Kencur (Kaempferia galanga)

Kencur or aromatic ginger is one of the common herbs in Indonesian cuisines as well as traditional Jamu drinks. Known in the botanical world as Kaempferia galanga, kencur is a plant in the ginger family that is found primarily in open areas in Indonesia, southern China, Taiwan, and Cambodia. At a glance, the rhizome (root) of Kencur resembles ginger appearance, but has a different, distinctive flavor. It has a strong taste with a pungent aftertaste.

Kencur is the main herb used in several Indonesian dishes like Urap (mixed vegetables with seasoned grated coconut), Pecel, rempeyek (Indonesian traditional peanut crackers) and a number of sautéed vegetables recipes. Its distinct aroma really characterizes those dishes.

Kencur is a source of zinc, starch, ethyl aster, paraeumarin, borneol, mineral, cinnamic acid, and other nutrition that explain why it is used in many folk-medicine applications for ages, mainly in Southeast Asia.

Indonesian Jamu Beras Kencur is one of the alternative medicines that use Kencur as the main ingredients. So, if you want to experience the health benefits from this herb, you can make Jamu Beras Kencur at home and drink it regularly.

Here are the benefits you can get from Kencur:

Increased energy

Kencur is good to boost your energy. Simply boil 2 cm of Kencur with one glass of water, and drink every night before you go to sleep. In the next morning you’ll find yourself fresh and energetic. For your information, many Tibetan and Japanese incense formulas still contain this rhizome, especially in formulas to promote energy and awareness, overcome exhaustion, and create a peaceful and contemplative internal environment.

Increased appetite

It is common for Indonesian children to consume Jamu Beras Kencur, as it is believed to increase their appetite, thanks to its carminative property.

Reduced bad cholesterol

Jamu made of Kencur can promote the bile production in our body. The bile is responsible for nutrition absorption and eliminating toxin, including bad cholesterol.

Jamu Beras Kencur
Source: kulinersehat.com

Antioxidants

Our body needs antioxidant to repel dangerous free radical and viruses. You can get this benefit from Kencur, as it also contains antioxidants. This also explains why Kencur is good to increase your immunity.

As cough medicine

You can consume Kencur solution to cure the early symptoms of coughing. Simply wash Kencur roots, peel them, and grate them. Put the grated Kencur on a cloth, and wring it to get the juice. Add a dash of lime juice and honey to taste, and drink the Kencur syrup three times a day until the symptoms subside.

Kencur for reducing bloating

Bloated stomach can be treated with Kencur. You can simply eat the washed, raw Kencur with a little bit of salt and wash it out with warm water. Other alternative is by boiling 3 cm of Kencur roots with one glass of water. Eat the root or drink the solution two times a day to prevent the bloating.

To treat swollen/sprained muscle

Treating sprained muscle with Kencur mix is a common practice in Indonesia. Usually this is the first aid for injury. The mix is made of 1 Kencur rhizome that is mixed with mashed raw rice. The mix is then applied to the affected area.

It is safe to say that Kencur is one of the wonderful herbs. It has many benefits for health and can add the taste to dishes as well. Other good thing is you can get this herb in very cheap price (with Rp5,000 you can get a bag full of Kencur) at traditional markets in Indonesia. Here is the recipe to make Jamu Beras Kencur.

Can you suggest any other uses for this wonderful herb?

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