Herbs Used in Thai Cooking

 

Many herbs and spices used in Thai cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties. Here are some examples.
Chili: “Phrik” in Thai
Chili is an erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavoring 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 , carminative and anti flatulence agent, and digestant.
Cumin: “Yi-ra” in Thai
Cumin is a small shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains a 2-4% volatile oil with a pungent odor, and which is used as a
flavouring and condiment. Cumin’s therapeutic properties manifest as a stomachic, bitter tonic, carminative, stimulant and astringent.
Garlic: “Kra-thiam” in Thai
Garlic is an annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs comprising several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavoring and condiment in Thai cuisine. The bulbs contain a 0.1-0.36% garlic oil and organic sulfur compounds. Therapeutic uses are as an antimicrobial, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, anti flatulence and cholesterol lowering agents.
Ginger: “Khing” in Thai
Ginger is an erect plant with thickened, fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavoring and spice. Ginger’s rhizomes contain a 1-2% volatile oil. Ginger’s therapeutic uses are as a carminative, antinauseant and anti-flatulence agent.
Galanga: “Kha” in Thai
Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavoring. The approximately 0.04 volatile oil content has therapeutic uses as carminative, stomachic, anti-rheumatic and antimicrobial agents.
Lemon Basil: “Maeng-lak” in Thai
Lemon Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves, eaten either raw or used as a flavoring, and containing approximately 0.7% volatile oil. Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as diaphoretic and carminative agents.
Kafffir: “Ma-krut” in Thai
The leaves, peel and juice of the Kaffir Lime are used as a flavoring in Thai cuisine. The leaves and peel contain a volatile oil. The major therapeutic benefit of the juice is as an appetizer.
(No Common English Name): Krachai in Thai 
This erect annual plant with aromatic rhizomes and yellow-brown roots, is used as a flavoring. The rhizomes contain approximately 0.8% volatile oil. The plant has stomach ache relieving and antimicrobial properties, and therapeutic benefits as an antitussive and anti-flatulence agent.
Lemon Grass: “Ta-khrai” in Thai
This erect annual plant resembles a coarse gray-green grass. Fresh leaves and grass are used as flavoring. Lemon grass contains a 0.2-0.4 volatile oil. Therapeutic properties are as a diuretic, emmanagogue, anti-flatulence, anti flu and antimicrobial agent.
Lime: “Ma-nao” in Thai
Lime is used principally as a garnish for fish and meat dishes. The fruit contains Hesperidin and Naringin , scientifically proven anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Lime juice is used as an appetizer, and has antitussive, anti flu, stomachic and antiscorbutic properties.
Marsh Mint: “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 anesthetic, diaphoretic and digestant properties.
Pepper: “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 a 2-4% volatile oil. Therapeutic uses are as carminative, antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic agents.
Holy Basil: “Ka-phrao” in Thai
Holy Basil is an annual herbaceous plant that resembles Sweet Basil but has narrower and often times reddish-purple leaves. The fresh leaves, which are used as a flavoring, contain approximately 0.5% volatile oil, which exhibits antimicrobial activity, specifically as a carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant and stomachic.
Shallot: “Hom,Hom-lek,Hom-daeng”in Thai
Shallots, or small red onions, are annual herbaceous plants. Underground bulbs comprise garlic-like cloves. Shallot bulbs contain a volatile oil, and are used as flavouring or seasoning agents. Therapeutic properties include the alleviation of stomach discomfort, and as an antihelmintic, antidiarrhoeal, expectorant, antitussive, diuretic and anti flu agents.
Sweet Basil: “Ho-ra-pha” in Thai
Sweet Basil is an annual herbaceous 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.
Turmeric:  “Kha-min” in Thai
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and provides yellow colouring for Thai food. The rhizomes contain a 3-4% volatile oil with unique aromatic characteristics. Turmeric’s therapeutic properties manifest as a carminative, antiflatulence and stomachic.
Home
Thank you to TAT for the use of this material
© 1997 Tourism Authority of Thailand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Reviews
  • positive review  great service and great food

    Michael Nimtz Avatar Michael Nimtz
    July 17, 2021

    negative review  Terrible service and a not so clean restaurant! Do they ever clean or dust?! Right behind my chair were moth eggs on the curtain! Yuck 🤢 completely lost my appetite! Won’t be back!!!

    Kathryn Christman Avatar Kathryn Christman
    April 1, 2021

    positive review  Very , very good food and so fresh. The Miso vegetable soup was superb and the Yum Tom soup was delicious. The Pad Thai with tofu and the coconut pineapple curry were both wonderful and yummy. Highly recommended.‼️

    Marianne B. Miles Avatar Marianne B. Miles
    November 17, 2020

    positive review  Just right full of cabbage than the duck meat.

    Allen Romero Espelita Avatar Allen Romero Espelita
    October 21, 2020

    positive review  Unbelievably delicious!! Especially the coconut soup and fresh spring rolls.

    Susan Burns Schlesinger Avatar Susan Burns Schlesinger
    October 11, 2020

    positive review  excellent food..my goodness delish

    Dominic Reed Avatar Dominic Reed
    September 22, 2020

    positive review  Traditional Thai food must come here, delicious, clean and hygienic.

    ผู้หญิง ผิวสี เข้ม เข้ม Avatar ผู้หญิง ผิวสี เข้ม เข้ม
    August 18, 2020

    positive review  Best Thai food I’ve ever had. Amazing.

    Jordyn Ballentine Avatar Jordyn Ballentine
    August 7, 2020
  • negative review  7/11/20 - we arrived and the greeter/to go order giver was NOT wearing his mask over his mouth and nose. We were seated just a couple feet from another table. It took 8-10 minutes until our waitress even came to our table. We were just getting ready to leave at this point. It took another 5 minutes to get our water and drinks. I ordered the Pad Thai with Shrimp (no green onions). It was cold around the edges and hot in the middle and had onions. Of the 4 meals orders, 2 people didn't eat much. One described her meal as slimey. Also, buried in the menu near the back is a 18% gratuity for parties of FOUR (4) or more. I complained about this but the owner wouldn't even talk about it. This is the worst Thai place that I've ever eaten. It doesn't represent the many restaurants in Sedona.

    KC Bailey Avatar KC Bailey
    July 13, 2020

    positive review  great food I love the pad thai the tea and the soups. yummy

    Jeannie Mimi Soverns Avatar Jeannie Mimi Soverns
    June 27, 2020

    positive review  Excellent food. I recommend.

    Helene Sicherman Avatar Helene Sicherman
    May 8, 2020

    positive review  Food is fantastic as is the service

    Lori Preston Pfadt Avatar Lori Preston Pfadt
    January 26, 2020

    positive review  they deserve a vegan family while we were there and they seemed happy!

    Christian Hall Avatar Christian Hall
    December 21, 2019

    positive review  Everything i have ordered has been delicious and the people that woek there are so in service and helpful. Awesome experience!!!

    Lori Krauss Avatar Lori Krauss
    December 1, 2019

    positive review  great service, wonderful flavors, nice venue

    Geri Kean Avatar Geri Kean
    August 27, 2019

    positive review  Food was delicious. Large serving sizes at great prices

    MargaretAnn Gowans-Fulaytor Avatar MargaretAnn Gowans-Fulaytor
    August 15, 2019

Call Now Button