Top 10 Indonesian Spices

December 25,2022

Varian indonesian spices
 photo by ibupedia

Indonesian Spices – It is undeniable, Indonesia does have fertile soil and can be grown by various types of plants that contain a myriad of benefits. One type of plant that is widely found in Indonesia is spices. Spices are parts of plants that have a strong taste and aroma.

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Indonesian spices are a major wealth of the archipelago's produce. Spices from this motherland have been known throughout the world since ancient times. In fact, many countries in the world import this plant from Indonesia. Indonesia is known for its abundant wealth of spices, making it one of the largest spice exporting countries. Interestingly, this spice plant has long been one of the native Indonesian commodities that has a high selling price. During the pre-colonial era, native Indonesian spices were one of the most sought-after goods by various countries. One of the reasons is because this spice can be used as an effective medicine for several chronic diseases.

However, it didn't last long. After medical science developed and progressed, the use of spices for health began to slowly decrease. Currently, Indonesian spices are used as cooking spices. However, the use of spices in everyday cooking is not as much as in traditional cooking. So, it's no wonder that typical Indonesian dishes are richer in taste. This is none other than because typical and traditional Indonesian dishes still use a variety of spices and herbs.

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However, as previously mentioned, these Indonesian spices can not only be used as complementary seasonings for cooking, but these spices also have a myriad of benefits and properties for the health of the body. In general, these Indonesian spices are used by indigenous peoples. through three ways, namely as a preservative, giving and adding flavor to food, and as a traditional medicine. In the business sector, Indonesian spices are used as ingredients for beauty products and the main ingredients for making perfume.

Indonesian Spices Rich in Benefits

So, what are the Indonesian spices? The following is an explanation of 10 Indonesian spices and their benefits for health. Come on, see the review!


Turmerik or kunyit photo by yesdok

Turmeric has the scientific name Curcuma longa. This plant is a type of spice plant that has been widely used for a long time in Indonesia. Since time immemorial, people have used turmeric as a cooking ingredient and flavor enhancer.

Turmeric has a function as a natural dye in food. The color produced from this plant is bright yellow.

Apart from being a flavoring spice, turmeric is also used as a raw material for making herbal medicine. The benefits of turmeric in herbal medicine are for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

Turmeric has the scientific name Curcuma longa. This plant is a type of spice plant that has been widely used for a long time in Indonesia. Since time immemorial, people have used turmeric as a cooking ingredient and flavor enhancer.

Turmeric has a function as a natural dye in food. The color produced from this plant is bright yellow.

Apart from being a flavoring spice, turmeric is also used as a raw material for making herbal medicine. The benefits of turmeric in herbal medicine are for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

This yellow plant contains a chemical compound in the form of curcumin which has properties to relieve inflammation, such as pain and swelling.  The processing of turmeric as herbal medicine, the most famous of which is herbal turmeric tamarind.  The ingredients used in the manufacture of tamarind turmeric herbs are turmeric, palm sugar, and tamarind. In Indonesian society, this tamarind turmeric herb is commonly consumed in everyday life.  Even though you are not sick, drinking this herbal medicine is believed to boost the immune system.

This herb is also believed to have properties to maintain the health of the human stomach organs.  On the other hand, this herb can also be consumed by women who are menstruating.  This is because the curcumin content in turmeric can help relieve pain. Apart from that, turmeric also has other benefits, one of which is to facilitate digestion in the large intestine, so it can keep digestion healthy.


Nutmeg or Pala 

Nutmeg or myristica fragrans is a plant that is useful for adding flavor to dishes.  This fruit, which comes from Banda Island in Maluku, is usually processed into sweets.  Meanwhile, the seeds can be used as a spice in cooking.

Besides being useful as a cooking spice, this spice also contains essential oils.  This essential oil then becomes a component of the mixture to make perfume or soap.

In addition to cooking and ingredients for making soap, nutmeg also has several health benefits.  The health benefits of nutmeg include helping to overcome indigestion, relieve colds, and stomach aches.  Nutmeg seeds are also believed to help stop diarrhea.

