The 6 Amazing Benefits of Lemongrass

Pic Credit:

Lemongrass is a popular cooking ingredient, especially for Thai cuisine where it is lovingly used for its unique tangy and lemony flavour. But beyond its wonderful taste, this plant comes with an array of amazing health benefits that you might not know of. Below are 6 such benefits that will make you fall in love even more with lemongrass!


Great For Detoxification

Pic Credit:

Like so many other herbs, lemongrass contains detoxifying properties. It possesses diuretic properties which assist in eliminating wastes, toxins and uric acid from the body through increased urination. Frequent urination helps to keep our liver toxin-free and our kidneys clean. A cup of lemongrass tea on a regular basis helps us maintain a clean and healthy body.


Aids In Proper Digestion

Pic Credit:

Lemongrass has antimicrobial properties, which helps to ensure a healthy bowel environment by killing off bad bacteria and parasites in our digestive tract to make way for good gut bacteria. This promotes a healthy bowel movement and in turn prevents digestive problems like indigestion, cramps, constipation and bloating.


The Natural Cure For Your Cold

Pic Credit:

Lemongrass is also known as ‘fever grass’ for a reason. It is traditionally used, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, to ease the symptoms of cold and fever. Lemongrass helps break down mucus and phlegm buildup in our respiratory system, a common symptom of a cold. Also, its antimicrobial properties aid the body in fighting off the illness.


Promotes Calmness And Relaxation

Pic Credit:

Many people use lemongrass as an ingredient in essential oils because it contains citronella, a component that imparts a calming effect on the body and mind. As such, it is often used to induce relaxation, promote better quality sleep and overcome insomnia. Also, the herb stimulates the production of the chemical serotonin, our body’s natural mood stabilizer. Serotonin is helpful in combating depression and in uplifting our mood.


Keeps Skin Healthy

Pic Credit:

It is not just all about the inside. Lemongrass is beneficial for our skin too! Extracts from the plant act as an astringent when applied to the skin. It helps minimize our pores and controls the secretion of sebum while limiting the growth of bacteria and microbes on our skin. This leads to lesser skin infections and acne breakouts.


Eliminates Body Odour

Pic Credit:

Body odours are often the cause of bacteria growth on our body, especially when we sweat a lot. Lemongrass, when made into oil form, acts as a great deodorant. Not only does it have a sweet citrusy scent, it inhibits the growth of bacteria on our skin and controls excessive sweating. As a plus, lemongrass doesn’t cause skin irritations or allergies and hence is suitable for everyone to use.



We at Thai Odyssey recognize the powerful beneficial properties of lemongrass. This is why we incorporate this versatile plant into our outlets and services. We use lemongrass extract as diffusing oil for our outlets so that the moment you step in, you will be greeted by its soothing scent. The herbal poultices for our Thai Herbal Therapy also contains lemongrass leaves.


The plant is also quite easy to grow at home. So if you feel a little green fingered, you can plant a stalk or two to enjoy its benefits from the comfort of your home.



The Great Odyssey: A Story of Love and Honesty (Part 6)

Continued from Part 5 – How does Thai Odyssey implement its winning formulas?

At Thai Odyssey, standards are kept high. They have a strict requirement on the front desk and staff are sent for training every three months to reinforce good practices. “We need our staff to be polite and gentle. If we get staff who are unable to comply with our culture, we are sorry then, but we are unable to work together,” explains Chuah.
When you walk into Thai Odyssey, it feels like Thailand. That is exactly how Chuah wants everyone to feel. Malaysia fades outside the door and the whole Thai culture takes over. So much so that Thai tourists have even commented to Chuah that it feels better than their own Thai massage centers.

The details are of great importance at Thai Odyssey. Everything from the bedsheets, the softness of the pillow and the lighting does not escape the eye of Chuah. In fact, he along with his partners were fully responsible for the interior design of the outlet. “I love design. I have also visited many resorts and spas to get ideas to create the outlook for Thai Odyssey. Also, thanks to our team of contractors who are with us from day one, we work together to finalise the designs too. Almost everything you see in our outlet comes from Thailand.”

Every Thai Odyssey outlet is identified by its romantic down lights and luxurious settings. Ornate Thai décor welcomes the customer along with the polite receptionist. Rooms are made for customers to sink into total relaxation. The scented rooms, fragrant beds, the willingness to serve and the smiling masseuses themselves. Everything has been made to bring the customer to a new state of well being.

In many developed countries, massage services are considered a professional business. Malaysia however, still carries the misconception of massage having a negative connotation. Thai Odyssey has persevered to provide genuine and skillful spa and massage therapies since its inception. Their hard work has paid off, for they have received much encouragement and support from Tourism Malaysia in the past two years. “We hope to change the public’s perception that a massage and spa experience can be wholesome and clean. All in all, we aspire to provide for the well-being of our fellow Malaysians.”

The Great Odyssey: A Story of Love and Honesty (Part 4)

Continued from Part 3 – What are the systems that Thai Odyssey implemented that successfully helped to  steer the business to the right path?

