FTI touts herb to treat workers
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is preparing to give 100,000 seeds of fa thalai jone herbs to factories for planting under a plan to treat workers infected with Covid-19.
Fa thalai jone (Andrographis paniculata) is currently in the spotlight after a study by the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine found it can treat symptoms of Covid-19 patients.
The herb can help workers as many of them have yet to receive vaccines amid a surge in daily infections, said Sakchai Unchittikul, vice-chairman of FTI and chairman of the Institute of Agro-Based Industries.
"Around 12,000 factories which are members of the FTI are expected to receive fa thalai jone seeds within this week," he said.
"Many factories have prepared land to grow the herbs."
The FTI will give fa thalai jone to factories various different amounts -- 50, 100 and 200 seeds -- based on their needs. Manuals to plant the herbs will be also distributed.
"The herbs can be harvested within 110-120 days. They require a short time to grow," said Mr Sakchai.
The FTI hopes the seed distribution project will be another way to help factories deal with Covid-19 infections which have also hit the industrial sector.
The herbs will also help the government treat Covid-19 patients, said Mr Sakchai.
Huge demand for fa thalai jone, which is also known as kariyat, has led to its shortage nationwide of the herb as people are advised to use it to treat Covid-19 symptoms.
Meatha Simavara, chairman of the Herbal Industry Club, said demand for fa thalai jone increased by three times from previous demand during the first Covid-19 outbreak last year.
"Thailand will face a fa thalai jone shortage for around 1-2 months," Mr Meatha said.
"The club expects there will be more fa thalai jone products in the next 3-4 months, following the next harvest."
The Corrections Department said earlier Covid-infected inmates with minor symptoms responded well to herbal medicines.