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  1. #1
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    Traditional stimulants

    Have you ever wondered what the strange concotions of leaves and stuff are, which old folks in Thailand seem to be chewing all the time and which make them drop spittle and stains all over the place?

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    Miang

    A branch of the Miang tree:


    The leaves are steamed and then fermented for a month, then sold in batches on the markets:


    Individually wrapped with sugar and salt to taste:


    ...and chewed for 20 min to several hours.
    The missus insists these are not tea-leaves, contrary to what I heard. Anyway, popular with old folks as well as farmers and workers in the country.

    Effect: similar to tea/coffee, stimulating to keep going while feeling a bit tired, large quantities cause sleep deprivation, just like coffee.
    Moderately habit-forming.
    Last edited by stroller; 20-06-2006 at 11:42 AM.

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    Mahk

    Mahk or Betelnut-chewing is widely spread throughout Asia, in Thailand it's popular amongst the elderly.

    The nuts are used dried or fresh (mahk haing or mahk dip), with leaves (bai poo) and ground lime sludge, various spices and condiments may be added.

    A poo-bush:

    These grow into trees stretching over 2 storeys.
    A branch, the tender top leaves are preferred:


    The basic tools and ingredients:

    Note the shaped, short blade of the betel-knife.
    The lime comes in 3 different colours, all made from coral, apparently. The purple one is more bitter and pungent.

    Half a nut is scoped out and diced onto the leve prepared with a thin coat of lime.


    If you hit the right proportions, chewing and keeping the juice in your mouth, one wrap will provide a strong 'hit', like a mix of 2 glasses of whisky and 3 liters of coffee going into the bloodstream for a couple of minutes.

    Habit-forming.
    Moderate use strengthens the teeth, excessive use rots the teeth to brown stubs - the lime dissolves the enamel.

  4. #4
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    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    If you hit the right proportions, chewing and keeping the juice in your mouth, one wrap will provide a strong 'hit', like a mix of 2 glasses of whisky and 3 liters of coffee going into the bloodstream for a couple of minutes.
    No wonder you were able to outlast me at the weekend, in spite of my considerable youth.

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    Another plant whose fresh leaves are chewed for 'stimulation' is Kratom, which has been popular in Southern Thailand. It is now illegal and possession of one leaf carries a fine of 500 Bt.
    Apparently it has an effect similar to, but milder than the also illegal 'Ganja':


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    Anyone know anything about magic mushroomsn that grow in Thailand?

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    No first hand info, but I hear they are relatives of the psilocybin shrooms which grow pretty much all over the world. The Thais call them hed kee kwai - buffalo shit mushrooms.

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    Found some growing not far nto the woods behind a beach in Phuket a few years ago. Looked like some 'shooms I used to grow, only BIGGER. The ex's brother is some sort of mucky-muck in drug enforcement she went ape-shit when I smoekd weed, damn I'm glad she's gone!
    Now that Kratom stuff, see any in the market did you?
    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -- T. Jefferson


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    ^
    No, and authorities do mind the stuff.
    It grows without being planted or tended to, not sure how common it is in the North - not my kind of thing.

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    You can find the shrooms in cow or buffalow poop anywhere in Thailand during the rainy season. Be careful with the kratom, for some reason the coppers do take it seriously.

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    Here another, clearer shot of betel preparation:


    In Thailand, often 'ya sen'(tobacco) is added, as well as 'kikiat' - a cocoa like black crumbly substance, which tastes bitter and takes off some of the sting of the lime.

    Swallowing the red juice after chewing reportedly is a medicine against worms and malaria.

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    I think it might be appropriate to add that with prolonged use, the betel juice stains your teeth black, irritates your gums to the extent that your teeth eventually drops out, and frequently leads to tongue and throat cancer.

    I'll stick to beer, thank you very much.....

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    Mua Hang is ephedra I believe.

    It can stimulate but the body seems to adapt to it, meaning that if you start and stop and start taking it will stimulate.

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    ^
    Another way of saying this, is that you develop tolerance through regular use and will suffer withdrawal when stopping after prolonged use, which may include tiredness, lack of motivation, insomnia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    ^
    Another way of saying this, is that you develop tolerance through regular use and will suffer withdrawal when stopping after prolonged use, which may include tiredness, lack of motivation, insomnia.
    Damn, this stuff must be more powerful than I thought - I have never even tried it, and I am still suffering from withdrawal symptoms.....

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    A bit like coffee, have a look at your pale visage when you look in the mirror first thing in the morning...

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    Just got some condiments to mix with my betelnuts from the market:

    Left=dried nut slices, top=yah sen (tobacco), right=kikiat, bottom=puak gohp(shredded bark)

    I also bought a pouch with resinous wood chips to make some "yah dong" - Rice Whisky which had some herbs and stuff like ginseng soaking in in for a few days.
    The different mixtures are said to have various medicinal qualities, and it's become quite a fashionable drink, more for the flavour and the fact that it's a liquor.

    This particular mix is for backache, and has the added effect that it makes the cheap rocket fuel rather pallatable.
    More pics of the finished product, as well as of the "Lao Kao" brewing and distilling process later.

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    right=kikiat
    So what is that then?

    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    as well as of the "Lao Kao" brewing and distilling process later.
    Good show old chap!

  20. #20
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    Ah, yah dong season again, those mixtures can be hard to find at certain times of the year.
    The gf has a cousin who is a travelling salesman in the Lampang - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai area and he use to send us mixtures from local villages, when he can get them.

    We mix one package with 4 bottles Lao Kao in a 5 liter glass bottle.
    It is drinkable after a few days but needs about a week to soak to get rid of the Lao Kao taste.
    At that time , it has got a deep red or redbrownish colour depending on the mixture.
    One package is good for about 10 liters of yah dong, pour in more Lao Kao when the level is going down in the bottle.
    Some mixtures are sweeter , some are very bitter.

    Ready mixed yah dong was available here for buy in the father-mother shops until 3 years ago when police told them to stop selling it.
    Now they can only sell Lao Kao, but not yah dong.
    Anyone is allowed to make yah dong for their own use though, and the reason for not allowing the sales of it is that many shops used their own moonshine instead of Lao Kao.
    May the bridges I burn light my way

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    Funny you should start a thread about betelnut chewing Stroller.

    What's this, the third or fourth time?

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    Have you noticed the topic title, Old Croc?
    Feel free to add your fav stimulant in Thailand - I think you need one.

    Yes, I did contribute to a thread about betelnuts on another forum before. Why don't you read all about it there? -there are no pics, though.

  23. #23
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    Yes, I did contribute to a thread about betelnuts on another forum before. Why don't you read all about it there? -there are no pics, though.
    The other forum is probably down again, why else would he be here ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    right=kikiat
    So what is that then?
    I don't know, tastes similar to liquorice or cocao. These condiments only add flavour, except the tobacco.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    I also bought a pouch with resinous wood chips to make some "yah dong" - Rice Whisky which had some herbs and stuff like ginseng soaking in in for a few days. The different mixtures are said to have various medicinal qualities, and it's become quite a fashionable drink, more for the flavour and the fact that it's a liquor.
    If you ever heading down this way, bring us a couple of packs, can't seem to get the "herb" concoctions here, everyone uses to powder sachets. Some of the herb stuff makes Lao Khow taste quite palatable, the powder stuff helps but is'nt as good, I have to odd session with my BiL on it.
    I have more than the average number of arm and legs

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