For approximately 8 months, people in Indonesian have been forced to live side by side with the Covid-19 pandemic. Their lifestyles have also changed since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Communication and community life, which usually takes place face-to-face, have to be limited to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
However, the existence of restrictions does not necessarily limit creativity in society. In fact, with the pandemic, people's creativity has increased in order to survive.
President Joko Widodo, when opening the 2020 National Culture Week virtually on Saturday (31/10) night, said the pandemic would not be a barrier for arts and cultural activists to keep creating. He assessed that currently people are getting more creative because they have succeeded in responding to crisis situations. According to the President, during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are actually trying to revive local culture or wisdom, such as traditional herbal medicine which is efficacious in increasing body immunity.
All over the world, people are asked to maintain their health and increase their stamina so that they are not easily infected with the Covid-19 virus. One of the ways that the Indonesian people do is by consuming herbal medicine. The popularity of jamu, a traditional Indonesian herbal drink made from natural ingredients such as roots, herbs and spices, has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently more and more people are consuming jamu or herbal medicine regularly because they believe that it can increase body immunity.
The herbal medicine industry, especially the cottage industry, is increasingly developing during the pandemic. Jamu, which is usually consumed by older generation, is now increasingly popular in almost all circles, including young people and millennials, of course with a modern twist. Jamu, which is usually bitter in taste, now has many flavors that are familiar to young people. The packaging is made attractive and modern to attract all generations, especially young people.
Indeed, the market share of herbal medicine in the pandemic era should not be limited in the country. It is time for the herbal medicine industry to expand its market share abroad. Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Jamu Entrepreneurs Association, Thomas Hartono, in a webinar on “Modern Jamu, Breaking the Market of Middle Eastern Countries”, Friday (30/10) said that currently, Indonesian herbal medicine exports are only around 1-2% of the total world exports of herbal medicines. This is of course very unfortunate. For this reason, the Jamu Entrepreneurs Association seeks to increase market share in the world by encouraging exports to various countries, especially the Middle East region.
It is hoped that efforts and innovations made by herbal medicine producers will increase the popularity of herbal medicine in all circles at home and abroad.