At Thai Odyssey, every customer gets their feet washed before going on to their massage. This is a very traditional Thai practice that customers love. “I have some customers say to me, they pay a little more here, but get someone to wash their feet,” quips Chuah.

To explain why they are serious in training their masseuses to set a standardized code of service, Chuah continues, “We ensure only good therapists come our way. Our requirements are that our masseuses come from well-known massage schools in Thailand and have four to six years of experience. After they have been recruited, they will go through another month of intensive training to learn Thai Odyssey’s Integrated Spa & Customers Service System (TOISCSS) before they begin work as a masseuse.”

They also train their front desk personnel to have impeccable customer service skills. Their masseuses do not speak much English, only their native languages. They do not make an effort to teach them English because it is part of the authentic Thai experience for customers as it comes as a whole Thai experience package.

Business wasn’t always smooth sailing though. After two years of operating, Chuah received a cruel shock when local authorities barged in to eight of his outlets on the same day, closed them down and locked up all his people. Chuah was accused of not having the right permits for his workers. At that time, each of his masseuse was carrying a working pass as issued by the immigration office. Chuah was informed that the working pass was only meant for a foreign professional. Chuah’s argument that it was issued to him by the immigration office fell on deaf ears. He was promptly locked up for five days.

“I didn’t sleep at all in those five days,” laughs Chuah. “I was even told that I would possibly be caned for my crime. Can you imagine what went through my mind? Thankfully I had good people who came to bail me out. After that, all my 50 workers were also released.”

Immediately upon his release, Chuah made his way to the immigration office to speak with the local authorities. Even though he faced lots of rejection, he did not give up. He continued to pursue the matter in order to get the authorities to create a column for him to fill in the names of his employees as spa therapists. Today, laws have been made to accommodate foreign workers and the immigration office issues working pass specifically for spa therapists. “Before that, there was no such form for this type of application. In a way, we initiated this,” smiles Chuah.

This article appeared in The Star on 3rd June 2014.


Related article:
The Great Odyssey: A Story of Love and Honesty (Part 1)
The Great Odyssey: A Story of Love and Honesty (Part 2)
The Great Odyssey: A Story of Love and Honesty (Part 3)

3 Reasons to Drink Tea


Do you know that on any given day, there are over 158 million people in the US drink tea? In Britain, they consume over 165 million cups daily. This is a whopping figure. It makes drinking tea the second most consumed beverage in the world after water.

In some recent articles from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they showed that drinking tea is indeed can help us stay healthy. Amidst earlier studies about the antioxidants in tea which have adverse effects on human health, there are more empirical results to encourage us to look at tea as a good source of nutrition.

Let’a take a look at three reasons why tea is good for us after all:

Weight Loss
Yes, you heard it right! Cutting down your weight may be one big push for you to consider drinking tea. One study from the Journal shows that subjects who consumed green tea and caffeine lost an average of 2.9 pounds over 12 weeks, all while maintaining their normal diet.

Exercise Endurance

Tea can boost your interest in exercise and help you to be active. Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance.

Fight Free Radicals

Although our body has the facilities to fight free radicals on its own, but we do look at tea to help us in our defense. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help to prevent some of the damage they cause such as cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration. A 6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

In most spa environment, tea is offered before and after your massage for keeping your body hydrated. Some teas are specially blended with selected herbs for the desired effects. Usually, tea is served hot and after a relaxing massage, it helps the body to soothe soreness and calm the nerves, leading to a more restful state of mind.

Ask for a cup of tea before you begin your massage to warm your body for the passive exercise that is about to begin. When the massage is complete, take sips of tea slowly as you begin to feel more relaxed. Feel rejuvenated while you take the extra time to wind down.

4 After-Massage Tips To Maintain and Balance Your Body

You know when you need a break. When you are agitated just by someone’s breathing or when you drink your coffee and still find it tasteless. It’s time to take a while off to stretch or just walkabout then get back to work. Better off, leave your work for a day to clear your mind out of some cluttered emotions. Then find a place of relaxation where you are most at peace. While you relax your mind, you may feel that your tensed muscles need some workout too. When you don’t feel like sweating it out on a treadmill, why don’t you go for some passive exercise instead? Make a reservation right away with Thai Odyssey, pamper yourself with the ultimate spa package and let your body be kneaded, stretched and soothed for a rejuvenation session with a Thai Traditional Massage.

After a much-needed flex on your muscles, these are the 4 tips to help you maintain and balance your body:

1. Drink Lots of Water
Since massage promotes lymphatic movement, drinking water and keep yourself hydrated will help move toxins through the kidneys and out of your body. You may feel that you need to use the toilet more often, this is normal as your body is working towards cleansing. Therefore, re-hydration is the key to a healthy body, especially after a soothing massage.


2. Take A Hot Shower
A nice warm bath is very soothing after a massage. This is extremely relaxing because if you have any inflammation in the muscles due to stress or strenuous workout, the heat from the water will reduce the sore.

