Bai cha-om or Acacia Leaf

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Benfits: The top of the stem and the leaves can cool down the body. The roots relieve flatulence. The leaves contain protein, Vitamins B1 and C and beta-carotine.

Use: It is eaten fresh or soft-boiled with chilli dips, although some people dislike the scent of the raw leaves. It is more common to mix the leaves in on omelette, or to eat them as on accompaniment to namprik kapi, the shrimp paste dip. In the North it is enjoyed with grilled fish and gaeng kanun on and in the Northeast with gaeng normai.

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Bai bua bok, (Asiatic Pennyworth)

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Benefits: Good for the heart, it also refreshes physical energy, soothes allergies and urinary ailments and lowers the blood pressure. Crushed leaves heal bruises and help restore skin tissue. The Juice eases migraines. The leaves contain Vitamins A and B1 and calcium.

Use: Fresh leaves are served as accompaniment to laab, pad thai and chilli dip and they can be squeezed to make juice.

Bai Bua Bok is a green herb used to make health tea. You’ll see the ice tea sold in many street markets across Thailand, it’s the green tea, often sold next to yellow Chrysanthemum tea, and also called ‘Gotu Cola’. A claimed cure for cancer, and sold as a health tea drink, it actually has quite a pleasant herb like flavour and goods source of vitamins when fresh. The herb can also be eaten raw, and is eaten with chillie paste.