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Food as Medicine: Traditional Herbal Therapy

Healing Yourself One Bite at a Time!

As you consider what we eat affects our health, you’ll learn how food can be used to prevent and treat illness and manage chronic disease. Centuries ago, the earliest known doctors and health practitioners across the world imparted the benefits of using food as medicine to heal the body and now based on research it is clearly evident that food plays a major role in health.

Being healthy means putting the right fuel into your body and having your internal engine run smoothly. Every meal that you consume influences the way that you feel one way or another so the more nutritious foods you choose, the healthier you will be. Whole foods act as medicine to heal and protect your body and give the immune system a break from dealing with toxins, preservatives, additives and chemicals that are included in so many of today’s processed foods.

Particular chronic conditions such as arthritis and celiac disease benefit from a specialized diet and avoiding particular foods. There are foods which reduce inflammation and ones that help lower cholesterol such as fish and omega 3 fatty acids. It’s always good to try and get the nutritional benefits from your food and not rely on synthetic supplements. You’ll also discover nutrition science and learn what it is in food that can improve our health, as well as the essential foods we need to boost our health and wellbeing.

Even if you live on takeaway you can make healthier choices.  More and more food services, restaurants, and other institutions are recognizing the healing power of food and are including healing foods as part of their menus so nutritious food is not as hard to find as it once was.

NUSA Indonesian Gastronomy

Jakarta, Indonesia

The restaurant showcases ingredients collected from the far reaches across the archipelago. NUSA Indonesian Gastronomy allows diners to take a culinary journey through Indonesia and explore each unique place through one’s palate.

One of Nusa famous dishes is the refreshing Asinan Semangka (Marinated watermelon). With salty, sweet and tangy flavors, this unique creation is the pick-me-up dish during a hot summer day. Nowadays, people in most parts the world can easily enjoy the deliciousness of watermelon. Not only its benefit in helping you hydrate, the central Asia uses watermelon as a diuretic and to cleanse the blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, watermelon is considered cooling and moistening, producing a diuretic effect, and commonly is used to treat thirst, edema, and inflammation of the kidney and urinary tracts. With all these benefits we urge you keep some in the fridge as a healthy snack after a long day.

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Samuay & Sons

Udon Thani, Thailand

Chef Num from Samuay & Sons is fascinated by the challenge of bringing the past to meet the present in to order shape the next chapter of Thai cuisine. He follows a philosophy of discovering forgotten foods and plants from by gone eras and brings this passion and curiosity back to the tables of his guests. 80% of the produce used by Samuay & Sons is grown in the local organic farm, and the remaining foods are found from many sources such as foraging in special educational events held across different parts of Thailand.

This traditional style Marian Plum in Jasmine Syrup is a new seasonal dessert at Samuay & Sons. A delicacy among Thais, this exotic fruit is rare to find in a western world. During their season, Marian plum is a must-try when you visit Thailand. “Sweet Yellow Marian Plum” is a tropical fruit that looks like eggs and has a smooth skin. When it is unripe, it is green. When it is ripe, it turns yellowish. It tastes juicy, sweet and a little bit sour and contains beta-carotene, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B and C. In addition, the Jasmines flower is also carefully infused in purified water over night for the flowers to release their fragrance and essential oil which helps reduce liver pain due to cirrhosis, and abdominal pain due to severe diarrhea (dysentery).

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Banllé Vegetarian

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Banllé is a vegan restaurant with a vegetarian option. Located in the heart of Siem Reap, the restaurant serves a simple and fresh menu mixing traditional Khmer dishes and fusion western flavours. Chef Pola uses a mix of seasonal vegetables, flower, roots, beans and herbs – all grown naturally in the garden surrounding the restaurant, as well as from a few select organic surrounding farms.

One of Banllé’s healthy dishes Chef Pola offers is Vegetable Curry. With homemade organic herbal curry past, coconut cream and vegetable. This traditional Cambodian dish has become more vibrant over the years with the addition of fresh coriander (cilantro), kaffir lime leaf and peel, and basil. These herbs are combined with fresh chilies and several other ingredients such as lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and shallots.

According to the LiveStrong Foundation, curry dishes can be high in fat, but the overall nutritional value includes increases in vitamins and minerals intake. A serving of vegetable curry includes fiber for bowel health. Coconut milk also has significant quantities of iron. Iron is an important mineral in the formation of healthy red blood cells with normal hemoglobin levels. Incorporating coconut milk into your diet will help you avoid anemia that often results from inadequate iron intake.

