Our History

Our origins

THE HISTORY OF JAVANESE

A tropical paradise comprised of 17,000 islands and populated by an estimated 250 million people, Indonesia is home to thousands of spas; day spas and resort spas alike. From the Balinese Boreh to Javanese Lulur, Indonesian spa practices are forming its own character and reputation. One of the elements that are inseparable from our spa practice is the use of Jamu, which is traditional herbal medicine that is suitable for oral or external use.
Jamu is a practice that is derived from the tradition inside the Royal Court of Java, particularly from Keraton and the palace of Solo and Yogyakarta. It is from this Javanese Royal Court tradition that Taman Sari Spa builds its concept of spa practices that is now available in Taman Sari Spa, located in three continents and seven countries. Through this Javanese spa tradition as old as the culture itself, people from around the world will begin to learn more about our unique cultural heritage. It is a culture that promotes not only harmony among its people but also harmony between human social & economical activities and its natural surroundings. It is essentially a culture that recognizes and preserves its ethnical and biological diversity.
Our philosophy
A woman’s life cycle consists of birth, puberty, pre-marriage, pregnancy, giving birth, lactating, menopause, and post-menopause, each with its own physical and mental challenges. In Javanese culture, we believe that harmony is paramount to achieve the balance between physical and spiritual health in order to prepare us for these challenges. The Javanese people also believe that nature provides us with all necessary food and medicine to help us prepare ourselves. Our tradition teaches us how we should combine various plants to make our food and remedies, and how we should take charge of our wellbeing. In Javanese culture, this art of herbal healing is called Jamu.
Our founder

Hj. DR. BRA. Mooryati Soedibyo, S.S., M. Hum.

The glory and mystery of the Royal House of Susuhan Pakoe Boewono X is the first time being made available to the public by the inspiration of the grand children Mrs. Dr. BRA Mooryati Soedibyo.

Dr. BRA Mooryati Soedibyo is the grand daughter of Susuhan Pakoe Boewono X. Born and raised at the Javanese Keraton, she is knowledgable of Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat Royal Javanese Tradition. From the early age she learned how to brew Jamu and other traditional beauty treatments. She also learned how to play the classic Javanese Gamelan, Classical dance and she is very knowledgeable of traditional Indonesia herb and spices.

Mrs Mooryati Soedibyo, the founder of Mustika Ratu already Indonesia manufacturer of herbal cosmetic and natural supplement, derived from cultural heritage, based on research and technology.

As a public listed company, PT. Mustika Ratu has to meet international quality and safety standard. Therefore it upgrades its ISO 9002: 1994 certification to quality management system ISO 9001: 2000.

In order to manufacture product with international quality which are environmentally friendly the company adopts quality management system ISO 9001: 2000 with environment management system ISO 14001. Stimulated by the wealth of natural resources in Indonesia, e.g. one of the mega – bio – diversity country in the World. Rather than setting up comfortable and respectable social status, she set up a business home-made herbal supplement called “Jamu” a Javanese health care terminology for wellness and excellence.

In 2007, she received a Doctorate degree from University of Indonesian in Strategic Marketing.

Along of her retirement she is still active and never stops. She has been a guest lecturer to tell about her story and also making her book “The Untold Story”. Also, she has served as  a member of the regional representative council and as a member and vice chair person of the people’s consultative assembly.

Mrs Mooryati Soedibyo has 5 children, 16 grand children and 4 great grand children.

Our natural heritage

Jamu being the core of our spa practices is one example among many on how Javanese culture respects nature as the main source of food and medicine for all life. Indonesia is blessed not only with its rich natural resources but also tradition of preserving this valuable ethno-botanical knowledge. It is arguably a dying science amidst modern lifestyle, which prefers to embrace genetically modified food and chemical compounds as medicine over natural derived food and medicine. Millions of hectares of natural habitats for plants and animals are being cleared to make way for other destructive activities such as logging, mining, or monoculture plantation/farming because humans have forgotten how precious the variety of plants are for our main source of food and medicine. It is through the tradition of Jamu that we will show people from around the world that we will preserve our biological diversity and our ethno-botanical knowledge as our most valuable heritage. Adapted from the text of the photographic/essay exhibition, “Jamu: the Herbal Remedies of Indonesia.”
Increasing numbers of Americans are drawn to natural medical therapies such as Chinese herbology and the Ayurvedic medical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Borrowing from and contributing to both these systems of medicinal plant use is a close relative, jamu, the traditional plant medicine of Indonesia. Woefully unexplored by students of herbal wisdom, jamu offers many plants and methodologies which are worthy of in -depth study and new to the ethno-medical literature. Rich in flora and tradition, the potential contributions Indonesia’s “Apotik Hidup” (“Living Apothecary”) could make to world medical knowledge and public healthcare are endless.
Derived from the leaves, roots, bark, flowers, and stems of higher plants as well as the minerals and fungi of Indonesia’s abundant tropical forests, jamu comes in the form of non-prescription pills, powders, teas, tonics, topical oils, and creams. About 1,000 indigenous plants, from Acacia to Zingiber, are grown or gathered to make jamu. Remedies usually consist of about three to a dozen ingredients and are used to treat just about every malady imaginable, from urinary tract infections to infertility, to cancer, to depression. Jamu to promote general health and beauty are also very popular. There are herbs to: “stay young,” “keep breasts firm,” “improve male virility” (sometimes called “He-Man Jamu”), “improve married life,” as well as a myriad of herbs to aid a mother before and after she gives birth. It is estimated that 80% of all Indonesians take some form of jamu daily. (A noteworthy consensus for a diverse population — the world’s fourth largest — of about 191 million people spread over 13,667 islands, sharing 500 language groups). Bought in pharmacies, department stores, street stalls, from door to door vendors, grown in backyard garden plots, or foraged in the forest, jamu use spans ethnic and economic barriers.

