Jakarta: The Education, Culture, Research and Technology Ministry encourages further research or better understanding of spices for the benefit of health.
"Not only medicine, for beauty, for food recipes, and that's what we have not explored further. We hope that the role of doctors through PDPOTJI (Association of Indonesian Traditional Medicine and Herbal Medicine Developers) will be strategic in the future," Fitra Arda, the ministry's Secretary of the Directorate General of Culture, said.
The Indonesian people have always known the benefits of using plants from roots to leaves. That knowledge has been passed on from generation to the generation through texts and oral traditions, according to him. He delivered the statement in a webinar entitled 'Reviving the Glory of Indonesian Spices and the Role of Doctors in the Past, Present, and Future' held on Saturday.
"So far we have not managed our ancient wealth (spices) to the fullest," he remarked.
The use of spices for daily purposes had been recorded in the reliefs at Borobudur Temple. The knowledge of the past is reconstructed again through research and study so that this natural wealth can be utilized in today's life.
He said doctors and research institutes have a strategic role in translating past knowledge by relying on Indonesian plants including spices to solve and find a way out of the problems faced.
Indonesia has abundance of natural wealth in the form of spices, which created the Spice Route, a world trade route that has pushed the formation of global civilization. The spice route proves that the archipelago has an important role in shipping and commerce in the world.
The spice route is not just a trade route, but also a cultural route that generates new thoughts and cultural exchanges that has affected today's life. The spice route is believed to be a means of cultural exchange that strengthens Indonesian culture.
He added that the ministry is ready to work together with parties willing to research past knowledge to be used in today's life, through data and knowledge sharing about spices.