In nutmeg, there is a compound called myristicin.  These compounds are known to help improve memory by stimulating the nerves in the brain.  Apart from that, the compound content in nutmeg seeds can also help improve one's concentration ability. Not only that, nutmeg seeds are also efficacious for maintaining healthy mouth and teeth.  Antibacterial contained in nutmeg can kill harmful bacteria in the mouth.  This is what makes nutmeg can prevent damage to the teeth and can overcome bad breath.

The ingredients used to maintain oral and dental health are a mixture of grated nutmeg and oregano oil.

3.Cinnamon(kayu manis)

Cinnamon or kayu manis

Cinnamon has a distinctive aroma and fragrance.  No wonder this spice is very well known in the culinary world, especially culinary in the archipelago.  This spice is commonly used as a cooking spice, as an addition to making cakes, to raw materials for making warm drinks.

This herb, which has the Latin name cinnamomum zeylanicum, has the benefit of adding freshness and flavor to drinks.  In addition, this cinnamon can help to cure various infections and skin diseases.

The fragrance emitted by this plant can also eliminate body odor.  This is because cinnamon has the ability to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new skin cells.

Another benefit of cinnamon is its aroma which can calm and relieve feelings of fatigue.  Cinnamon can also act as an antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.  In addition, this brown spice can also relieve diarrhea, flu, hypertension, stomach ache, bronchitis, and increase appetite.


Clove or cengkeh photo by CNN

Cloves or cloves are one of the most hunted plants by Europeans in ancient times.  This is of course not for no reason.  Cloves are believed to have a myriad of benefits contained in them, ranging from analgesics, disinfectants, anesthetics for cavities, to being used as a flavoring for dishes that are so delicious.

This herbal plant with the Latin name syzgium aromatica has antiseptic, local anesthetic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Cloves also contain essential oil compounds in the form of eugenol which act as anesthetics and antiseptics.

In addition, cloves can also help relieve stomach pain, stop diarrhea, and relieve nausea.  To get the benefits of this clove, we can consume it in many ways.  One of them is with mix cloves with lemon water.

 This concoction of a mixture of cloves and lemon water is known to have properties to cure rheumatism, toothache, and reduce inflammation in muscle pain. In addition, this herbal mixture can also regenerate the body and relieve fatigue. In addition, cloves and lemon water are also believed to help increase stamina and body health.


Ginger or jahe

 Ginger or Zingiber officinale belongs to the very famous Zingiberaceae family. A little like cinnamon, ginger also has a very fragrant aroma when kissed.

 Not only known as a kitchen spice, ginger is also known as an herbal plant because of its many properties. One way to enjoy ginger is by burning it and then crushing it and mixing it with a glass of warm water. This herbal drink is also very suitable to be enjoyed when it rains or catches a cold because it can make the body feel warm. For some people, ginger is deliberately used to warm the body. The method is to make a drink, such as ginger ale. Consuming ginger tea is believed to warm the body and relieve colds.

Some people also use ginger to increase appetite, relieve arthritis, and prevent nausea. This ginger concoction can help relieve excess morning sickness experienced by women who are pregnant in the first trimester. Ginger can also help relieve itching and treat wounds by grinding and smearing ginger around the wound area. Even a mixture of ginger and salt can be an antidote to snake bites.

 6. Cardamom(kapulaga)

Cardamom or kapulaga

 Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices besides saffron and vanilla. In Indonesia, the price of cardamom per kilogram reaches around IDR 45,000 and will increase tenfold if it meets export quality.

 Therefore, don't be surprised if cardamom also turns out to have many benefits. Because besides being able to be used as a food flavoring agent, cardamom can also provide health benefits which is the reason why this plant is highly sought after by many people.

 In a cardamom, there are many minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and so on. This substance is certainly good for maintaining a healthy body.

One of the benefits of cardamom is to prevent and treat infection. This is caused by the presence of substances that act as antimicrobials that can fight bacteria and fungi.

 7.Galangal( Kencur)

Galangal or kencur

 Indonesian spices kencur always has its own place in everyone's kitchen. Along with turmeric, ginger and other spices, kencur also has many health benefits.

