8 Top Indonesian Herbs and the Health Benefits
History stated that the main reason why the Dutch once wanted to conquer Indonesia is because this country is the heaven of herbs. Indonesia has tropical climate, so this country is gifted with sun light all year around, just a perfect place to grow almost all kind of plants and below is the list of Indonesian herbs and the health benefits that you should know. Some of those plants are easily found in your back yard and could be used as home remedy for several light diseases.
The first herb on the list of Indonesia herbs and the health benefits is cinnamon. Well, it is true there are a lot of varieties of cinnamon and Indonesian cinnamon is one with a lot of benefits to human health. Indonesian cinnamon is not the same with ceylon cinnamon which is also well known as true cinnamon, but it doesn’t mean Indonesian cinnamon is the fake one. Instead of classified as Ceylon cinnamon, Indonesia cinnamon is classified as closer to Cassia cinnamon.
From the name, surely you have known that Indonesia cinnamon is native to Indonesia. The locals called this herb as simply kayu manis. This herb is loaded with nutrients which according to some studies could bring a lot of benefits to human health. The health benefits of Indonesian cinnamon are preventing cholesterol, essential solution to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes up to treating Parkinson’s diseases.
Cloves are well known as cengkeh in Indonesia. This herb is native to Maluku, Indonesia and widely used as cooking spice. However, besides that cloves are also well known as herbal medicines used for home remedy. Unlike cinnamon which obtained from the inner bark of certain species of tree, cloves are obtained from the flower buds of cloves tree which has botanical name as Syzygium aromaticum.
Cloves are excellent source of calcium and vitamins especially vitamin C. That’s why cloves are important ingredients to be added to chicken soup served as cold or flu remedy. The other health benefits of Cloves are as temporary herbal remedy to toothache because it contains anti-inflammatory properties to help you dealing with the pain until you see the dentist. Furthermore, cloves also could be used diabetes treatment because it contains certain properties that could help optimizing the insulin production to help regulating blood sugar level.
Yellow turmeric is one of the spices that are easily found in every kitchen in the world. Asides from its ability to improve the flavor of foods as well as add some yellow-ish color, the health benefits of turmeric is quite long. Originated from Asia regions, turmeric is easily found in almost all regions of Asia, including Indonesia.
The locals called yellow turmeric as kunyit and this spice has a lot of benefits to human health because it contains powerful anti-bacterial properties that makes yellow turmeric is popular among herbal plants used as traditional medicine. Yellow turmeric is also used as home remedy for baby who is suffering from flu, mothers usually rubbing the yellow turmeric to baby’s nose area (between eyes) to relieve the flu and make the baby sleep tightly.
Who doesn’t know aloe vera? It is one of the herbal plants which is not only exotic in appearance but also loaded with a lot of nutrients that only tropical plants could provide. In Indonesia, aloe vera is not only used for medical purpose but it is also processed as delicious beverages well known as Es Lidah Buaya. Lidah buaya has literal meaning ‘crocodile’s tongue’ which probably comes from the leaves that resemble the tongue of crocodile.
The health benefits of aloe vera could be endless but among them, aloe vera is so rich of vitamin C, dietary fiber and also excellent source of powerful antioxidants that contribute to the improvement of immunity system and detoxification. As rich of fiber, aloe vera is great for digestion while vitamin C makes aloe vera is excellent for skin health.
If you ever taste Indonesian’s traditional dishes, you will be surprised how rich the taste will be. It is because Indonesia people are very fond of spices and among the most important spices is cardamom or kapulaga. This herb is not only giving unique taste to the dishes but the spicy-like flavor of cardamom is also giving a lot of health benefits for those who consume it. That’s why cardamom is one of most important Indonesian herbs and the health benefits of cardamom could be endless.
As mentioned above, the health benefits of cardamom could be endless but among those lists cardamom is well known for its ability to treat dysentery and some stomach problems. It also could help easing up digestion and improve bowel movement. Cardamom is also natural remedy to acidity. For oral health, cardamom could be used to treat toothache up to sore throat even fighting bad breath.
Java tea has botanical name Orthosiphon aristus. It is a herbal plant that quite popular in Indonesia due to its strange yet unique look. The locals call java tea as kumis kucing. This herbal plant could easily grow in any regions of Indonesia.
This herbal plant has been used by Indonesian since ancient time in the form of concoction. The main health benefit of java tea is to deal with urination conditions. It has been believed to be excellent solution to treat urinary stones caused by excessive minerals in the urinary track. However, it is not the only benefit of java tea, actually drinking concoction of java tea could help managing blood sugar level as well as hypertension.
Curcuma is coming from the same family as turmeric and has an important role for both Indonesia cuisine and traditional medicine. This herbal plant is native to Indonesia and could be found in almost all regions of Asia which has tropical climate. The local name of curcuma is temulawak. This herbal plant is widely consumed as jamu by processing it into powder.
The main health benefits of curcuma is great for kidney and liver health. Furthermore, the potassium content found in curcuma is quite high and make this herb is great for heart health as well. However, as jamu, don’t expect curcuma to taste great, instead it is very bitter. That’s why a lot of people are combining curcuma with gingger and sugar cube to improve its taste.
Averrhoa blimbi among locals is well known as belimbing wuluh. Originated from Indonesia, this herbal plants has a lot of health benefits. This herbal plant is very fond for its fruit. Though the taste of the fruits are very sour even when they ripe, this fruit is one of the important ingredients for some local dishes. The fruits are excellent addition to pepes and some types of sambal.
Not only the fruit, all parts Averrhoa bilimbi are useful as traditional medical herbs like the leaves, stems and even the flowers. This herbal plant has been used to treat conditions like rheumatism due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The locals use this herbal plant to deal with bleeding gum and toothaches.
Surely you have known that when it comes to Indonesian herbs and the health benefits, the list could be endless. However, the seven herbs mentioned above are top eight herbs widely and easily cultivated in Indonesia. The best thing about those herbal plants is to plant them, there is no such condition required. Just simply plant them in your back yard; they could grow easily because most of regions in Indonesia are gifted with fertile soil in where you could grow almost anything.