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With No Vaccines in Sight Northern Thai People Turn to Ancient Herbs



With No Vaccines in Sight Northern Thai People Turn to Ancient Herbs

Without the arrival of the Covid vaccine on any acceptable scale on the horizon, many are turning to ancient herbs and natural ‘remedies’ to ward off the coronavirus or in an attempt to mitigate its severity.

The latest fad is the belief that the Kaempfer (fingerroot) plant is good for boosting the immune system with one small business capitalising on this latest trend, to great success.

Mae Rim Police Station’s coffee concession stand has taken to selling ten baht shots of concentrated kaempfer as well as hot kaempfer for 40 baht which has added lime and honey.

“For only ten baht we don’t have to bother to go and make it ourselves,” said Yim, 25 who says she stops by for a shot every morning on the way to work. “It may not work, it may work. I don’t know, but at ten baht I think it is worth trying.”

Sairung Lewalit, the 47 year old woman who owns the concession stand told CityNews that she got the idea after talking to the station’s chief inspector who is a health fanatic and likes to talk about herbs. She began to sell these drinks during the first shutdown last year, but it has begun to gain traction and interest over the past month as fears of the new surge grows.

She says that there is now so much interest she is beginning to package her drinks and hopes to market them to a wider clientele.

For those who wish to make this herbal drink at home, she recommends simply purchasing the root, cleaning and peeling it and putting it all in a blender with some hot water. Add a few tea spoonful of this blend in with honey and lime and the mixture can be kept in a fridge for months.

Meanwhile, As the delta variant of covid-19 continues its deadly surge throughout Thailand people have begun to hoarding the ancient herb green chiretta powder (fah talai jone) over its medicinal purposes in the fight against covid-19.

Known in Thailand as (fah talai jone) green chiretta has been in the spotlight following the surge in Covid-19 infection cases across Thailand. High in andrographolide that can kill some viruses, the Thai herb has been used to cure sicknesses like the flu, sore throat and infection in Asian countries such as China, India and Thailand for centuries.

Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Prachin Buri, one of the country’s leading herbal medicine producers, is now asking the public to avoid hoarding green chiretta powder, and gouging its price amid growing demand for the herb to help treat Covid-19.

Demand for the herb along with others which are deemed beneficial, including galangal and Indian gooseberry — has risen sharply after it was found to contain high levels of andrographolides, which can aid recovery from Covid-19.

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