Thai herbs used in Thai cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties. 

Thai food is most often quickly stir fried, steamed, or grilled. Such cooking methods, plus the use of fresh ingredients make it unusually healthy. Almost always, eating Thai style is a social affair that involves a group of people.


“Phrik” in Thai

Chilli is an erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavouring in Thai dishes. 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.


(Cummin, Zeera) “Yi—ra” in Thai

Cumin is a small shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains 2 to 4% volatile oil with a pungent odour and which is used as flavouring and condiment. Cumin’s therapeutic properties manifest as a stomachic bitter tonic, carminative stimulant and astringent.


“Kra-thiam” in Thai

Garlic is an annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs con several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavouring and condiment in Thai cuisine. The bulbs contain 0.1 to 0.3 6% garlic oil and organic sulfur compounds. Therapeutic uses are as antimicrobial diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, antiflatulence and cholesterol lowering agents. 


 “Khing” in Thai

Ginger is an erect plant with thickened fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavouring and spice, Ginger rhizomes contain 1 to 2% volatile oil. Ginger’s therapeutic uses are as a carminative antinauseant and antiflatulence agent.


(False Galangal, Galangal) “Kha” in Thai

Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavouring. The approximately 0.04 volatile oil content has therapeutic uses as carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic and antimicrobial agents.


“Maeng_lak” in Thai

Hoary Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves eaten either raw or used as a flavouring, and containing approximately 0.7% volatile oil, Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as diaphoretic and carminative agents.


(Leech Lime, Mauritus Papeda, Porcupine Orange) “Makrut” in Thai

The leaves, peel and juice of the Kaffir Lime are used as a flavouring
in Thai cuisine. The leaves and peel contain volatile oil. The major therapeutic benefit of the juice is as an appetizer.


(No Common English Name)

This erect annual plant with aromatic rhizomes and yellow roots, is used as a flavouring. The rhizomes contain approximately 0.8% volatile oil.
The plant has stomachache relieving and antimicrobial properties, and therapeutic benefits as an antitussive and antiflatulence agent.


(Lapine) “Ta-Khrai” in Thai

This erect annual plant resembles as a coarse grey-green grass. Fresh leaves and grass are used as a flavouring. Lemongrass contains 0.2-0.4 volatile oil. Therapeutic properties are as a diuretic, emmanagogue, antiflatulence, antiflu and antimicrobial agent.


(Common Lime) “Manao” in Thai

Lime is used principally as a garnish for fish and meat dishes. The fruit contains Hesperidin and Naringin scientifically proven antiflammatory flavonoids. Lime juice is used as an appetizer and has antitussive, antiflu, stomachic and antiscorbutic properties.


“Sa-ra-nae” in Thai

The fresh leaves of this herbaceous plant are used as a flavouring and eaten raw in Thai cuisine. Volatile oil contents give the plant several therapeutic uses, including carminative mild antiseptic, local anaesthetic, diaphoretic and digestant properties.


“Phrik-Thai” in Thai

Pepper is a branching, perennial climbing plant from whose fruiting spikes both white and black pepper are obtained, Used as a spice and condiment, Pepper contains 2 to 4% volatile oil, Therapeutic uses are as carminative, antipyretic diaphoretic and diuretic agents.


“Ka-phrao” in Thai(Holy Basil)

Sacred Basil is an annual herbaceous plant that resembles Sweet Basil but has narrower and oftentimes reddish-purple leaves, The fresh leaves, which are used as a flavouring, contain approximately 0.5% volatile oil, which exhibits antimicrobial activity, specifically as a carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant and stomachic.


“Hom-lek, Hom-daeng” in Thai

Shallots, or small red onions, are annual herbaceous plants. Underground bulbs comprise garlic-like cloves. Shallot bulbs contain volatile oil, and are used as flavouring or seasoning agents. Therapeutic properties include the alleviation of stomach discomfort, and as antithelmintic, antidiarroheal, expectorant, antitussive, diuretic and antiflu agents.


hai“Ho-ra-pha” in T(Common Basil)

Sweet Basil is an annual herhaceous plant, the fresh leaves of which are either eaten raw or used as a flavouring in Thai cooking. Volatile oil content varies according to different varieties. Therapeutic properties are as carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, digestant and stomachic agents.


“Kha-min” in Thai.(Curcuma, Indian Saffron, Yellow Root)

Turmeric is a member of ginger family, and provides yellow colouring for Thai food.
The rhizomes contain 3 to 4% volatile oil with unique aromatic characteristics, Turmeric’s therapeutic manifest as a carminative, antiflatulence and stomachic.