Herbal Paloh Stew with Cannabis Leaves


The word ‘Paloh’ in Chinese means something like ‘mixing everything together’, which may sound similar to ‘Jab Chai’ or the Chinese mixed vegetable soup commonly seen in Thailand. However, the difference is that ‘Paloh’ includes star anise, cinnamon, and sweet soy sauce. There are many regional versions of Paloh to be found in China, but the version of the dish found in Thailand is based on the Teochew version which emphasizes the scent of Chinese spices. It has a sweet and salty taste which combines perfectly with the fatty pork belly, although those who are not a fan of oily food can select a leaner cut of meat if they desire. A lot of the original spices have been done away with but like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, coriander root, onion, garlic, and cardamom remain part of the flavorsome broth today.

A legend says that the original recipe was born from an act of vengeance from Godfather Pai Shui Ye, after he caught his wife having an extra-marital affair. He cursed both his adulterous wife and her lover and turned them into ducks. The ducks were then boiled, and sweet soy sauce and various spices were added until they became what we now know as ‘Paloh’. From then on, anyone who visited the temple or came to ask for blessing from Pai Shui Ye, had to come with an offering of the duck soup. The dish lived on through the generations, but people became bored of duck and used pork, tofu, and eggs for a more varied and appetizing dish.

Health Benefits

‘Herbal Paloh Stew with Cannabis Leaves’ or ‘Five-spice soup with cannabis’, a classic Thai traditional menu that has been modified to improve the recipe by adding ‘cannabis leaves’ into it. THC extracts from cannabis plants can stimulate the nerves and reduce stress as well, making you feel relaxed, sleep well, reduce nausea, and vomiting as well as stimulate appetite. The plant has become a special ingredient that goes well with spices.

  • ‘Clove’ helps stimulate blood circulation and inhibit the growth of bacteria.*
  • ‘Pepper’ helps boost antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects.**
  • ‘Cannabis leaves’ help relax, induce deep sleep, reduce nausea, vomiting and stimulate appetite. They can also reduce inflammation, spasms and have properties to inhibit the growth of many types of tumors
  • ‘Cinnamon’ helps the brain work more efficiently. It stimulates the nerves and reduces stress as well as helps reduce blood sugar levels, making it very suitable for diabetic patients. It also prevents blood from clotting.
  • ‘Nutmeg’ is a carminative to cure flatulence, aid digestion, relieve nausea, nourish the blood, help distribute the blood, nourish the heart, energy, and help the appetite.
  • ‘Cumin’ has carminative properties, stimulates gastric juice, helps appetite, cures stomachache, diarrhea, morning sickness, and stimulates lactation of women after childbirth.


  • “Paloh” five spice powder
    • cinnamon 1 pcs
    • clove 2 pcs
    • star anise 2 pcs
    • cardamom 1 gr
    • white pepper 1 gr
  • boiled egg 1 pcs
  • tofu 1 pcs
  • chicken drumsticks 200 gr
  • fish sauce 40 gr
  • palm sugar 20 gr
  • black soy sauce 5 gr
  • soy sauce 20 gr
  • coriander root 5 gr
  • cannabis leaf 1 leaf


Sautee the “Paloh” herbs in a pan until they give off an aroma.

Place the “Paloh” herbs in a large saucepan full of water, place the cannabis leaves in the saucepan and bring to the boil.

Add fish sauce, black and white soy sauce and sugar, followed by the remaining ingredients and boil over a low heat until cooked through.

Remove from heat and serve.

* Kan Wongsariya, Mallika Chomnawang, Wild Betel and its hidden benefits, herbal information brochure Faculty of Pharmacy Mahidol University Year 26, Issue 3, April 2009. Pages 3-10.
Gruenwald J, Brendler T, et al(eds.) PDF for herbal medicines(2 nd Edition) New Jersey: Medical Economic Company, 2000: 858pp.
** Tasleem F, Azhar I, Ali SN, Perveen S, Mahmood ZA. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Piper nigrum L. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine. 2014;7(Suppl 1):S461-S468.