Members of the Wang Tha Chang community tend kariyat plants in the Kabin Buri district of Prachin Buri. (Photo: Manit Sanubboon)
PRACHIN BURI: There is a growing demand for kariyat herb powder, better known in Thai as fa thalai jone, since it has been widely recognized as being effective in treating symptoms of Covid-19 disease.
And the Wang Tha Chang community in Kabin Buri district is benefiting from the demand.
Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in the Muang district of this eastern province has played a leading role in introducing sick patients who thought they had Covid-19 to kariyat (Andrographis paniculata), also known as chiretta green.
Kariyat was then recommended by many other herbal experts as being effective in treating viral infection.
As a result, Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital was inundated with orders for kariyat in capsule form. Kariyat has been distributed to field hospitals across the country to treat patients with mild to moderate Covid symptoms. Pharmacies are also reporting a huge demand for kariyat capsules.
Kariyat has become a household plant because people cultivate it for their own use.
Many locals say that if they have a cough, sore throat or fever, they will recover quickly after taking kariyat.
With the herb in such high demand, community enterprise Wang Tha Chang in Kabin Buri district grows kariyat and supplies it to Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr hospital for use in their treatments.
Sunthorn Thongkham, the community leader, said when the plant is two months old, its stems, branches and leaves are harvested, chopped and dried in the sun. The dried herb is then ground into a powder, which is put into capsules for sale.
The price is 80 baht for 100 capsules.
Mr. Sunthorn said that those interested in cultivating kariyat for their own use can see a demonstration land at Wang Tha Chang Community Enterprise in tambon Wang Tha Chang, Kabin Buri District, or call 089- 2465268 for more information.