Local News

Wilson Herbalists Turn a Curiosity into a Career

Posted September 2, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— You might think the most popular herbal remedies are produced in exotic lands. In fact, many of them are coming from a home business in Wilson.

Herbal remedies are relatively new to our country, but Michel and Marie Baudet have been studying them for 25 years.

For example, take the tree extract called dragon's blood.

"The sap of that tree is very well known for centuries by the Indians and the people living in Peru [find it] to be a wound-healing product," says Michel Baudet.

The couple moved to Wilson from France a few years ago for Michel's job at a pharmaceutical company.

They started a home herbal business, calledLalilab, to make a little money on the side. The business has done so well, the couple is making sales and doing research full time.

Having outgrown their space, the Baudets are planning to expand their business into a Durham warehouse later this year.

"It's been a lot of work, a lot of hours we put into it," says Marie. "We've enjoyed every minute of it, but we worked very, very hard."

The Baudets have succeeded by supplying companies with not just the product, but information on what the plant does and how it should be used.

"You need to understand what makes these products work and how they work," says Michel. "So we tried to make a lot of research in medical libraries to try to support the claims of some of these plants."

Americans are just now learning about some of these remedies, and many are embracing them.

The Baudets say they came at just the right time to turn that curiosity into a career.

They plan to set up their own lab once they move to Durham.