Understanding the Classification and Symbols in Traditional Medicine Packaging

"In any package of traditional medicine, there are signs of information about the type of the classifications. There are signs of herbal medicine, there is OHT or Obat Herbal Terstandar (Standardized Herbal Medicine), there is also a phytopharmaceutical. What do they mean?"

Published by : administrator  -  12/11/2019 11:04 WIB

4 Minutes read.

We should be grateful to born and live in Indonesia, which has abundant biological wealth, including thousands of types of plants for medicine ingredients. This is witnessed by the many traditional medicines made based on information passed down from ancestors since ancient times. Well, this traditional medicine, by Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan (BPOM, Food and Drug Supervisory Agency) is further divided into 3 types, namely Jamu, Obat Herbal Terstandar (OHT, Standardized Herbal Medicine), and Fitofarmaka. By BPPOM, all three are categorized as Obat Bahan Alam (OBA, Natural Medicines).

Medicines with natural ingredients are not only based on information passed down from generation to generation, but also obtained through current research. Based on the Decree of the Head of BPOM regarding the Pokok Pengelompokkan dan Penandaan Obat Bahan Alam Indonesia (the Basic Provisions for Grouping and Marking Indonesian Natural Drugs), Natural Drugs are divided into three categories based on the method of manufacture, claims for use and the level of proof of their efficacy. The symbols for these three categories are listed on each packaging of traditional medicinal products. So, what makes it different?

Jamu Logo Image

If you buy Natural Ingredients Medicine with a tree-like symbol, it is jamu. According to BPPOM, the efficacy of jamu has been proven for generations, it is produced simply with simple equipment and the raw materials that are not yet clinically standardized. For example, jamu beras kencur, and other jamu gendong.

OHT Logo Image

The OHT (Obat Herbal Terstandar/Standardized Herbal Medicines) are traditional medicines derived from natural extraction, either from medicinal plants, animals, or other minerals. There are several requirements that need to be completed to be called OHT, namely it is safe and meets quality requirements, and has been proven by pre-clinical tests. So, not all traditional jamu ingredients can be referred to as OHT, because all ingredients must pass pre-clinical tests.

The Fitofarmaka Logo

In addition to jamu and OHT, there is still one category of traditional medicine that applies in Indonesia, namely fitofarmaka (phytopharmaceuticals). Fitofarmaka is a category of traditional medicine that has met various requirements, until it has passed clinical trials on humans. Fitofarmaka is a type of category of traditional medicine that has actually passed various modern studies, and has scientifically proven its efficacy and benefits.

Well, drugs that are classified as fitofarmaka can be used in medical practice and formal health services. Unfortunately, in Indonesia, herbal medicines which are classified as fitofarmaka are still very few in number. One of the reasons is because the costs required for clinical and pre-clinical trials are quite expensive. Most of Indonesia’s traditional medicines are still in the form of jamu even though they are packaged in modern packaging such as capsules or powder.



Tilaar, Martha., Widjaja, Bernard. 2014. The Power of Jamu: Kekayaan dan Kearifan Lokal Indonesia. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

https://sains.me/obat-tradisional-dari-jamu-sampai-fitofarmaka/, diakses pada tanggal 31 Oktober 2019