A young couple have committed themselves to help keep the tradition of Obat Asli Bali alive. Westi and Lilir met at a guiding course and quickly discovered they had a garden of things in common. Their parents were both Balinese healers and farmer who have passed on to their children their knowledge, natural love and understanding of traditional herbalism.
Knowledge of Balinese traditional herbal medicine came to us naturally through our families. We have also studied the Usada Bali, one of the traditional Balinese Books of Healing, and have spent a tremendous amount of time in the field studying Balinese plants and using them in our daily lives.
Lilir and Westi are both qualified guides for unique tours of Ubud’s rice fields and ravines, which introduce the visitor to a wealth of natural remedies growing by the wayside. They were both inspired to use their position as guides to help preserve Bali's unique indigenous heritage.
The herb walk takes about 3 hours, with time out to stop at an organic restaurant. In addition to discovering herbs that grow along the edges of the sawah or rice fields, you learn of the methods the farmers use to cultivate rice. Although it doesn’t seem obvious how ownership of the sawah is established, narrow irrigation channels and different ground levels apparently delineate who owns what patch of land. Lilir believes it is crucial for young people to spend time working in the rice field to get a feel for their land and to learn about how they are connected to it. Unfortunately, many are reluctant to embrace the old ways when new technology beckons. Similarly, when it comes to treatment of ailments, most young people seek cures through modern medicines, eschewing traditional methods.
The wide variety of plant life that grows together along the edges of the sawah providing food and medicine is a revelation. Turmeric whith roots and coconut palms, taro plants and banana trees, lemon grass and citronella, soursop, jackfruit, pineapple and breadfruit grow side by side. Lilir pulls, picks and crushes roots and leaves so we can smell the strong fragrances. We stop to taste edible leaves, to suck the nectar out of the red flowers of the "closed" hibiscus tree, and to drink fresh, young coconut juice.
How Long: About 3 to 4 hours with stops along the way to rest enjoy the scenery & take photographs.
What to bring: Comfortable foot wear with non-slip soles that can get wet and muddy are advisable, as well as a hat and sun block, a camera and lots of film.
Where: We meet in front of the Puri Lukisan Museum, on Ubud's main road.
When: Every day, begin at 8:30 AM, ends at about 12:00 PM.
Cost: USD $ 18 per person including:
Please book at least one day in advance.
- Herbal Tea
- Refreshing herbal drinks
- Balinese cake or tropical Fruit
For more information please visit our website, www.baliherbalwalk.com