This popular drink is made essentially from rice-powder and kencur (galangal root) . The combination of the two offers proven health benefits. According to Javanese belief Kencur philosophically has a power named mancur here, which strengthens stamina (“it shines by emitting radiant energy in the body”).
Beras Kencur is known to have following properties: increasing appetite, helps eliminating aches and fatigue, helps eliminating heartburn and cough. Additionally it is believed to enhance male vitality when mixed with honey. Cosmetically the mix is often used in skin care, for example to whiten and tighten the skin as well as strengthening and polishing the hair.
Kencur (galangal root) itself, known all over Southeast Asia, has a strong presence in Javanese traditional medicine culture and thus has always been extensively grown for this health purpose, finding its way also in Javanese culinary, phyto-pharmacy and major Jamu industrial products.
This traditional beverage, if blended with a variety of other natural ingredients apparently has appetite stimulating properties. Javanese moms know the benefits of this drink for children who do not want to eat. It moreover benefits children who appear lethargic and listless. Conditions where appetite-loss occurs are quite common in tropical regions, whereby sometimes a habit can be formed of avoiding nutritious foods which is unfortunately not a trivial thing amongst the population here. Obviously the body will then lack substances that are actually needed to move and grow. If neglected, this problem can seriously affect the development and growth of the brain and body. As a traditional doctor I know the benefits of Beras kencur to reverse such habits.
Additional benefits of Beras Kencur are: prevents colds, prevent ulcers, helps eliminate fatigue, improves menstrual cycle, removes phlegm (expectorant properties), relieves dizziness, nausea and abdominal bloating.
Recipe for a typical Beras Kencur drink (7-8 cups):
• Rice powder 200 grams
• Kencur powder 50 grams
• Ginger powder 50 grams
• 2 pieces of pandan leaves
• fenugreek 1/2 teaspoon
• 10 pieces crushed Cardamom
• Cubeb pepper 1/2 teaspoon
• Palm Sugar 300 grams
• Water 1500 ml
• Salt to taste
Blend to a puree and boil with water.
In order to help your Qi emit a radiant look, let’s now try to make the recipe Beras Kencur and enjoy this delicious brew… !
By Pak Moko Pramusanto
Director of SEPTIM Institute of Javanese Traditional Healing