Thailand using prisoners to make unproven herbal medicine for Covid-19

Remand facilities across the country are using prisoners to produce herbal medicine that allegedly helps fight against Covid-19 symptoms, an official said on Thursday.

Ayuth Sintoppant, the Director of General of the Department of Corrections said, that the prisoners have produced 20 million Andrographis paniculata capsules to treat Covid-19 cases. The herbal medicine will be distributed to communities and other people.

Andrographis paniculata, known locally as Fah Talai Jone, has not been extensively studied in peer-reviewed papers. One study in the Critical Review of Food Science and Nutrition found the herb to have low potency and possible negative impact on metabolism.

However, according to Somsak Thepsuthin, the current Minister of Justice, the herb is an effective remedy for Covid-19. Each inmate is entitled to receive a minimum of 50 tablets for their treatment.

He stated that planting fah talai jone helps inmates develop skills that they can use after their release.

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