Natural herbs have been the source of medicinal cures long before recorded history. Resourceful ancient humans experimented with what nature has to offer to cure physical ailments. Shamans collected wild berries, leafs and twigs and animal parts to concoct “potions”. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian texts described medicinal uses of various plants. Over time, people have narrowed down the plants with the desired medicinal properties. Scientists have found that over the same region and even all over the whole world people use similar species of plants for similar medicinal purposes.
Some societies, such as Indian and Chinese civilizations, even developed traditional medicine systems, where herbal remedies are used therapeutically in a systematic and structured way. Humans have relied on medicinal herbs for most of their existence. The use of medicinal herbs for maintaining health also extends to other areas. Many human cultures across the world have also been utilizing natural ingredients for cosmetic and physical fitness maintenance regimens. The use of herbs for cosmetic certainly predates the use of chemicals. Many cultures around the world adopt their knowledge of medicinal herbs, combined with a mix of cultural beliefs and symbolism, into some of the earliest forms of beauty care. Indonesia is no exception.
In Indonesia, many of this herbal knowledge were passed down from one generation to the next through oral tradition and daily rituals. Court ceremonies of the many tribal villages and kingdoms also reflect this knowledge. And in the libraries of those royal courts we can still see the manuscripts written by ancient sages and herbalists, preserving Indonesian herbal knowledge for the future generation.
In Java, where imperial courts were more complex and established, and also still largely functions today, those records are studied and applied in the modern world by academics and corporations. The advance agricultural community of Java supplies much of the herbal materials for traditional and home uses as well as for raw inputs to the many modern factories of industrialized cities of Java