Bali is full of secrets – secret symbols, secret places, secret ceremonies and secret esoteric knowledge that few foreigners will ever be party to. Some secrets are fun, some healthy, and some downright beautiful. While you are in Bali, take time out to discover some of the secrets that may lie just beneath the surface… you can find them everywhere. Secret Bali can also be healthy Bali.  Traditional Balinese people still know the secrets of herbs, and the powers of dozens of …

 

TEXT AND Photos by ayu sekar

Bali is full of secrets – secret symbols, secret places, secret ceremonies and secret esoteric knowledge that few foreigners will ever be party to. Some secrets are fun, some healthy, and some downright beautiful. While you are in Bali, take time out to discover some of the secrets that may lie just beneath the surface… you can find them everywhere.

Secret Bali can also be healthy Bali.  Traditional Balinese people still know the secrets of herbs, and the powers of dozens of plants that lie in the garden, or even along the edge of pathways in rural areas.  Even recently, a friend was suffering from Dengue and what was the Balinese advice?  Papaya leaves boiled and then consumed in small quantities.  Another piece of advice came through… even better is the sambiloto – another (even more bitter) herb, that repels invading virii from the body.  Some of the herbs are rumoured to kill tumours as well, and will certainly keep consumers clear and healthy.

While today much of the old knowledge is being forgotten, there are still enough people about who know the old ways. 

Even when the Balinese cook their killer Babi Guling – the delicious spit-roasted pig, many secret herbs are used, which not only give the pig more flavour, but also make it more digestible. 

Ceremonies, special sacral textiles, food and daily demeanour, are all part of a greater picture.

While no one will ever learn all the secrets, we can enjoy the way they make Bali such a special place.  

 

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