We use organic herbs grown in the area of Chiang Khan village, North-Eastern Thailand. This region is currently free from any industrial facilities; there is only one “big” street in the entire village which is one traffic line in every direction. The closest big town is 50 km from us. Some of the herbs come from our garden, others from our neighbors or forest monasteries nearby. It is traditional here to grow such medicinal herbs as Zingiber cassumunar, Curcuma longa, Amomum xanthioides Wall., Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. and others. Most probably, every private garden you come upon in Isan will have at least 3-5 medicinal herbs growing wild free under fruit trees, coconut palms and around fish ponds.
There are 5-6 medicinal herbs used for Thai massage traditionally – it’s the base of any herbal massage bag:
1. Zingiber cassumunar
2. Croton oblongifolius Roxb
3. Citrus hystrix L.
4. Cymbopogon citratus Stapf.
5. Blumea balsamifera
6. Куркума Curcuma longa Turmeric
Further additions to these top 5 herbs depend on the experience and the knowledge of massage doctor, also on the local availability of medicinal herbs.
As an example, this is how the plant Zingiber cassumunar grows in our garden:
For our herbal massage bags we have composed 14 medicinal herbs, borneol and a little salt, salt is used traditionally as catalyst agent to help all the elements release while heating the bags.
These are the herbs we use:
1. ИМБИРЬ ПУРПУРНЫЙ Zingiber cassumunar ไพล
2. Куркума Curcuma longa Turmeric ต้นขมิ้นชัน
3. Красная куркума Turmeric red rhizome ขมิ้นอ้อย
4. Амомум желтоватый Amomum xanthioides Wall. ต้นเร่วหอม
5. Кротон Croton oblongifolius Roxb เปล้าใหญ่
6. Кафир-лайм Citrus hystrix L. Kaffir lime มะกรูด
7. Блюмея камфорная Blumea balsamifera ต้นหนาด
8. Лемонграсс Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. Lemongrass ตะไคร้
9. Цитронелла Cymbopogon nardus, Cymbopogon winterianus ตะไคร้หอม
10. Кри́нум азиа́тский Crinum asiaticum L พลับพลึง
11. Эвкалипт Eucalyptus ต้น ยู คา ลิพตัส
12. Галанга Alpinia galanga ข่า
13. Пандан Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. เตยหอม
14. Листья тамаринда Tamarind leaves ใบ มะขาม
15. Борнеол (экстракт из растений Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn, Blumea balsamifera DC. ) borneol พิมเสน
16.Соль Salt เกลือ
Once collected, we give the herbs some cleaning if necessary (we follow the rule “less impact – more nutrients”), sort them, get them sun-dried. Then Teep uses a traditional Thai pounder to grind them up to some extent. Not all the herbs need a complete grinding. It’s essential that the herbal bag would be easily steam-heated and the aroma of the herbs would come out easily, because massage effect is not only through manual pressing but equally through aromatherapy. If the whole mass in the bag has powder texture, there will be a tendency towards “glueing”, then heating them will be constrained and their aromatic potential will decrease.
The weight of one bag is approximately 170 gram, it’s an optimum size tested on practice. Smaller size can be prepared upon request to use for face massage. Larger bags are less comfortable for use, they are heavier, might be difficult for massage doctor, making the hand tired faster, thus decreasing the efficiency of massage itself. If you are interested in purchasing or trying out our herbal massage bags with organically grown herbs, please keep in touch on my Thai phone number 0853334397 (international +66853334397), or send us an order directly on nkrapivina at gmail.com