Healthy diet, including herbal drinks, don’t protect against Covid-19 but might help fight off illnesses in Pattaya

This sidecar that showed up on Soi 6 and Pattaya Beach Road plays on beliefs that finger root, ginger, lime, and other herbs can protect against Covid-19.

Pattaya residents fearful of Covid-19 are guzzling herbal remedies in the belief they will harden the immunity system to protect against the coronavirus.

Sales of herbal drinks made with fingerroot, ginger, lime and other natural ingredients are soaring amid the latest coronavirus wave despite overwhelming evidence and repeated warnings that they don’t prevent or cure Covid-19.

But a population that still divines lottery numbers from oddball trees and believes amulets can save them from car crashes can’t be convinced.

“Malee,” a sidecar vendor selling local herbs, said she travels around Pattaya selling the herbs to those who boil them to create herbal water, which they believe hardens the immune system. Hawking herbs is a big change from her previous work in a bar, she said.

Customer Pradit Martpang said he drinks ginger water instead of regular water, and has done so since the start of the latest Covid-19 outbreak. He gave ginger water to staff at massage parlors and bars as well.

He believes it works since he’s not been sick.

According to the British Journal of Nutrition, ginger water can help impede the growth of cancer cells because of the high-level antioxidants. It has also been shown to relieve inflammation and stimulate the Glutathione S-Transferase enzyme, which helps battle cancer.

The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences and Mahidol University earlier claimed that the active compounds found in fingerroot or Chinese ginger are effective in the fight against coronavirus. The claim was discredited by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine just three weeks later.

Customer Pradit Martpang said he drinks ginger water instead of regular water while waiting for his turn to get vaccinated.

Local lassies along Soi Chaiyapoon make ginger water to help fight off illness while waiting for the government’s vaccines.

A big pot of ginger water is being boiled for distribution – at least it smells nice.

Saiying Muangthong, Chairwoman of Arunothai Primary health care center, said that a healthy diet that includes local herbs can help stave off illnesses.

Ummmmm, looks delicious – a spicy stir-fried dish with finger root, basil, and green peppercorn, has become popular at the Kru Sangkaew restaurant in Soi Khopai.