 Usually kencur is used as an ingredient in herbal concoctions. This spice will be pounded until smooth together with rice which is then named as kencur rice.

 The benefits of kencur for health are numerous. Among them are treating digestive inflammation, increasing appetite, to provide a feeling or a calming sensation in the body. In addition, kencur is also useful for relieving fever, abdominal pain, swelling, and gout.

 To relieve swelling, kencur is mixed with lemongrass and salt. Meanwhile, concoctions of kencur, sugar, salt, rice, and tamarind are used to relieve coughs. This concoction is also known as herbal rice kencur, a traditional drink such as herbal turmeric tamarind.

 On the other hand, this herbal rice kencur also has the benefit of increasing appetite. Not infrequently, this herb is also consumed by children to increase their appetite.

 The benefits of kencur are also being studied more deeply by scientists. Kencur is believed to have benefits as an insecticide which is useful for eradicating the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a mosquito that transmits dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).

 8. Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds photo by healthwire

 Fennel seeds or also known as fennel is a plant that has properties to regulate blood pressure. This plant with the Latin name foeniculum vulgare is known to increase the content of nitrite production in saliva. This can help to keep blood pressure levels stable.

 In addition, this plant is also rich in potassium, which has the property of maintaining the balance of water levels in the body. If fennel seeds are consumed after meals, then it will help prevent indigestion and various other stomach problems. Fennel seeds also contain lots of fiber, histidine, and amino acids. This substance is believed to help treat constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and so on.

 9. Pepper 

Pepper or merica photo by kompas

Pepper is also known as pepper. This plant has the main property of warming the body. Pepper can also kill parasites and help get rid of gas in the body.

 There are two types of pepper, namely black pepper and white pepper. White pepper is known to help facilitate urine. White pepper can also treat various skin disorders, such as eczema and leprosy. On the other hand, black pepper has the property of removing phlegm when coughing, improving blood circulation, and treating gout or rheumatism. Black pepper is also beneficial for the brain. This herbal plant is believed to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, which is a disease characterized by decreased memory, decreased ability to speak and think, to changes in behavior due to disturbances in the brain.

 10.Vanilla( vanili)

Vanilla or vanilli

 Vanilla is a spice with a sweet aroma and is often mixed into various types of dishes. This is what makes vanilla one of the most popular spices among other spices.

 Hundreds of years ago, this vanilla plant was often used as a flavor enhancer for drinks and food. Currently, if you want to buy it, on the market there is a type of vanilla extract that has been processed synthetically. However, there are also those who sell vanilla with natural extracts.

 Even so, the price for natural vanilla extract will be much more expensive when compared to synthetically extracted vanilla. This is because vanilla is a cultivated plant with a very high selling price.

 The price per kilogram of vanilla can reach Rp. 650,000. In fact, if the quality of this vanilla is very good and meets export quality, then the price will increase many times to reach the million mark.

 With such a high price, it's no wonder that in the world of health, vanilla has many benefits. One of the properties of this plant is its antibacterial nature and contains antioxidants and antidepressants.

 In a 1994 study, the smell of vanilla was even said to reduce anxiety levels in patients who were about to undergo an MRI procedure for cancer screening. This is also the reason why the aroma of vanilla is included in one type of perfume that is popular and liked by many people.


 Spices are one part of the plant that has a very strong aroma and taste. Indonesian spices are the main wealth of the archipelago's products which have been known throughout the world since ancient times. In fact, many countries in the world import this plant from Indonesia.

 Indonesia is known for its abundant wealth of spices. This also makes Indonesia one of the largest spice exporting countries with high quality spices. Since ancient times, this plant has become one of the native Indonesian commodities which has a high selling price.

 Of course there are many types of Indonesian spices. Each spice also has many benefits and properties for health. Among the spices that have many health benefits are turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, kencur, fennel seeds, pepper, and vanilla. That's an explanation of the 10 Indonesian spices and their benefits for health. Did #FriendsWithoutLimits already know the benefits of each of these spices besides cooking ingredients?

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