The Ministry of Public Health has handed over 600,000 fatalaijone capsules to affiliated hospitals nationwide to treat Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms.
"Fatalaijone possesses the ability to suppress virus expansion among patients with mild symptoms. Yet it must be used along with modern medicines," said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
"Most patients were getting better and above all, they have shown no side effects after taking this traditional herbal medicine."
The delivery and use of the traditional medicine will be overseen by the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTAM) under the ministry. It is estimated that 600,000 pills are enough to treat 15,000 patients.
Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary of the ministry, said fatalaijone extract contains andrographolide, which can eliminate and suppress the expansion of the virus.
Andrographolide (fatalaijone) is traditional medicine extracted from the leaves and stems of the Andrographolide plant. Traditional and alternative medicine practitioners have used this extract which has anti-inflammatory properties to cure infections and boost immunity.
If a patient takes 180 miligrammes each day, their symptoms are usually better by the third day. There are no side effects and it will save on import costs, Dr Kiattiphum said.
Dr Amporn Benjaponpithak, director-general of the DTAM, said staff worked with nine affiliated hospitals to treat 309 patients with mild symptoms during the outbreak last December.
Of 309 patients, 306 got better in five days, while only three getting worse.
"It showed it is the best alternative for patients with mild symptoms. Furthermore, it is easy to plant fatalaijone and it costs about 180 baht to treat a patient," she said.
So far, the DTAM has entered an arrangement with affiliated hospitals, the Department of Medical Sciences and Government Pharmaceutical Organization for additional study to assure the efficiency of fatalaijone.