Sweet Basil [ho-ra-pha] : The dark green leaves with red stems. Its leaves are slightly thicker than holy basil, and have own distinctive flavour. The benefit of sweet basil is to help with digestion and relieves abdominal pain, colic and indigestion.
Garlic [kra-tium] : Thai garlic has small cloves with rather soft skin but strong aroma. Hanging the garlic in a ventilated area helps extend its shelf life. The benefit of garlic is to lower blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood-sugar. It can also boost the immune system of the body.
Kaffir Lime [ma-krut] : A dark green herb that is valued for its zest and the unbeatable aroma of its leaf. The leaves are torn or sliced and added immediately to the dish to keep the strong aroma. The zest is sliced and pounded with the curry paste. The benefit of kaffir lime is to dispel gas and relieves giddiness. Kaffir lime juice is a remedy of scurvy. Bergamot leaves contain calcium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B2 and C
Coriander [raak-phak-chee] : A unique feature of Thai Cooking is the use of coriander root to add aroma to various dishes.
Holy Basil [ka-phrao] : Two types are used in Thai cooking : green and purple red basil. The latter is more fragrant and spicier. The benefit of holy basil is to dispel gas, and helps relieve stomach pain and colic. It lessens nauseas and vomiting besides inducing sweating.
Ginger [king] : Two forms are used in the Thai cooking. Young ginger is usually sliced and sprinkled over steamed fish. The mature one with stronger flavour is best added to the sauces. The benefit of ginger is to dispel gas and regulates the functioning of the gall bladder. It also lessens intestinal contractions, nauseas and vomiting. It can relieve headaches, stomachaches and can alleviate inflammation.
Tumeric [kha-min] : The one used in Thai cooking has carrot orange flesh and strong flavour. Placed in a plastic bag and keep refrigerated for longer use. The benefit of tumeric is to dispel as and prevent ulcers. It regulates the digestive system and lessens intestinal contraction and can be used to treat colic and distension of the abdomen.
Hoary Basil [maeng-lak] : The thin hairy leaves with green stems have slightly weaker flavour than sweet basil. The benefit of hoary basil is to dispel intestinal gas and remedies coughs. It also increases breast milk and acts as a remedy for some types of skin diseases.
Thai Mint [sa-ra-nae] : It is fresh aromatic herb that cannot be missed in Thai spicy salad. Buy the fresh dark green leaves to get its full flavour. The benefit of thai mint is to relieve colic pain and distension of abdomen. It also induces sweating and dispels gas. The leaves can be chewed to reduce unwanted breath and also to cleanse the stomach and intestines to reduce contractions.
Green Peppercorns [phrik-thai-orn] : The green or young peppercorns are flavourful but not too hot. The whole berries can be used, o r lightly crushed to give more flavour. The benefit of green peppercorns is to help with digestion and can relieve headaches and rheumatic pains. It can also be used to treat diarrhea.
Cinnamon [op-choey] :The dark brown bark with spicy sweet flavour. Cinnamon is sold in the form of powder, flat sheet and stick. Wash and roast just before using for maximum fragrance. The benefit of cinnamon is to induce sweat to give freshness and acts as a remedy for exhaustion. It also dispels gas and distension of the abdomen.
Galangal [khaa] : A member of the ginger family, it has pungency and tang, quite unlike that of the common ginger. Buy only young galangal with plump roots and pinkish white skin. The benefit of galangal is to dispel intestinal gas and ease dysentery. Besides relieving the distensions of the abdomen, galangal also helps dispel phlegm.
Shallots [hom-daeng] : The ezesty small red onion. The ones with glossy purplish red skin give strong smell, while those with yellowish orange skin are sweeter in taste. The benefit of shallot is to dispel gas, helps ease urinary passing, regulates menstrual cycles and is an effective treatment for the common cold.
Onions [hom-yai] : Good quality onions are heavy with dry and smooth skin. Keep them in a ventilated area or in a basket for longer use. Do not refrigerate.