Socio-cultural Knowledge and Perceptions of Jamu Consumption Risk: Local Wisdom of Urban Javanese Community and Its Relation to the Integration of Traditional Jamu Medicine into Formal Health System in Indonesia

Indra Wijaya


Although the role of traditional medicinal system (jamu) in Indonesia is increasing, there are no studies on the clients‘ perceptions of the risk of consuming jamu products. This paper addresses this gap by examining the perceptions of jamu and the risk of consuming traditional medicine among the consumers in the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Sixty interviews took place between June and July 2010. The participants were thirty selected clients of jamu sellers in the streets and local markets where jamu products are sold. They were chosen on the basis of age, gender and socio-economic background. The software QSR NUDIST was employed to analyze the data. This study shows that two thirds of local jamu consumers in Yogyakarta had a good understanding about the therapeutic uses of jamu. The research results indicate that jamu products were consumed by all ages and across different levels of education and socio-economic background. Although the participants were aware about some potential risks of consuming jamu, the data show that their attitudes towards and perceptions of jamu were generally positive among all age groups and social groups. This finding supports the idea that an improved understanding of the attitudes towards and the perceptions of jamu and its consumption is important, considering the increasing popularity of traditional medicine in Indonesia.


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