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Book Review: Jamu Lifestyle

I’ve had the great honor of knowing Metta Murdaya, the author of Jamu Lifestyle, for about 5 years now. I can tell you: she definitely lives the title of the book!

Published by afterhours, I remember the first time Metta mentioned she was writing Jamu Lifestyle (it was before the pandemic). It’s wonderful to finally see, SMELL and feel it in my hands. However, knowing Metta, I had no doubt she would make it happen, pandemic or no pandemic.

Wellness Genre

If you like books on holistic wellness philosophies with deep cultural roots such as Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Healthy Life, and Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Livingle, then Jamu Lifestyle is perfect for you. Jamu Lifestyle contains historical background, the iconic tradition of women carrying jamu on their backs, all the way to modern jamu cafes and the magical potion that is Tolak Angin (perfect to dispel any unwell syndromes). The reader will get a good grasp of how jamu permeates Indonesian culture.

Historical background of Jamu

Hats off to the photographer for lovely pictures that complete the experience of reading this book. It’s really a feast for the eyes. In addition to how jamu has evolved, there are also recipes involving jamu herbs and tips on incorporating jamu into one’s daily beauty routine.

A personal favorite of mine: Beras Kencur!

Jamu Lifestyle also features articles by other professionals from various fields giving their thoughts on self-love and self-care. The carefully curated variety of the contributors gave a multidimensional approach to jamu in the lives of modern Indonesians.

Singer and Actress Dira Sugandi models for the section Jamu on the Outside

Indonesia Represent!

All in all, Jamu Lifestyle accomplishes the author’s goal: to place jamu on the international playing field of traditional wellness trends. But, as Metta herself often advocates: if jamu is a “trend”, then it is a trend that has settled into the very fabrics of Indonesian homes: from the village to the city, from hundreds of years ago until now, from the abundance of the soil to the abundance of our bodies.

Get your copy of Jamu Lifestyle here.