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  • LIFESTYLE

    Ginger up

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 27/11/2016

    » Regular reader Paul Schiller sent me a photo of a plant growing in a flower pot at his summer home in Khao Lak, Phangnga province. "Do you know this small beauty?" he asked. The plant was a cluster of lance-shaped bright green leaves, with a terminal pendant inflorescence hanging from each stem. What's attractive about the plant was the unusual inflorescence, which comprised of showy, widely spaced purple bracts. From the base of each bract emerged the long, tube-like pedicel of a small yellow flower. The plant's stems and leaves are those characteristically belonging to members of the ginger family.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Sleep has never been this appealing

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 12/06/2016

    » When a friend learned that I have trouble sleeping, she told be about an article she had just read recommending banana tea for those suffering from insomnia. "All you have to do is boil an unpeeled banana, with both ends cut off, in a small pot of water for 10 minutes. Pour the water through a colander into a mug, and drink it one hour before bed," she instructed.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The awesome avocado

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 23/11/2014

    » Last Sunday's Green Fingers was about the leaves that my friend Julia gathers from her backyard and brews for tea. Soursop leaves, pandan and lemongrass all have medicinal properties, and as long as they get full sun all can be grown, even in a small space.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Why tamarind seems to keep a peeling

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 21/02/2016

    » Regular reader Paul Schiller and his wife Beatrix are long-time residents of Khao Lak in Phangnga, where they seek warmth during the cold winter months in their home country, Austria. They were on holiday in Hua Hin recently when they saw an unfamiliar fruit. “Today in Hua Hin, nobody knows this, I got not even a Thai name,” Mr Schiller wrote in his email asking for help in identifying the said fruit.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Plant of plenty

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 07/02/2016

    » After reading the article about how juice from green papaya leaves could treat dengue fever, and how tea from its dried brown leaves could guard against 10 types of cancer (Green Fingers, Jan 24), a friend told me he had no idea papaya could be so useful.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Nature’s cure

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 24/01/2016

    » After more than two months of intensive care at Ramathibodi Hospital, popular actor Tridsadee “Por” Sahawong finally lost his fight against dengue haemorrhagic fever. He died on Monday, just five days short of his 38th birthday.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The tree of life

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 08/11/2015

    » I received an invitation to a symposium recently. Well, I thought that was what it was, for the invitation and the programme were in Vietnamese and there were only three words that I understood: Hanoi and Morinda citrifolia.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Chasing waterfalls

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 23/08/2015

    » It was only 3.30pm but with rain threatening to fall at any time, darkness descended fast on Lam Nam Kok National Park in Doi Hang, Chiang Rai province. It had rained the night before and parts of the trail were slippery. One false move could easily send someone rolling down the steep mountainside to the point of no return.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Flower power

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 28/06/2015

    » I have eaten several kinds of flowers in my lifetime. You probably did not know that the blossoms of bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd and balsam pear, or mara in Thai, and ridged luffa (Luffa acutangula), which Thais call buap, are edible.

  • LIFESTYLE

    From small seeds grow fig ideas

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 22/03/2015

    » I know I promised I would not write about Chatuchak plant market again in a long while. But when reader Ian Windsor wrote to ask where one could find fig trees in Thailand, I felt obliged to find out.

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