Dream Hunter Interview: Made & Lily, Herbal magic in Ubud

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Welcome to Ubud, a magical city in the heart of Bali. Meet Made (pronounced Mad-eh) and Lilir (Lily), married for 17 years, both not only sharing a passion for ayurvedic philosophy and herbal medicine but also for passing the knowledge on to future generations.

I first met them when I stumbled upon their quaint herbal shop and signed myself and some friends up for an afternoon herbal class with Lily. We made our own turmeric tea, body masks and massage oil. I was intrigued with Lily’s friendly disposition, her deep knowledge and work within the community so, on my second trip to Ubud ( that’s right, this city drew me in again) I decided to learn more about their life and share their story.

Made opened his shop and heart to me one sunny afternoon in Ubud. We sat down to a cup of tea on a wooden bench as I asked him about all aspects of Balinese life.

We talked for hours about the unique blend of traditions and religions that Bali represents. I learnt about the power of the trade unions (rice farmers band together to form a coalition called a suda. Leaders are democratically voted for a 5 year term and the group decides if rice or vegetables will be the main crop. It sounded democratic however if a farmer strays from the agreed upon crop, he is taxed heavily).  We spoke about the vegan movement in Ubud  (interestingly, holy men aren’t permitted to eat rooster due to the aggressive nature of the animal).  With the movement towards vegetarianism, yoga and herbal remedies, I asked Made if there was a place for western medicine in the lives of the Ubud community. He spoke of balance- herbal remedies are best for preventative measures, lifestyle choices and to treat chronic conditions as they take time to take effect. Western medicine (pharmaceuticals) definitely has its place for emergency treatment or more serious illness he noted. Showcased modestly in the shop is a national sustainable farming award that Made and Lily won three years ago for their efforts to educate communities on the benefits of sustainable farming.   As we spoke about sustainable farming, I realized that it wasn’t simple a farming methodology for this couple- it was a way of life. Made and Lily are living their dream of educating the community and tourists alike about the benefits reaped from Mother Nature’s garden.  As Made(M) and I (TD) spoke, I realized our conversation was unfolding into a Dream Hunter Interview so here are some soundbytes from our chat:

Soaking up Bali knowledge from Made

Soaking up Bali knowledge from Made

(TD) What did you want to be when you grew up?


(M) A farmer, I love the land and plants. I spent my time in the environment.  Inspiration came when I took young people to rice fields and told them what herbs and plants were. I was surprised that people my age didn’t know about plants so I felt need to help pass knowledge down to generations. I wanted to create a job from this idea. It’s been my dream to share our traditions with young people and also tourists also as a way to keep our traditions alive.


(TD)  If herbal remedies have been a part of Baliense life for decades, why has information flow stopped generation to generation?

(M)  Modern life has created new things (western medicine, busier lives) so there’s less time to pass knowledge on.  We offer special programs for students to learn about herbal remedies (especially if they don’t get the chance to learn this at home).  You know, western people come here for traditional herbal medicine and we Balinese are adopting the convenience of western medicine so I want to find ways to make herbal medicine convenient (why not herbal remedies in pill form? ) I want to breakdown the notion that herbal medicine takes too much time or tastes bad.


(TD)  What food could you live on forever?

(M)  Moringa oliefera. It has 4 times  vit E and calcium than anything else.  I have the plant in my garden so we make capsules now from the dry leaves.


(TD)  What drink should every bar and café in the world serve?

(M)  Drinks should have double effect.  Use medicinal properties of plants, fruits and keep the original coloring- less sugar and water drinks. I.e dragon fruit in milk is better than a pink colored sugar water drink with dragon fruit flavor.

(TD)  If you could invent a new herb/flower, what would it cure?

(M)  I like the idea of herbal food pellets for animals to eat so that when humans consume it they will also get the nutritional value of what the animals ate. More good in the whole food chain brings prosperity to everyone.


(TD)  What is your legacy?

(M)  My own happy spirit- relaxed, non stressed spirit. That’s all I need. Take time to respect regular rhythm of nature.   Artistic value inside and out is very important to the Baliense people. For example,  people spend time grooming their rice field before planting the rice- it adds nothing to production however image & artistic value is more important that money- it’s reputation.

(TD)  Can you share some herbal remedies for common ailments:

Stress:  young coconut is a natural relaxant but beware that too much can make you sleepy (good to give your opposing soccer team before a match to slow them down). It also serves as a diuretic, anti toxin and good for flu symptoms.

Side bar: monkeys are trained to climb trees to shake coconuts to specifically get the young ones which have no sound when you shake them due to the full water content. Young coconuts have more medicinal properties than old ones.

Low blood pressure: ginger, coffee, egg

Insomnia: nutmeg

High blood pressure/high cholesterol/urinary tract infections: hibiscus tea

Muscle pain:  (mixed drink) turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, cardamom, brown sugar, pandanus

Morning sickness: drink mixture of chili, salt and tamarind

Sweet smelling perspiration trick ( alternative to deodorant): chew on cloves

Most popular remedy sold at the store:   Anti aging face cream containing aloe, white chocolate, seaweed and bees wax. Made made sure to mention that it does not work overnight but is a good long term preventative measure.


Nadis Herbal Shop

Nadis Herbal Shop

If you have any questions or want to contact Made & Lily directly, here`s their contact info:  www.baliherbalwalk.com


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One Response to “Dream Hunter Interview: Made & Lily, Herbal magic in Ubud”

  1. Hello what is the name of this so please and where can I find it? Thank you

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