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Here’s a plant many of you may be more familiar with than you realize! It’s a key ingredient in many Thai curry dishes and is used in many parts of the world as an important medicine.

Nutrient dense, Cassia siamea, also called Cassod tree and in Thailand, as Khilek, is a wonderful example of food as medicine. It has been used for thousands of years in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and in Indian, Ayurvedic medicine.

Native to South and Southeast Asia, here are just a few of the around-the-world benefits of Cassia siamea:

  • India (Ayurvedic medicine): The fruit is used to treat intestinal worms and prevent convulsions in children. The fresh and dried leaves are also decocted and enjoyed with lemon juice to treat malaria and liver disorders. The leaves are popularly boiled and a bit of honey is added. A daily dose of 150ml, taken 3 times a day, of this mixture is used to treat anemia and fevers.
  • Uganda: The leaves are picked, cleaned, and chewed with the liquid being swallowed to treat abdominal pains.
  • Thailand: Prepared leaves are taken in capsule form as a laxative and sleep aid.
  • Kenya: The macerated roots are used with other herbs to treat snake bites and diabetes.
  • Ivory Coast: Small repetitive doses of decocted roots are used to treat angina and malaria. The seeds are used to treat intestinal worms and scorpion bites.
  • China: A decoction of the leaves and stems is enjoyed as an aperitif and to counter arthritic swelling. It is also commonly used to treat malaria, anxiety, panic attacks, and sleep disorders.

Find out more about this delicious and effective healing herb Cassia Siamea (Jue Ming Zi Xian Lou) .

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