The Thai Ministry of Public Health has approved the use of Fah Talai Jone (andrographis paniculata), a Thai traditional herbal medicine, in the treatment of mild symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
The National Drug Development Committee, headed by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, has issued an announcement to add Fah Talai Jone to the national essential herbal medicine list, paving the way for its use in COVID-19 patients who are suffering mild symptoms.
The announcement has been published in the Royal Gazette and is now in effect.
The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine and Thai traditional medicine practitioners have long been fighting for the Ministry of Public Health to recognize that the herb can ease some COVID-19 symptoms.
The department claims that clinical trials of the drug show it is efficacious in people infected with the virus. The department’s effort to have the herbal medicine formally recognized has, however, met with stiff resistance from what it calls “western-trained” physicians, claiming that there is no scientific proof about the benefit the drug in the fight against COVID-19.