12 June 2008

Herbal Medicines -- Jamu

Although this particular story originates from Malang in East Java it might just be representative of any region in Indonesia. Indonesians are big believers in traditional herbal medicines and cosmetics both of which are big business and provide turnovers to the owners of these businesses in the many millions and hundreds of millions of dollars annually. These companies include Martha Tilaar and Jamu Jago to mention but two.

However, a recent survey by the Indonesian Department of Health through the Health Service of Malang found that 77 types of jamu in Malang contravened current safety regulations with respect to the ingredients contained in the jamu. Of these 38 were registered and 39 were unregistered brands. The registered brands were immediately cancelled.

Most contained substances that are banned because they require a doctors prescription to be bought. The banned substances include diuretics, beta-2 stimulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, powerful pain relievers, asthma medicines, and a range of other prescription drugs.

I guess you drink jamu at your own risk!

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