Ginger won’t prevent Covid-19; Pattaya drinks it anyway

Not everyone suffers from the economic collapse. Some even prosper, such as Sao Sawangwannawong whose drink stand takes advantage of misguided belief ginger will prevent coronavirus.

Ginger cannot prevent you from contacting Covid-19 and has no effect on the coronavirus, but that isn’t stopping Pattaya residents from guzzling drinks made with the herb.

Soybean drink vendor Sao Sawangwannawong said Sept. 18 she’s selling lots of ginger-infused drinks at her Rai Wanasin Market stall, all to people who believe it will harden their immune systems to fend off the coronavirus.

But Sao is happy to take the money from selling seven times the usual amount of drinks – about 70 a day. She’s had some of her own concoction, not because it prevents Covid-19 but because it’s spicy and fizzy.

Apparently, she’s not alone. Due to high demand, ginger is now 50 percent more expensive than before the coronavirus.

Although ginger cannot prevent disease, some researchers say that ginger has anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories.

It’s not the first time Thais – including even the government – have flocked to unproven herbal “remedies” for Covid-19.

Green chiretta, also known as “Indian echinacea” or “battler stick” was given in doses 12 times higher than recommended to prison inmates by the Corrections Department, despite the fact that use may trigger fatigue, headache, nausea, diarrhea, an allergic reaction, and lower blood sugar levels to dangerous levels for diabetics and exacerbate bleeding ulcers.

Sao’s business is booming. Before the pandemic, she said she went through 2 kg of ginger to make her drinks for sale; now she uses over 5 kg. Although there is no ginger shortage, prices have increased from 500 baht to 750 baht per 20 kg.

Sao’s drink shop is located next to the Rai Wanasin Market.