Chosen as ‘Best Traditional Spa’ and ‘100 world-class spas in the world

Spa Asia 2004
The generous care of your host and therapists will transport you to a land that is rich in delicate fragrances and healing tradition
Asian Spa Magazine 2015

Thank you so much for wonderful experience at Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa Indonesia … I can′t wait to comeback again

Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012

I had such a great time doing the treatment. I hope I can come back very soon

Leila Lopez, Miss Universe 2011

Thank you very much and congratulations! It is like a rebirth! You are great! Masso therapists, very professional!

Her Excellency Governor General Of Canada, Michaëlle Jean

Many thanks for your relaxing treatment in this lovely Spa

Her Highness Princess Margriet of Nederlands

Muchas Gracias pol. Todo son lo maximo

Stefania Fernandez, Miss Universe 2009

Service and quality can be maintained, because of smart customers

Kompas Newspaper 2014

The experience of being here was beyond! I love it! I hope I′ll come back soon! Thanks for everything!

Dayana Mendoza Miss Universe 2008

..the coconut Hair & Scalp Treatment, called Creme Bath in Indonesia, it felt totally divine and left my hair lush

Sue Frause, The Province
From Behind the Kraton of Surakarta
The origin and development of jamu is not completely known. The earliest evidence of internal and external use of herbs dates back to the eighth century. In Central Java, on the walls of the Borobudur temple (the largest ancient monument in the Southern hemisphere and the world’s largest stupa — a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine), there is a relief of a kalpataru tree: a mythological tree that lives forever. Beneath the tree, people crush ingredients for the preparation of jamu. Ancient scripts handwritten in Javanese, such as “Serat Primpon Jampi,” (“Handbook of Magic Formulas”) and “Serat Racikan Boreh.
Wulang Dalem” (“Handbook for Mixing Medicinal Ingredients”) contain recipes recorded for the exclusive use of Javanese royalty. In the earliest surveys of flora of the Indonesian archipelago, botanists noted the curative properties of jamu. The Dutch botanist, Rumphius (Georg Eberhard Rumpf) (1628-1702), the “Pliny of the Indies,” covered medicinal uses of plants in his classic work on the Indonesian island of Ambon, Herbarium Amboinense (published in 1741), as did Karel Heyne in his 1927 De Nuttige Planten Van Indonesie, and Issac Henry Burkill in his 1935 Dictionary Of The Economic Products Of The Malay Peninsula.
The popular practice of jamu today, especially beauty products, owes much to the once secret herbal pharmacopoeia of the kingdoms based in Solo and Yogyakarta, Central Java. While villagers employed a simpler form of jamu, the heavily guarded Kraton (Palace) recipes included mare ingredients, some of which came from India and China. Good health and beauty was considered evidence of a leader’s divine right to rule. Also, jamu was required for the many wives of the king to maintain their youth, fertility, and their strength during child birth; it was also needed for the king to maintain his virility. Solo, once the seat of the former great Mataram dynasty, is now a center for the marketing and large-scale production of packaged jamu. Some of the major manufacturers claim that their herbals are based on the original Solo court recipes. (How these recipes jumped the Kraton walls to become standard home remedies is still a matter of conjecture.)
At the heart of the Javanese tradition of jamu use is a cultural icon known as jamu gendong (jamu — herbal remedies, gendong — meaning to carry on one’s back). Jamu gendong is usually carried and sold by young, attractive women who reportedly hail from Solo, Central Java. Their generally youthful appearance and beauty is believed to be evidence of the salubrious benefits of regular jamu use. Instantly recognizable in traditional dress, the jamu vendors peddle door to door, their backs laden with recycled Johnny Walker and other beverage bottles full of ocher and khaki-colored potions swaddled in batik cloth.

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The only authentic Javanese Spa in North America, located in Whistler, British Columbia