Public Health Ministry aims to make Thailand a ‘herbal center’
Anutin added that the government would also encourage the use of herbs by Thai people in their food, in line with the government’s policy to publicize Thai food around the world.
He said using herbs to make special dishes would increase the income of Thai people and communities.
The minister said the government would also promote traditional Thai massage, which was listed by Unesco as a world heritage culture in 2019, in a venture that would attract foreign tourists and generate huge revenue for the country.
Anutin said he believes spa businesses that promote traditional massage and health tourism as well as teaching foreigners about Thai massage will generate more than 300 million baht in revenue in the near future.
The Minister added that he considers marijuana a kind of herb for medical use, so the Ministry of Public Health supports its use for medical purposes and supports its use in beauty products and research.
Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrachit, permanent secretary for public health, said the National Herbal Expo is a popular event and attracts more than 200,000 attendees each year.
He said the exhibition has helped Thai farmers sell millions of baht of their herbs to visitors to the fair, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday.
The fair has an Innovation Zone that showcases Thai herbal technologies and products. There are also business matches for Thai and foreign investors in the area.
Some of the interesting stands in the Innovation Zone include the Beauty & Cosmetic Wellness Ganja stand.
There is also the Wisdom area which features well-known traditional practitioners from all four regions of Thailand as well as demonstrations of alternative medicine and massage.
Inside an academic area, visitors can take 27 free short courses on traditional Thai medicines and there are also academic meetings.
Kiattiphum said some 300 herbs are given out free of charge each day.
On the first day of the fair, Anutin presented an award for outstanding performance to a traditional medicine practitioner, Ia Saikrasoon, 72, from Surin province.
He is credited with using herbs to cure poisonous snakebites and several other symptoms, including hemorrhoids and menstrual pain.