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Health Care

Indonesia's herbal remedies boom amid COVID fears

Sido helped by social media to lead market while Kalbe runs 2 clinical trials

In Indonesia, a mixture of ginger, turmeric and other rhizomes is said to help keep the immune system strong.   © AFP/Jiji

JAKARTA -- Indonesian producers of herbal remedies have defied the slumping economy and are upbeat about growth prospects as locals turn to them for protection against the coronavirus.

The country's largest maker of jamu, or traditional herbs, Industri Jamu dan Farmasi Sido Muncul, announced on Thursday a net income increase of 11% on the year to 414 billion rupiah ($28.1 million) for the January-June period -- the highest first-half number since the company listed in 2013. Sales also rose 4% to 1.46 trillion rupiah while its food and beverage segment, which includes drinks with herbals, reported the highest growth at 16%.

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