Thai Herbal Plants And Its Medicinal Values

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While this theory has it roots in Indian Ayurvedic principles first introduced in Thailand during the second or third centuries BC, when Buddhist monks arrived to teach their new religion, Thais must have already been concocting herbal remedies, as it has always been the nature of man to discover better solutions for survival. http://bit.ly/13lV0oW

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* While this theory has it roots in Indian Ayurvedic principles first introduced in Thailand during the second or third centuries BC, when Buddhist monks arrived to teach their new religion, Thais must have already been concocting herbal remedies, as it has always been the nature of man to discover better solutions for survival. * In Thailand, as in other countries, the people would pass on their knowledge orally from generation to generation. Even before this, though, during the Khmer Empire that ruled the Northeast, it is recorded that King Jayavarman VII ordered the establishment of 102 arokaya sala, or traditional healing hospitals. * In addition to the Indians, the Chinese and Egyptians were writing their herbal treatments down in such treatises as the Sern Nong Pen Lao and Eber Papyrus respectively, both dating back thousands of years. * There are three basic ways to classify medicinal herbs: those taken internally, applied externally, and inhaled. Many, though, fall under two or even all three of these classifications.

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Important Herbs And Spices Used In Thai Cooking There are numerous Thai restaurants all over the world in large cities such as Los Angles, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and many other. The proper combination of all these ingredients is regarded as an art in Thailand, one that requires both skill and time. Basil (horapha, kaphrao, maenglak)‏ Horapha, kaphrao, maenglak are varieties of sweet basil. Horapha seems to be the nearest to the sweet basil used in European tomato dishes and Italian pesto. It releases its aroma and flavour only when cooked and is used with fish, beef and chicken.

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Cinnamon (ob choei) Form the bark of a tree, the type of cinnamon used in Thailand is of only one kind, that from the Cassia tree. It is used in meat dishes and particulary in massaman curry a garnish. Herbal Plants

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Bird Chilli (phrik khi nu)‏ The smallest of the chillies, of which the kind called phrik khi nu suan is the hottest. Chillies stimulate blood circulation and are reputed to help prevent heart disease and cancer.

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Chilli (Phrik chi fa)‏ Phrik chi fa are finger size, growing 9-12 centimetres in length, and ether yellow, red or green. Not as hot as the bird chilli. There is no discernable difference between the colours.

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Citron (som sa)‏ Its thick, very aromatic skin is much used for flavouring. Sour orange juice and orange peel would make the best substitute.

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Cloves (kanphlu)‏ They are almost as expensive as saffron because crops often fail, they are much used in Western cooking and the oil is antiseptic. Cloves are used in massaman curry and to chew as a relief for toothache.

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Coriander (phak chee)‏ The leaves are often chosen for decoration, with stem and roots for seasoning. Heavily used in Asian kitchens, the Thai kitchen is the only one to use the roots as well.

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Cumin (yira)‏ Only cumin is used in Thai cooking, mainly in the making of curry pastes. Seeds look like caraway and fennel, but taste quite different and have to be heated to release their aroma.

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Galangal (kha)‏ It is usually added in large pieces to impart flavour to fish or chicken stock, or used in making curry pastes.

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Garlic (krathiam)‏ Thailand is literally overflowing with garlic plants. The oil and the fried garlics can be stored in a jar for garnishing soup and for tossing with noodles and rice.

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Ginger (khing)‏ Young ginger. pounded with a little salt, pepper and garlic is good too as a marinate for chicken or beef. Ginger is acknowledged to improve digestion and to counteract nausea and vomiting. Herbal Plants

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Krachai Krachai is always added to fish curries, and peeled and served as a raw vegetable with the popular summer rice dish, khao chae.

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Kaffir Lime Leaf (bai makrut)‏ Imparting a unique flavour, they can be finely shredded and added to salads, or torn and added to soups and curries.

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Lime (manao)‏ It is an excellent source of vitamin C and is used to enhance the flavour of chilli-hot condiments, as well as create some very special salads and desserts, and adorn most dishes as a condiment. Health Care Products

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Lemongrass (takhrai)‏ It is indispensable for tom yam. Lemongrass oil will sooth an upset stomach and indigestion. The base of 10-12 centimetres length of the plant is used, with the green leafy part discarded.

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Mint (bai saranae)‏ This mint (Mentha arvensis) is similar to the mint used for mint sauce in England and is used in Thai food as a vegetable and a flavouring.

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Nutmeg (luk chan)‏ The nut is enclosed in a very hard brown shell. It is used in the making of massaman curry paste.

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Pandan Leaf (bai toei)‏ Long narrow green leaves of a herbaceous plant used for flavouring and colour. There is no substitute of the flavouring and colour.

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Pepper (prik thai)‏ Green peppercorns have a special taste all their own and are available al year round but are best towards the end of the rainy season. Used as flavouring.

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Sesame (nga)‏ Identical to sesame seeds the world over. In Thai cooking, sesame seeds are used for oil and for flavouring. These tiny seeds are rich in protein.

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Shallot (hom daeng)‏ An essential ingredient in many Thai dishes because of their taste and appearance, they can be substituted with European shallots, small red onions or small brown onions.

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Spring Onions (ton hom)‏ These green onions (Allium fistulosom) are used for garnishing soups and salads and as vegetables.

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Turmeric (khamin)‏ White turmeric, a different type, is used as a raw vegetable and resembles ginger. It taste only slightly peppery and has a pleasant tang.

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Anise Anise or aniseed is a small plant related to fennel and celery. It is grown for its seeds, which have a similar taste to liquorice. It is a different plant to star anise.

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Cardamom refers to a group of related spices in the same family as ginger. Most commercial growing of cardamom is done in India, and cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian food. Cardamom has a strong flavor, and you don't need to add much to your food. Health Care Products

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