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Haoma

Bangkok, Thailand

Haoma – pronounced ha-o-ma – is named after a divine plant venerated by ancient human societies. Chef DK brings the freshest organic Thai ingredients and produce and high-quality sustainable meats to your plate, with impeccable flavours and plate presentations inspired by his Indian roots. This exclusive creation Chef DK offers is unique and flavoursome. The heart of the coconut is an ingredient lesser known and less used. Coconut heart and tender coconut water have been turned into a toddy-soaked Spaghetti served with a Bhel Puri mix. This sophisticated but yet subtle dish will give you a true taste of a tropical summer.

The main ingredient of this dish is commonly known amongst individuals who prefer healthy lifestyle as low in calories, naturally free of fat and cholesterol, more potassium than four bananas (more potassium than a sports drink), and super hydrating. Naturally refreshing, coconut water and coconut meat have a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Fresh coconut water is also dubbed as “Mother Nature’s sports drink”.

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Manda de Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos

Laotian family cuisine with specialties from all regions of Laos, carrying on the traditions and spirit of “Mama Phiew” (Manda means “Mother” in Laotian), dedicated to sharing how one cooked and ate in the past. Manda de Laos would like to introduce you to this healthy dish of Laap. It is a traditional Lao dish, perhaps the national dish of Laos. Laap is mainly composed of coriander, rice powder, bean sprout, sawtooth coriander, mint, shallots, spring onion, garlic, lime, chili and a protein of your choice. It is accompanied with lettuce, long green beans, cucumber and other Lao vegetables. Laap is a fascinating and healthy dish. Each herb that creates Laap an enchanting dish, provide health benefits which makes this dish not only nourishment, but medicinal.

Coriander is packed with fiber, magnesium, manganese, protein and iron. The essential oils present in coriander, possess antirheumatic and antarthritic properties which can reduce skin inflammation. The delicious garlic contains a powerful compound called allicin, which helps lower cholesterol and reduce hypertension by lowering blood pressure. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties may help prevent future neurodegenerative diseases, as well as boost digestion by reducing inflammation or irritation of the gastric canal. Lime is largely known for its ascorbic acid reserves and can provide up to 32% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. It’s no wonder why Laap is such an important dish in Lao culture and why it has been passed on from generations to preserve the qualities and benefits of this magnificent dish.

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The Redbox

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Serving creative Thai cuisine, the kitchen gets over 80% of its ingredients from locally sourced vegetables and herbs, and Thai One Tambon One Product ingredients including natural sugar, fleur de sel and spices. Most of the dishes have traditional names, but are innovative and modern. This time, Redbox would like to present you with this all-time favorite dish, “Sweet Tamarind Sauce.” This tasty creation is from Chef Pam’s family recipe using local tamarind and Phetchaburi natural palm sugar to bring the flavor of the shrimp to life in a distinctly southern Thai style.

Tamarind is the key ingredient in this dish and cannot be left out if you want to maintain a distinct bold and balanced flavor. This dish is best prepared with fig brûlée organic fig salad and burnt Cinnamon.

In South East Asia, tamarind has played an important role in traditional medicine. In beverage form, it was commonly used to treat diarrhea, constipation, fever and peptic ulcers. The bark and leaves were also used to promote wound healing. Modern researchers are now studying this plant for potential medicinal uses. The polyphenols in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The seed extract may also help lower blood sugar, while the pulp extract may help you lose body weight and reverse fatty liver disease.

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Secret Garden 131 Calmette

Saigon, Vietnam

This oasis in the downtown of Saigon offers top-quality contemporary Vietnamese cuisine experience in an extraordinary setting. The guests can discover unique Vietnamese cuisine that combines traditional dishes. The chef has re-invented traditional dishes with modern presentations. The creation we would like to mention is “Vietnamese fried rice mixed with lotus seeds.” We bet this delicious comfort food is many people’s favorite dish. This aromatic lotus leaf wrapped fried rice is packed with incredible flavour. The lotus seeds and chunky meat also add unique texture to this amazing dish.

The lotus seeds are edible kernels of the lotus plant. Their nutrition facts also include insignificant amounts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. In traditional medicine, lotus seeds are believed to be helpful in stopping chronic diarrhea. As they contain a high amount of astringent properties and also consumed to improve appetite. These seeds contain an anti-ageing enzyme, which is believed to repair damaged protein.

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