Fa-Thalai-Chon (FTC) For Prevention of COVID-19 Infection
A plant widely used in Asia for upper respiratory tract infection is getting a close attention in the medical community for preventing Corona virus infection. Researchers in Thailand reported that in a study of 832 patients with mild symptomatic Covid-19 infections, they found that those who took the herb, popularly known as Fa-Thalai-Chon (FTC), for five days showed a significant improvement in their conditions within five days.
The study, conducted in December 2020 involved 832 patients in nine government hospitals, with 309 of them given the herbal medicine. Researchers reported that 306 out of 309 showed “a significant reduction in symptoms starting day 3 with continuous reduction in viral loads, and none (virus) could be detected on day 5.” They said that three patients developed pneumonia but finally recovered.
In contrast, the researchers reported, 77 patients from the group of 526 who didn’t receive the medicine showed increased severity of symptoms, including pneumonia, or required intubation. “We conclude that FTC can treat mild Covid-19 infections and prevent pneumonia by 94.3%,” said the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, which conducted the study. 1
Although long in use, andrographolide in FTC is now receiving heightened interest due to the resurgence of Covid-19 infections.
In a retrospective study conducted by another group of researchers in Thailand between December 2020 - March 2021 of 539 asymptomatic or mild covid-19 cases found that andrographolide in FTC had 98.8% efficacy in preventing pneumonia. Dr Amporn Benjaponpitak, lead investigator and Director-General, Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, concluded that “Given a correct dosage of FTC in a timely manner to 4 early COVID-19 cases can prevent 1 pnuemonitis case. The only case in FTC group that developed pneumonitis was because of late administration, i.e, FTC was given on day 11 after the manifestation of symptoms.” 2