3. Rest
After a good massage, relax and don’t rush. If you can, make sure you have nowhere to go and nothing to do after your massage. Massage is not just work on the body; it is work on the mind too. Massage helps to de-stress and relax you. And a good rest will get your mind and body to rebalance and retune for the next productive day.

4. Eat lightly before and after a massage.

Avoid eating heavy meals before a massage, but don’t come on an empty stomach either. Eating fruits or seeds and nuts are good food choice before a massage. After a massage, try having a vegetarian meal, a warm bowl of vegetable soup or stir-fried vegetables with rice or noodles, these are light meals for easy digestion.

As we work to get things done, our body will need time to rest and rejuvenate. Make time for yourself, get a full body massage and your body will thank you.

3 Ways to Stay UP when you feel down

Sometimes it is difficult to get up in the morning and go.  Sometimes the day becomes a drag.  Sometimes there is a feeling of gloom.  However the day may be, if you are feeling down, it’s time to get up.

“Getting knocked down in life is a given.  Getting up and moving forward is a choice.”~ Zig Ziglar.

If you allow your ‘not-getting-up’ emotion affects you, this can lead to ineffective work and valueless relationship.  It is time to get up to avoid the emotional slump.

These are 3 simple suggestions to get you up and moving forward when you feel the drag:

 1. Be around positive people 

Practically set up a group chat with positively inspired people.  Seek their advise, talk about your goals and aspirations, be with them to organize or participate in their fun activities.  The people you interact help you to think and feel the way you are.  With happy go-getters, there are plenty of positive energies to keep making things happen and keep creating happy outlook on life.  With these ongoing optimism, you will be influenced to keep up and get up to move forward.


2. Create a new routine 

If you often use the same transport or walk the same street to work, getting the same cup of coffee or breakfast, reading the same newspaper, these routine can be boring, monotonous and depressing.  If you have been sitting at your desk with the same placement of your stationery, maybe it’s time to make a change.  Starting tomorrow, walk a different street to work and marvel at new shops.  Along the way, enjoy the new sights and sounds.  If you have been getting coffee from the pantry, why not try a new drink from a fruit juice stall next door?  Re-arrange your writing instruments and your workstation.  Decorate your table with some colors and add a colorful plant.  Temporary changing a routine will get you out of the rut and let you notice new exciting things.  Try out new things you don’t normally do or have time to do.  Then, feel the new difference that will keep you up on your feet and getting you moving forward.


3. Rhythmic lifestyle


Get your body to move to a rhythm.  Hitting the gym, a dance class, practice yoga and move yourself rhythmically to make you feel better.  A 2011 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that intentional movement and exercise can improve test scores.  The study adds to growing evidence that exercise is good not only for the body but also for the mind.  There you go, just move and let your body be as flexible as possible.  Only a flexible body can create flexibility in life.  As a result, you will be able to relax and allow the body to rejuvenate, leading you to be happier and in a jolly good mood all the time.


Simply, taking action is always the best solution when you are feeling low.   What matters most is to enjoy and feel blessed with everything you have now.  Let’s get up and go!

Meditation Made Easy: 3 Simple Steps for a Calmer Mind

Talking about it won’t help you understand it more. Discussing about it doesn’t make you any wiser. Thinking about it will not calm you down.

Meditation is about taking a stress reducing break. Scientifically, it has been proven to boosts your health, happiness and success! Take a little time away from your work to meditate to experience its effect. It is absolutely a distraction to ask questions without sitting down and truly giving yourself the time to practice meditation.

Even Hugh Jackman, an Australian actor and more widely known as Wolverine in the X-Men movies, said that meditation changed his life.  He practices meditation twice a day and the tangible benefits he got from it are his relief from a compulsive-obsessive disorder.

In a candid interview with Oprah, who was the host of the eponymous multi-award winning talk-show The Oprah Winfrey Show, he said that he has learned to let go of everything.  “I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything. I take a little bath in it…Nothing has ever opened my eyes like this. It makes me calm and happy, and, well, it gives me some peace and quiet in what’s a pretty chaotic life!”

Hugh’s practice of meditation also influenced his son, Oscar, to join him occasionally.  Meditation is a family affair after all.

According to Dr Mao Shing Ni, bestselling author of Secrets of Longevity, there are three steps to meditate.

The 3 simple steps to meditation:

Step 1: Sit on a chair or on the floor, whichever you prefer.  Make yourself comfortable but sit with your spine erect.
Step 2: Close your eyes and breathe naturally.  Your breath will find its rhythm as you practice more.
Step 3: Quiet your mind.  Thoughts will inevitably come into your mind, allow them but don’t dwell into them.  Relax and bring your consciousness back to your breath.

Find time for yourself.  Even if it is only for 10 minutes daily.  As you practice, you will experience the calmness and the relaxation you need for a clearer mind for making sound decisions at work and at every moment of your life.