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The Khilek tree to the rescue (a herbal cure to an old problem)

By John Roberts
19 April 2007 10:15:00 we bulge up towards storm time of year (the smell of rain is in the air this morning) it also seems to be time for the insects to wake up.  All the eles tend to turn up after nights in the deep grass covered in ticks which luckily don't seem to be interested in humans but the babies are particularly prone - particularly that soft skin behind the ear.  

   With the adults we have some fancy powder with a scientific sounding name and a numbered suffix but we're not to sure about chemicals on the babies so it becomes the job of the mahout to pick out and squash the ticks, in a way a little satisfying but annoying for the poor ele.

   The other day one of the Surin wives remembered an old remedy, a good old scrub with the leaves of the Khilek tree used to work in Granny's day, do we have any in the area?  Well, our local Burmese town is called Thakhilek which, to my Northern Thai which tends to find meanings where there are none, sounds like it should be a river jetty where the Khilek trees are.

   My big, thick tree book has the Khilek being one Cassia (Senna) Siamea and the gardeners look at me as though I'm mad (as usual) shrug and point to the row of trees under which we're standing - foriegners with fancy books know nothing.

   So it is bath time I guess!

PS.  The big book didn't mention this as one of the useful properties, but now you know.

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