The jellylike substance within the spiky exterior is renowned for its healing properties. It soothes skin irritations caused by insect bites and sunburn, and helps remove skin blemishes.
Used in Thailand and other parts of south-east Asia as a replacement for the non-available lemon, lime is used in food, medicine and many beauty treatments. Its high vitamin C content, and astringency work as a natural blood purifier.
Ubiquitous in Samui, the humble coconut has several uses in the health industry, adding to the countless other ways it provides for the community. Many sun lotions are coconut based, and while the thick white milk is used as a hair shampoo, the oil from mature fruits can be massaged into the hair giving it a healthy shine.
Grown everywhere in the world, mint is best known for its taste. From tea to chewing gum, varieties of the plant have innumerable uses, and its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities make it a useful aid in purifying the blood too.
One of the beauty industry's favourite fruits, the cucumber is used predominantly for its cooling and revitalising properties. Great for treating oily skin, as it tightens the pores whilst moisturizing. Cucumber is another popular spa ingredient used for relieving sunburn.
A common plant, found in many Thai gardens, the pandanus is an ingredient used in many oils and skin-care products. This is due more to its sweet and earthy aroma than to its medicinal qualities.
As a food additive, ginger provides more than just a distinctive flavour. It also helps relieve stomach aches and is prescribed extensively as a remedy for menstrual pains. Externally, it's used for soothing aching muscles and for helping increase blood circulation.
One of the fastest growing plants in the world (a seed will grow into a tree and produce fruit itself in just a couple of years), the papaya is packed with vitamins - notably A and C - which help ease stomach complaints. Its natural skin-exfoliating enzymes make it an ideal choice for using to remove age-lines, especially around the eyes.
Again, a firm favourite cooking ingredient with Asian chefs, this common plant has medicinal abilities too. When consumed, it helps speed up a slow digestive system. And when used as an aromatic oil, lemongrass exudes a strong, fresh, lemony fragrance.
Its powerful astringent and cleansing properties made turmeric a popular root in ancient times. And Turmeric is still widely used today in many herbal tonics and body-scrubs.