Jamu (Herbal Medicine)

Semarang is known for its jamu, a herbal medicine produced from a variety of ingredients such as honey, leaves, seeds and bark. Said to have a number of health benefits for the liver and intestines, it has also been associated with enhancing the libido. Some claim that the medicine dates back hundreds of years and even read some of the stone panels at Borobudur, with their hints of pestle and mortar and masseuse, as descriptive of its production. The sight of women selling bottled forms of this medicine, sweetened with honey and carried in open-weave baskets, was once common. Now the herbal remedy is more likely dispensed in tablet form.

Although jamu didn't originate from here, Semarang has acquired a name for its production thanks to two large manufacturers, both of which house small museums and offer tours. Jamu Nyonya Meneer is near the bus terminal, while Jamu Jago is 6km south of the city on the Ambarawa road.