and boil. If using honey, add after boiling.  In the last minute, add a pinch of salt. Boil 5 minutes, until well mixed and thicker.  Remove from heat and cool.  Add lime just before drinking.

Boil for 5 minutes

Note: Be careful, the boiled turmeric will stain clothing.


Good for menstrual cramps, upset stomach, or any type of stomachache.

You can also check out the TCM remedy for menstrual cramps.