Early this year I had an opportunity to visit my motherland, Thailand. My partner and I took this chance to attend Thai traditional postnatal care and Thai Traditional massage courses. We were having a great fun of making Thai herbal compress balls with our class fellas J The class was very very hands-on and friendly.
This week I want to talk a bit more about Thai Herbal Compress Balls, and their benefits to our health. And just for your information, all Herbal Compress Balls used in Prani Glow Day Spa, are certified organic from North of Thailand and passed Australian health standard.
For centuries, the Thai people have been using dried herbs to treat many different aliments in the body. One of the best types of treatments for muscle and soft tissue pain is used in the form of a herbal compress.
In wartime, this ball was typically used on soldiers returning from battle to get immediate responses to inflammation from wounds and injuries. It was also used for treating soreness and pain from tired, achy muscles and joints.
In Thailand the typical compress is created using traditional herbs commonly grown in Thailand. These herbs have both medicinal and aesthetic uses and are absorbed into the body through the skin and nose. Of course the herbs themselves can be ingested as well but when used in a compress there is no need for ingestion. All three methods allow the medicinal properties of the herbs to have profound effects in body.
Hot compresses promote relaxation while soothing aching muscle and stiff joints. Since the motions are very gentle, it can be more appropriate for parts of the body that are too tender or sore for hand massage. It will leave you intensively relaxed and energized.
Herbal Massage is known for its healing properties: it improves blood circulation and stimulates the internal organs. While the heat dilates blood vessels, it increases the blood and oxygen circulation in the body and improves the efficiency of the different organs.
Herbs used in the compress will also have different and specific benefits: ginger is used to treat digestive disorders and allergies, lemongrass and kaffir lime boost the immune system , jasmine has antispasmodic and anti-depressive effects, turmeric is an anti-bacterial that will heal skin infection.
Some herbal ingredients in the herbal balls can be various, depending on the regions. The following herbs are commonly used in all regions of Thailand.
[av_masonry_gallery ids=’837,839,838,841,842,843,844,845′ items=’8′ columns=’4′ paginate=’pagination’ size=’fixed’ gap=’large’ overlay_fx=’active’ caption_elements=’excerpt’ caption_display=’always’ container_links=’active’ id=”]
Tamarind is a shrubby tree with a wide range around the world. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for gastric problems and for bacterial skin infections, it is also a culinary herb. Tamarind leaves are commonly used in herbal balls.
- Lemongrass is a citrus-scented herb used in Asian cooking and in herbal balls. The leaves are chopped and combined with the other ingredients.
- Kaffir lime leaves and rind are very fragrant and are used in cooking and in herbal poultices.
- Cassia Siamea is an evergreen tree that grows in Southeast Asia. It is used as a folk remedy for cancer, although there is no scientific evidence to support this use, though an article published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in January 2010 reports that the herb has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Shikakai-Acacia concinna or shikakai is a tree native to Asia. The fruit pods, leaves and bark are dried, powdered and made into a paste used in shampoo and skin care preparations, as well as in Thai herbal balls.
- Mangostee- According to an article published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in October 2005, mangosteen extract has an antimicrobial effect against staphylococcus when tested on acne, supporting its use in alternative medicine for skin infection