Thailand eyes increased market value of herbal products

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BANGKOK, Sept 4 – Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is targeting a growing market for herbal products, rising from Bt300 million to Bt500 million and a market value for herbal dietary supplements from Bt8 billion to BT10 billion 

Thailand’s 10th National Herb Expo officially began in Bangkok yesterday and will run through Sunday.

Deputy Health Minister Sorawong Thienthong presided over the opening of the five-day event themed “Thai Herbs, Thai Health and Thai Economy”, with Pueraria Mirifica, Tiger Herbal, Fingerroot, Bengal root and herbal compress balls chosen as highlighted herbal medicine for Thais that can be used as an alternative medicine or in addition to conventional medicine.

According to Mr Sorawong, the ministry has targeted increasing herbal usage by more than 14 per cent.

Meanwhile, Government Pharmaceutical Organisation director Suwat Siasiriwattana revealed that a new lice treatment product made from extract of custard apple seeds has been introduced this year to reduce import of lice treatment products.

The product is based on research by Chiang Mai University and only costs 45 baht each (US$1.40). Siriraj Hospital also released Derris Scandens Extract capsule for osteoarthritis treatment as a substitute for use of Glucosamine. The product is now pending registration with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.

Mr Suwat said development of cumin cream, with lakoocha or mahad in Thai and daisy added to the ingredients will take place next year and the products should be ready to enter the market by the end of February.

Today’s event draws large number of visitors to shop for various herbal products. Some choose to receive traditional-style health check-up, while others also received free turmeric, horseradish and other herb seedlings.