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Ginger (king) adds flavor to
Thai cooking. Ginger juice can
help cure light fevers, a runny
nose or indigestion.

Sweet Basil (ho-ro-pa) is similar
to the variety used in ltalian
cooking. The oil of sweet basil
can be used to make a
curative drink to treat
indigestion caused by eating
too much meat. The oil helps
to kill germs, induce sweating
and clear phlegm. Fresh sweet
basil makes a great natural
breath freshener. Just pop a
few leaves in your mouth and
give them a chew. Sweet
basil also contains the known
cancer-fighting substance

Thai mint (sa-ra-nae) is very
similar to varieties found
elsewhere. The aroma of mint is
a good pick-me-up. Mint can be
taken to relieve headaches.
Although most associated with
Thai cuisine. Chillies are not
native to Thailand. Portuguese
traders introduced them to
Thailand in the 16th century.
Chillies contain essential oils that,
taken in moderation, help to
stimulate blood circulation and
can help prevent heart disease
or cancer.
Lemon Grass - The English name for this herb comes easily from the lemony aroma it gives off, especially when cooked. ln Thai it is called 'ta-krai.' The oil that gives the plant its aroma is a good cure for upset stomach and indilgestion. Lemongrass juice, or tea, is a popular herbal drink in Thai
traditional medicine. The tea also makes for a natural insect repellent that can be used to water houseplants to discourage bugs.
Also called Holy Basil, in Thai its
kra-pow, which aptly describes
the impact this highly aromatic
leaf can have on your senses of
smell and taste. Basil can help
combat indigestion. lt contains
beta-carotene, which prevents
cancer and blood disorders; and
also phosphorous and calcium,
which strengthen the bones.
Onion is a popular folk
remedy, being applied to
tumors, made into a syrup for
relieving coughs, or prepared
in a tincture (using gin) to
relieve "dropsy" lt is
considered a weaker version
of garlic by many herbal
practitioners. Lile garlic, onion
has a longstanding but
unsubstantiated reputation as
an aphrodisiac.
Thai cooking makes extensive use
of both fresh green peppercorns
(pirk thai awn) and ground, dried
pepper (prik thai pohn)


Sesame seeds are a nutritional
goldmine - not only are they
high in mineral content, but
they contain two proteins that
are not normally found in
other vegetable proteins.
According to Chinese beliefs,
consumption of black sesame
seeds helps to beautify the
scalp and the hair and also
provides benefits to the skin.
Thai limes are smaller and
dlmost spherical when
compared to the limes found
in most western supermarkets.
Their juice is also sweeter. The
juice is used in cooking, and a
fresh lime segment is usually
served with many fried rice
The kaffir lime (ma-krut) is
somewhat unusual in that its skin
is often very lumpy, unlike other
citrus fruits. Some Thais wash
their hair with a herbal shampoo
made from the juice because it
is supposed to prevent dandruff.
Some people even believe that
the kaffir lime wards off evil spirits
(like garlic to vampires) and hang
it outside their house.
This well known seasoning used
the world over is also used
extensively in Thai cuisine, where
its called gra-thiem. Garlic has
been medically proven to contain
allicin, which can reduce the
level of cholesterol in the blood.


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