A day with Mama Jasi and her plants at Cantika Spa, Ubud, Bali.

“Today is a special day...”, our host tells us as we are greeted in the open family temple (every Balinese home has one) to the side of a beautiful, colourful pondok style spa, nestled in jungle surrounds, abundant with lush green trees and plants.

“It is the Balinese birthday of the plants when we give thanks to nature for what it gives us”, says Neroli, one of the daughters of the creator of Cantika spa.

“My mother taught us to give blessing so we learn how to share and show gratitude” she continues.

Placing blessings around the garden as a thank you to nature and what it provides us.

Today I am truly blessed to be here in ’ the house of natural health and beauty’ and take part in one of ‘Mama Jasi’s’ workshops, learning how to make her natural skincare creations with medicinal herbs from her family’s magical garden, followed by a facial with the products you make (I particularly like that bit!).

Ketut Jasi is a truly unique character who has handed down her incredible knowledge of medicinal healing plants to her daughters and created something very special.

“Çantika in Balinese language means ‘inner beauty’. I have been practising the ancient art of listening to the earth and receiving the messages of the plants and their many uses since 1997.” she says. “It was born from this passion for sharing plant wisdom to enhance our appreciation for our own beauty as connected to the beauty of Nature.”

“Jasmine is the first of our Spas. It's also our home. Everything began here: experimenting with plants, re-discovering old traditions. It used to be a quiet place in the middle of the rice fields but now there are houses all around.” says Jasi.

When the expansion of the village reached  home, she decided to find a place still surrounded by rice fields where she chose to open her second spa, Cantika Alami in Sok Wayah, the last part of the road is not accessible by car and requires a short walk.

The newest of Jasi's creations, Çantika Zest, is located in a secluded spot bordering a stream at the end of the village. Zest reflects Jasi's relation with Nature. Here is where Jasi makes her products for her shop Çantika makes all the products used in her shop: shampoo, conditioner, beauty masques, soap, massage oils, face cream, bath salts, lip balm and more from the plants home grown on site. It is also where she hosts her workshops.

Neroli, the younger sister, explaining the wonders of her families magical medicinal garden

The morning starts with a beautiful informative tour of the abundant garden.  Helena, the older sister, was like a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge. It seems every single leaf, bark and flower has a medicinal benefit and purpose in Jasi’s creations and being able to learn about, as well as touch and smell all these gifts of nature was quite remarkable.   Moringa, ylang ylang, shell leaf, king of bitter, soursop, citronella, lemongrass, vanilla bean, turmeric, fenugreek, Zodia, castor leaf, the mother plant, aloe vera, the list goes on…

The workshop itself was great fun. We had a tour of the kitchen and production area then got to work making creams and face masks. “You can also obtain the same results using different ingredients available in your Country, such as rose and  lavender etc.” says Helena “ ...but we put love into our creations, so we must never make them if we are sick as the bad energy goes into the creams’.  This was truly one hour of pleasure for the lovers of nature and healthy living.

Natural ingredients used in the workshop to create face cream, face mask - grated cucumber, carrot, moringa, white clay, candlenut, seaweed, coconut, egg protein, rice

Helena recommended with natural ingredients like these ones, a facial twice a week is good.  “But it’s not always like this when I wake in the morning,’ she says, “sometimes I chop a tomato or mash an avocado and put it on my face’.  This allude to skin food made me smile as this is exactly the way I behave.

<b><i>Lovely Helena, the eldest, </i></b><b><i>girl after my own heart!</i></b>

Lovely Helena, the eldest, girl after my own heart!