Alternative medicines

The power of herbal medicine – Bangkok Post

Summary

Fah talai jone capsules. Photo: Karnjana Karnjanatawe

Earlier this year, health-conscious customers were seen queuing up at a herbal retailer in a Bangkok neighbourhood in hopes of buying a few bottles of fah talai jone (green chiretta) capsules. With a surge of Covid-19 cases earlier this year, the herbal product made them feel secure and gave them hope of relying on something else besides Favipi…….

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Fah talai jone capsules. Photo: Karnjana Karnjanatawe

Earlier this year, health-conscious customers were seen queuing up at a herbal retailer in a Bangkok neighbourhood in hopes of buying a few bottles of fah talai jone (green chiretta) capsules. With a surge of Covid-19 cases earlier this year, the herbal product made them feel secure and gave them hope of relying on something else besides Favipiravir.

Not everyone, however, got what they wanted.

“Stocks are limited. Each customer can purchase a maximum of two bottles,” read a sign at the store’s cashier. Despite this, the shop ran out of stock fairly quickly.

Over the past few years, an increasing number of Thais have turned to traditional herbs as a shield, if not a cure, against the novel coronavirus following waves of the pandemic that first hit the country in 2020. The extracts of not only fah talai jone but other garden herbs, many that people are already familiar with, such as kra chai (finger roots), turmeric, ginger and Indian gooseberry have become sought-after items amid public health crises.

The popularity of traditional herbs in the fight against the outbreak is, however, not without controversy. Many still frown upon medicinal plants, citing a lack of research and scientific proof to back up their efficacy against the life-threatening virus.

Pharmacist Anchalee Chuthaputti from the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine under the Ministry of Public Health said at the 11th National Conference in Toxicology that Thailand is not the only country to turn to herbal medicines in the fight against Covid-19. Nations like China and India have also undertaken similar paths.

“Traditional medicine has had a role during Covid-19 because people use herbs as an immunity booster. In countries like China and India, traditional medicine is integrated with modern medicine in their fight against the disease,” said Anchalee in a session titled “Herbal Medicines For Immunity”. The 11th National Conference in Toxicology was organised recently by Mahidol University’s Institute of Nutrition, the Thai Society of Toxicology, Thailand Risk Assessment Centre, the Thai Society of Clinical Toxicology, the Thai Environmental Mutagen Society, and Thailand Lab International.

In early 2020, China issued guidelines on how to treat Covid-19 with traditional Chinese medicine using certain medicinal formulas concocted specially for specific symptoms and organ systems. In India, the Ministry of AYUSH — short for Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy — also released the National Clinical Management Protocol to care for Covid-19 patients using the practice of Ayurveda and yoga.

“They believe that better health prevents Covid-19 infection. Several organisations, therefore, joined forces to use herbs to treat mild cases and educate people about how to use herbs,” the pharmacist added.

The global market of immune health supplements has grown dramatically due to the continuing outbreak. While the global market of dietary supplements to boost immunity was estimated at US$16.8 billion (556.2 billion …….

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/life/social-and-lifestyle/2212299/the-power-of-herbal-medicine