Cover page Indigenous South East Asian Herbal Remedies: Symptomatic relief for people with HIV/AIDS ISBN/DATE



Authors: Somsak Supawitkul, Rachanit Rachakid and Pornpimol Saksoong

Compiled by Marissa Marco, Phimjai Kananurak and Kannika Marco



By tapping into local knowledge of South East Asian indigenous plants with medicinal value, herbal remedies have been incorporated in the treatment of common symptoms and minor opportunistic infections among PWHAs. Modern medicines are often expensive, thus not accessible to many people, and sometimes associated with undesirable side effects. Besides providing symptomatic relief with fewer side effects than many modem medicines, indigenous plants are also effective nutritional supplements. Simple preparations and self-production by PWHAs, or in cooperation with a pharmacist or health care provider, enables self-reliance and avoidance of deceitful commercial sales or other misuses.
This option has been applied to AIDS affected people at Mae Chan hospital, in Mae Chan district, Chiang Rai province, Thailand. The Thai Ministry of Health has promoted the use of Thai herbs in hospitals for common symptoms, such as cough and constipation, since 1978. In 1985, Mae Chan hospital produced and utilized Thai herbs in a clinical setting, and in 1996, the day care center supported PWHA groups in the production of Thai herbs for self-care, income generation and group activity.
The plants described in the following pages have been used successfully in the treatment of opportunistic infections at Mae Chan hospital. Many of the plants have been internationally recognized for their medicinal properties and are undergoing further research into their application in modern medicine. However, the information provided here aims to promote self-care and treatment, not to provide cures.

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August 2002