Alongside images of Buddha in Bangkok cabs, you can often find bundles of dried herbs or piles of roots. Taxi drivers keep the sacred botanicals for protection against evil spirits. Many Thai people believe in the medicinal and spiritual power of plants, and it's common to see dried leaves, stems, and roots for sale in traditional markets. Even the herbs in Thai cooking are believed to have medicinal properties. I have to admit, I haven't tried using any of the dried stems or roots. But I've eaten enough Thai food with holy basil to give me spiritual prowess to last a lifetime.
To order Thai herbs or to learn more, visit The Mango Grove at http://thaimedicinalherbs.blogspot.com.