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In Indonesia, for example, the herbal tonics company Sido Muncul markets capsules containing curcumin and several other local plant ingredients (Ligustrinae lignum​, Phyllanti herba​) in its product Aluss​, a play on the word halus ​which means soft. On its packaging, it claims that the product can keep skin looking ‘soft and clean.’

The 67-year-old company’s formulation is based on traditional herbal tonics and drinks called jamu,​ peddled by women walking door to door carrying a reed basket of glass bottles filled with the botanical blends.

Across the Indian Ocean westward is the Indian subcontinent, home of the well-documented Ayurveda system of traditional medicine. In a much-cited ethnobotanical paper​ published in the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery ​in 2008, author Kunda B. Patkar mentions the use of various plants to go through a rejuvenation process called kayakalpa​.



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