The use of herbal medicine is now popular worldwide. The Thai Industrial Standards Institute is accelerating the setting of standards for Thai herbal products in order to upgrade them and create more confidence among consumers.
The Government places an emphasis on developing Thai herbs and is seeking to add higher value to them by processing them into medicine, food supplements, and health products. About 1,800 kinds of herbs are known in various local communities in Thailand for their medicinal properties. Out of this number, 300 have been used as raw materials to develop herbal products for sale in the market.
Aware of the importance of herbal plants, the Thai Industrial Standards Institute has joined hands with the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, under the Ministry of Public Health, in launching a project for developing the standards of the Thai herb industry. The objective is to improve the quality of Thai herbs, so that they will become more competitive in the international market.
Thailand has set a target that, by 2022, it will become a leading exporter of raw materials for herbal production in the ASEAN region. Demand for herbal plants is still high, as they can be used as raw materials for many industries.
Thailand’s first Master Plan on Thai Herbal Development, 2017-2021, comprises four strategies. In the first strategy, Thai herbal products with good potential will be promoted in response to the market demand in the country and overseas.
The second strategy seeks to develop the country’s herbal industry and market, so that Thai herbs will be competitive in the international market. The third strategy seeks to promote the use of herbal plants for medical treatment and health promotion. In the fourth strategy, health service administration and policy will be strengthened.
Many Thai herbal plants have been developed to higher standards and integrated into primary health care. The promotion of herbal medicine also aims to reduce the people’s medical expenses and the Government’s production costs for public health services.