Medicinal Herbs and Spices

Thai Health and Well being

Many herbs and spices used in Thai Cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties



A range of chillis

Chilli (Phrik)

An erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavoring. There are many different species. All contain capsaicin, a biologically active ingredient beneficial to the respiratory system, blood pressure and heart. Other therapeutic uses include being a stomachic, carminative and antiflatulence agent, and digestant.


Cumin (Yi-Ra)

A snall shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains an oil with a pungent odour, and which is used as a flavouring and condiment. Cunin’s therapeutic properties include acting as a stomachic, bitter tonic, carminative, stimulant and astringent.


Cumin before ground



Garlic in Pestle and Mortar before crushing

Garlic in Pestle and Mortar before crushing

Garlic (Kra-Thiam)

An Annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs comprising several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavouring and condiment. Therapeutic uses are as an antimicrobial, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and antiflatulence and cholesterol lowering agent.


Ginger (Khing)


Sliced and Grated Ginger

Anerect plant with thickened, fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavouring and spice. Ginger’s therapeutic uses are as a carminative, antinauseant  and antiflatulence agent.




Galanga (Kha)


Galanga in its raw form

Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavouring. The oil content has therapeutic uses as a carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic and antimicrobial agent.


Hoary Basil (maeng lak)


Hoary Basil, different from the UK’s native basil

An annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves, eaten either raw or used as a flavouring. Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as a diaphoretic and carminative agent.