According to Thai medical treat-ment, Thai dishes which wholly contain every flavor have medicinal qualities. Ingredients are classified as the followings:
Hot and Spicy Flavor: Ginger, galangal, lemon grass, krachai (a kind of herb whose roots are used in cooking), pepper, horapha (sweet basil), chillies, onion, garlic, etc. have medicinal qualities to get rid of chest discomfort, help digestion, relieve stomach discomfort and stimulate appetite.
Bitter, Cool and Mild Flavor: Various kinds of vegetables such as fug (a kind of Thai squash or melon), young melon, dog-caea (a kind of flowers from a tree whose family is sesbania grandiflora Pers.), biter melon, taamlyn (a kind of plant whose family is Coccinia grandis Voigt.), eggplants, etc. are to stimulate appetite, relieve high fever, help digestion and nourish the bodyíchemical elements.
Sour Flavor: Lime, tamarind paste, maadun (a kind of tree whose family is Garcinia schomburgkiana Pierre.), mango, young leaves of maagok (a kind of big tree whose family is Spondias pinnata Kurz.), phaaktiew (a tree of Cratoxylum family) and taew (a tree of Cratoxylum maingayi Dyer. Family ) are laxatives, medicine to cure cough, get rid of phlegm and cure colds.
Astringent, Sweet, Creamy and Salty Flavor the flower cluster of the banana tree, coconut, shrimp paste and sugar are used to nourish tendons, the whole body and energy.
With medicinal herbs as main ingredients, Thai dishes are consideral the crown of all food, containing low calories as they are cooked with various kinds of local vegetables.
Local vegetables are medical herbs. To eat local vegetables, then, is to take Thai medicine. Nutrient and medicinal values are completely found in Thai, local vegetables.
The Thai people can have local vegetables for the whole year either in the rainy, summer, or cool seasons. Thao Yaa Naang (a kind of plant) with its young leaves, blossoms and fruits are edible. The leaves are crushed to get juice as an ingredient flavoring the pleasing taste of soups such as Bamboo soup, and Kaeng Kaea, etc.
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