If you’re like me, you’ve read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, religiously. If you’re really like me, not only have you’ve read it over and over again, but your copy is stained with salt tears and spaghetti sauce and you’ve seen the movie… well, a bunch. My favorite chapters are found near the back of the book when the author finally finds peace and ultimately love in Bali.
For the geographically challenged (don’t worry I am so there) Bali is an island of Indonesia which is also an island located 8 degrees below the equator in the southernmost part of Asia.
Much of Bali is a lush oasis overrun with botanical wonders like jasmine and ylang ylang. And while western beauty products and mass-produced cosmetics can be found, Indonesians rely on Jamu, a holistic herbal healing dating back more than 1,300 years.
The concoctions of Jamu are handed down from generation to generation. Recipes use natural ingredients to remedy a whole host of ailments like; turmeric and tamarind for weight gain, nutmeg for insomnia, and onion, honey, and lime for a cough.
Jamu also involves the use of home-brewed ingredients to achieve flawless beauty and radiant skin. A treatment called Lulur is a paste made of rice water (drained water left over after boiling rice) turmeric, coconut milk and honey rubbed onto the skin and allowed to dry before rinsing. The rich amber color of the turmeric exfoliates while giving the skin a warm bronzy glow (porcelain skin girls should test on legs before trying on the face). The honey and coconut will leave your skin soft and buttery.
Traveling to Bali? Try an introductory class on Jamu at the Tugu Hotel in Canggu.
Not so lucky as to travel like Liz Gilbert? JAMU: The Ancient Indonesian Art of Herbal Healing is a book written by Irish-born Susan-Jane Beers after spending 10 years studying Jamu in Indonesia .
Totally not a do-it-yourselfer?
Juara an Indonesia-inspired skin-care line makes a
luxurious Turmeric Tamarind Treatment Duo which
can be had for a mere $50 US.