Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Temulawak: Herbal remedy with a modern touch

Justas ginseng is synonymous with Korea, temulawak or Java turmeric is a naturalmedical treasure native to Indonesia.

As part of Indonesia’s centuries-old traditional healing practices, temulawakhas long been used as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent in treatingmany ailments, including swelling, gastric and digestive problems, stiffmuscles, coughs and runny nose.

“As far as we know, temulawak can only be found in Indonesia,” says Gunawan T.,managing director of Helmigs Prima Sejahtera, a pharmaceutical and curcuminproducts manufacturer.

“There are some individuals in several countries, like Malaysia, who have doneresearch on their own varieties of temulawak at Yonsei University in SouthKorea, but the results show these plants are nothing like temulawak.”

So even if the Java turmeric exists elsewhere, Gunawan says, “I can confidentlysay the best temulawak comes from Indonesia.”

Having the best variety is one thing, but Indonesia can also churn out thestuff by the truckload.
Central Java and East Java, for instance, are just two of several provincesthat farm temulawak on a large scale.

East Java alone produces up to 9 million kilograms of ready-to-sell temulawakeach year. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s hometown of Pacitanin the province is the country’s temulawak hub, recording harvests of 5 millionkilograms of the tuber each year.

Gunawan’s company, Helmigs Prima Sejahtera, in the East Java capital Surabaya,is one of a handful of such manufacturers. Established in 1993, the companymarkets a range of products, including curcumin sugar-free effervescent,curcumin tablets, curcumin candy with Xylitol, and curcumin health drinks.

Factory manager Sutarko Tantra says the company processes several tons oftemulawak extract into ready-to-consume products each day, combiningtraditional and modern methods.

The modern methods include the measurement of the properties contained intemulawak and the packaging of the curcumin extract into tablets and sachetsusing a machine imported from China.

“We follow high standards with high quality control because we don’t onlymarket our products in Indonesia, but also overseas,” Sutarko says, adding theexport markets include Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada,the Netherlands, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

No comments:

Post a Comment