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Meet The Natives: Heart shaped moonseed

Thailand is very well-known for unique flavours in traditional foods, made by spices sourced from various herbs. Apart from spicing up delicious cuisine, many Thai herbs also have medicinal and therapeutic value.

Friday 9 September 2016, 01:00PM


Wichan Aryusuk

editor@classactmedia.co.th

Among the potent Thai herbs is one called boraphet(บอระเพ ็ด), Scientifically known asTinospora cordifolia, or more commonly known as heart-leaved moonseed, which is a herbaceous vine that belongs to the family of Menispermaceae and indigenous to the tropical areas of India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Its stems, roots and leaves are often used in Ayurvedic medicine.

The vines are gray and black, they are round, large and gnarled. The smooth, green leaves are shaped as hearts (“heart-leaved moonseed” ) and can be anywhere between eight to 10 centimetres long.

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Flowers are commonly in the colour of yellowish green and are round-shaped. Flowers that are yellow or red have also been used as a medicinal herb, commonly known as wormwood.

Tinospora cordifolia contains many chemicals which benefit the human body in different ways. The chemicals may have antioxidant effects, while others may increase the activity of the human immune system.

Not only that, but it can also be used to treat fever and smallpox. Furthermore, Tinospora cordifolia can also be used to treat urinary tract infections as well as some blood diseases.

Some preliminary findings suggest that the herb can be used to help treat diabetes, although there is currently no conclusive scientific evidence to support this.

 

 

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