As one of the easiest herbs to grow and well-known its medicinal properties, “Fah-talai-jone” is traditionally used for treating a number of ailments in Thailand. With the rise in Covid-19 infections, the traditional medicinal herb Fah-talai-jone, or andrographis has been creating a strong center of interest.
Concerning a coronavirus-linked claim made about the herb, even though, there is no research which confirms that “Fah-talai-jone” can eliminate the virus, its medicinal properties are still in the center of attention.
Ms. Saengnapa Thongsa, Applied Thai traditional medical practitioner and Head of Applied Thai Traditional Medicine and Dr. Boonada Phamorn Pathomkul, Pharmacist and Head of drug and herbal research and development and Production and academic service center for health and beauty products, College of Thai Traditional Medicine Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi joined hands to provide an understanding of knowledge and perception of ” Fah-talai-jone” medicinal plants commonly seen growing in Southeast Asian countries and Thailand.
“Fah-talai-jone” is a traditional Thai medicinal plant that could easily be grown from seeds in humid climates and in various places including houses. Either growing in pots or anywhere around the house, this household medicine is considered to be one of the very best traditional medicine to protect user from coughing, sneezing, or having mild fever but should be used with caution.
Instructor Saengnapa Thongsa and Dr. Boonada gave interesting facts about this plant that it grows as a small erect shrubby herb having white flowers but in midyear the flower will then turn into purplish white with small red violet mark found on its pedal. Its branches are commonly found similar to other plants while its lance-shaped leaves tend to look waxy. The fruit is a greenish looking capsule when getting older, the fruit color will turn to brown with sharp ends. When the fruit breaks into halves, countless seeds will fall off and with suitable environment, more of these seeds will grow into plants, additionally all parts of “Fah-talai-jone” taste bitter.
“Many parts of Fah-talai-jone had essential medical properties except its seeds. For medical purposes, the plant should be collected before having flowers and thus for deriving best medicinal properties from the plant, harvesting the crop during flower blooming and seeds existing should be avoided. Therefore, the best time for harvesting the crop for medical purposes should be before appearance of flowers, after flowers falling off or without seeds.
Almost all parts of Fah-talai-jone are found to be very useful, especially the leaves where important substance called Addrophospholide was found. Interestingly, many other common were found to have essential medical substances on their root or duramen. But with small in size, the plant could effortlessly be processed for deriving its medical use using techniques such as drying and grinding. Surprisingly, addrophospholides was found in different parts of Fah-talai-jone but different in quantities.
“Fah-talai-jone is a bitter plant that is used for treating a number of ailments including sore throat and fever. Fascinating enough, a substances in the plant so called Addrodraffol has been found from various research that its properties could inhibit several types of bacteria, viruses and may well enhance human body’s immunity. Besides, the herb possibly will be used for treating those who have got diarrhea. “Fah-talai-jone now being listed in the National Drug List (Herbal drug category) of the Ministry of Public Health has also been used as medicine to prevent the common cold and flu as well as to treat gastrointestinal syndrome and respiratory infection.
In order to achieve treating the patient with “Fah Talai Jone”, understanding of how to use this herbal is very important!! Both guest speakers added that during the initial stage of having symptoms like sore-throat, fever or a lot of coughing, patient is recommended to take the medicine instantaneously but not excessively. One or two tablet should be taken at breakfast, lunch and dinner for effective treatment. However, the speakers also repeated that the users should be consuming the medicine only if symptoms like sore throat and fever start to appear. Never take medicine without having indications.
As mentioned before, with bitter taste and varied medical properties, the use of “Fah-talai-jone should be caution, especially with its effect on blood circulation. Therefore, having peripheral neuropathy that may cause numbness at the tip of fingers and feet, consumption of the medicine 14 days consecutively is forbidden.
Concerning Thai traditional herbal medicine use, most users are suggested to take these medicine prior to the actual meal due to the fact, taking them before meal could help body digest them easier resulting good absorption of useful substances for treatment of ailment. From a modern medicine point of view, when taking Thai traditional “Fah-talai-jone” medication, user should be aware that having them during the meal or after the meal might negatively be affecting the effectiveness of its treatment so taking the drug before the meal one or half an hour should be taken into account.
In case after taking the drug for more than 3 days and symptoms like fever, sore throat, etc. are to be found, user is recommended to see doctor for further diagnosis. The speakers also added that with its specialty in terms of its bitter cold taste, “Fah-talai-jone” is quite popular among a large group of people and therefore, for its convenient use, “Fah-talai-jone” is available in capsule or could be eaten fresh or dried but might find them a bit bitter than the capsule one. .
Even though “Fah-talai-jone” might have many beneficial medical properties, there are some adverse effects that user should be taken into account including symptoms such as numbness in hand or foot, itching, nauseous, difficulties in breathing etc. Moreover, mothers who need to breastfeed their young are recommended to stop using the drug.
In terms of its medical benefits, “Fah-talai-jone” helps user increase appetite and promotes strong sleep-wake cycles. To characterize its hot and cold medical properties, the user would be able to make use of its medicinal benefits. For example, during summer with hot weather, the medicine will help control the core body temperature maintaining the user good heat balance making them feel healthy.
Regarding to the Covid-19 situation in Thailand, Ms. Saengnapa Thongsa and Ms. Boonada ended their speech by emphasizing the importance of complying public health instructions to protect community and its people from the outbreak. They also recommended that everyone should be protecting themselves wearing mask, having well-cooked food, and washing hands with soap or 70% alcohol-based hand rub that could be used for eliminating the virus.
“Protecting your health and raising your awareness” are very important
“Take care of your health…with your self-awareness”