Split photo with turmeric and a bowl of turmeric powder on the left, and a glass of orange jamu on a wooden table on the right

Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal drink that’s said to promote inner and outer health and beauty — and we believe it; the ingredients just don’t lie. The simple recipe, which includes turmeric and ginger root, honey and sometimes tamarind, has been passed down from generation to generation for over 1,300 years and boasts some major health benefits, earning itself a local reputation as a ‘cure-all’ elixir.

Jamu only recently landed on our radar thanks to the new season of Chef’s Table, in which former NYC pastry chef, Will Goldfarb retreats from the Big Apple to the off-the-grid lifestyle of Bali and gets hooked on the golden elixir. Goldfarb’s time in Bali exposes him to a variety of exotic culinary traditions, many of which use food to heal – including jamu. He now preps a daily jug of the stuff which had us drooling for a stockpile of our own.

The healing potential of turmeric is no new news to the wellness obsessed. We regularly take shots of the stuff to reduce inflammation, improve digestion and enhance immunity — these minis from Pressed Juicery are some of our faves. After hearing that people in Bali are tossing back glassfuls of the juice we just sip out of shot glasses, we were intrigued. We’ll be trying the stuff all spring. Want in? Here’s the simple recipe… 

How To Make Jamu


½ cup washed turmeric root, roughly chopped
1-inch piece of ginger root, roughly chopped
4 cups filtered water
2 Tbsp raw honey
juice of 1 lime


In a blender or ‘bullet’, combine the turmeric, ginger, and ½ cup of water. Blitz on high speed until the mixture resembles a fine puree. Pour the puree into a pot and add remaining water and honey. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to continue cooking at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon. Using a straining sheet, strain the mixture into a container and keep in the refrigerator for future use. Enjoy warm or cold!

Love turmeric? Learn to make the perfect golden milk latte here.

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  1. The only problem I have with this recipe is that by adding the honey to boiling water, you lose the enzymes that are beneficial. This is a great recipe using the whole turmeric rather than the dried.

    Debi | 04.30.2018 | Reply
    • Yes, somewhere I’ve read that honey loses its nutritional value once heated.

      Odie | 04.30.2018 | Reply
      • Ive been making this tonic for years and I always add the honey when the liquid has cooled to a warm not hot temp. This way the enzymes and beneficial nutrients stay in tact yet the warm temp bales the honey to melt. Its so delicious!

        Megan Ulrichs | 04.30.2018 | Reply
  2. The recipe says lime but the directions say lemon. Does it matter?

  3. how long does this keep for?

    Ashley | 04.30.2018 | Reply
  4. I will try the recipe. It sounds like a good one. Thank You.

    Betty | 04.30.2018 | Reply
  5. Did I read somewhere that honey should not ever be heated?

    Odie | 04.30.2018 | Reply
  6. Agreed the heat kills the beneficial enzymes in the raw honey and the lime or lemon heat kills on them as well.
    FYI raw honey isn’t what most stores sell it’s fake honey. You need to get this from a bee keeper for the real honey.

    F Margaret Ellison Mabe | 04.30.2018 | Reply
  7. I made Janu this afternoon it’s now chilling in the refrigerator. My question is how much you supposed to drink a day – a quarter of a cup a half a cup just a shot glass full ? Thanks from Houston

    Kathy Driscoll | 04.30.2018 | Reply
  8. Can I use powered turmeric instead of the root turmeric as it’s not available in stores here : (

    Nicki | 05.01.2018 | Reply
  9. Turmeric must be taken with milk and not water . Turmeric lives it’s properties in milk and if we consume it with milk we get the complet benefits and if possible add a pinch black pepper in it

    Ramesh Ladhad | 05.04.2018 | Reply
  10. I would like to try this receipt but it’s in a language that I don’t understand. for an example, where I am we only know powdered tumaric and ginjer…so I don’t know how to translate the chopping stuff into powder to get the correct measurement. I would have understood it better if they said something like “just mixed this number of table spoon and add this and that powder,” coz this is the only language I can understand with regard to where I’m staying.

    Orlando Chauke | 05.06.2018 | Reply
  11. Can the pulp that is left after boiling & straining be used for anything?

    Albert Gonzales | 05.07.2018 | Reply
  12. Nice information

    Smith | 05.14.2018 | Reply
  13. Turmeric is a healthy ingredient that keeps our bones healthy. We must consume turmeric on a daily basis to stay healthy and fit.

    Vivek Pratap | 05.29.2018 | Reply
  14. You need to add black pepper for your body to be able to absorb the curcuminoids in the turmeric. Increases absorption by a factor of 2000%. Check the literature. Adding a fat such as coconut oil to the solution also helps with absorption, as they are fat soluble. We make our jamu by boiling a paste of turmeric & ginger with a small amount of water & black pepper for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat, add coconut oil & allow to cool. Use this paste as your base for jamu or adding to smoothies.

    Alextacy | 06.19.2018 | Reply
  15. You say “lemon” instead of “lime” in the direction. Might want to correct. Just FYI.

    Alex | 08.02.2018 | Reply
  16. How much should you drink daily for optimum results?

    Brian | 09.07.2018 | Reply
  17. Im on the KETO Diet and so i cant have Honey. Can it be drank without it?

    SHANNON | 09.27.2018 | Reply
  18. What is a “straining sheet”?

    John | 01.16.2019 | Reply
  19. So if I use coconut milk and turmeric powder then boil will I get better benefits then making it with water as a tea also adding ginger and black pepper

    Diamond | 01.25.2019 | Reply

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