Come and explore the many health benefits derived from aromatic Herbs and Spices all of which form part of the intricate and delicate art of Thai cuisine. Having gained extensive experience during my travels in South East Asia, I have set aside a few examples for you to consider.
Lemongrass has a host of medicinal benefits including antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It helps with the relief of stress and insomnia. It helps detoxify the liver, kidneys, pancreas and digestive tract. It cuts down uric acid and high cholesterol. It can help with the relief of excessive gas.
Kaffir Lime and Leaves have a strong fragrance and flavour. They help to cleanse the blood. They help maintain healthy teeth and gum when rubbed on. The lime leaf ingredient is also found in certain shampoos which help maintain healthy hair and scalp and it is believed to help with hair loss too.
Cilantro is a herb found to be potentially beneficial in helping control blood sugar levels. It assists in the fight against inflammation and free radicals. It raises good and lowers bad cholesterol levels. It protects against viral and bacterial infections and a host of other advantages.
Chilli Peppers helps lift your spirits. It is good for your heart and it helps aid blood circulation. It helps in the fight against colds and flu and I am told that it also helps with weight loss, but don't hold this one against me. Thai's swear by it. Well!! How many overweight Thai people do you know?
Galangal is a member of the rhizome family and displays similar protuberant segments as turmeric and ginger, but have finger-like stems and are known for their pungent flavour. Galangal is freely available throughout Asia and until recently, unobtainable in the west, but now easy to come by as is ginger. They are used as both herbs and spices and can be bought fresh, dried or in powder form. The health and dietary benefits are infinite.
Curry Leaves are excellent as an herbal tonic for strengthening various functions of the stomach. Juice extracted from the leaves mixed with honey and used as a tea has medicinal properties effective in treating diarrhoea, dysentery and piles. Juice extracted from the leaves and mixed with lime is effective in treating morning sickness, nausea and vomiting.
Tamarind is available fresh, as compressed blocks, as dried slices and in paste or concentrate form and is used extensively in South East Asian cuisine. It contains a good source of antioxidants to help in the fight against cancer. It helps in the treatment of bile disorders, acts as a mild laxative, lowers cholesterol, protects against colds and flu and helps in reducing fevers.
Thai Basil a close cousin of sweet basil is frequently used in Thai cuisine. The lemon scented hairy basil and holy basil are some of the other known varieties of the herb grown in Thailand. Basil has powerful antioxidants to help protect the body from the damage caused by toxins and free radicals. Basil has antibacterial and antifungal properties to assist in the fight against inflammation as well as a whole host of other medicinal benefits.
Thai Long Pepper is a spice known to locals in northern Thailand as Dee Plee. It's also referred to as Piper Chaba and commonly used by the Hmong Hill Tribe people as an additive in their daily cooking. This particular pepper has a rich and fragrant aroma and a strong pungent taste that tends to last for quite a while in your mouth. The pepper can be consumed fresh or in a dried form and has a wide range of medicinal health benefits.
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