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Reinvigoration of the Thai Medicinal Plants through a New Approach

Reinvigoration of the Thai Medicinal Plants through a New Approach
Researcher :
Sireeruckhachati Nature Learning Park, Mahidol University

Background :
Located at the center of ASEAN with its abundance in all kinds of natural resources including forests and medicinal plants, Thailand possesses its own heritage and wisdom in traditional and folk medicine as well as its unique techniques of traditional pharmacy that have been passed down from generation to generation for more than 800 years. The faith in its own traditional medicine and pharmacy gradually declined since the introduction of the western school of medicine at the beginning of the 20th century. However, nowadays the modern lifestyle has returned into reinventing of conventional wisdom including traditional medicine and pharmacy.

The Royal Thai Government has the policy to encourage more research and development in the medicinal plants with an aim to promote high-quality traditional medical products to the domestic and global markets. Without paying a serious attention to conservation, research and cultivation, many potential medicinal plants for production scale and rare species may soon disappear from Thailand. The public awareness through modern learning methods is also needed to be promoted.

With its physical, academic and personnel capability, Mahidol University stands ready to respond to these special needs and strive for excellent as a regional learning center of traditional medicine and pharmacy.

Sireeruckhacharti Nature Learning Park has been developed on top of the success of the existing medicinal plants garden. Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has graciously granted the name “Sireeruckhacharti” for this garden in 1988. Currently, the park is developing into 55-acre and running by the budget of the Government and the University as well as financial support from private sector.

Vision :
To be world-class medicinal plant and nature learning center as well as a cultural tourist attraction of the region.

• To create a novel medicinal plant and nature learning center for health benefits of THAI and Foreign prospects through Conservation, Education, Reference, and translational research to application.
• To promote public awareness by using modern media and presentation that meets the learning nature of different groups of visitors.
• To translate researches in medicinal plants into modern agricultural innovation for the betterment of Thai farmer’s life’s.

“The display of Thai medicinal plants”, of more than 800 species, is separated into 6 learning zones including the zone for handicaps and elderly. The Park deploys various kind of learning material and media such as maps, QR code, video presentations and “Botamon” mobile application game.
“Medicinal plants: From Thai traditional wisdom to global health” a permanent exhibition that provides the knowledge of medicinal plants, from their habitat to products and the ability to use them in daily life; various learning media are available.
“Botanical reference Centre on Thai medicinal plants” is composed of herbarium, DNA bank, and crude drugs and seed collection. The research outcome of the biotechnology laboratory will provide alternative approaches of the Thai farmers.
“Learning activities”, the park provides various educational programs that fit the interest of different groups of visitors and also provide medical and health service to public by our applied Thai traditional doctors.

Expected Results:
1.) Thailand becomes a centre for medicinal plants conservation.
2.) The Park will be a learning centre in medicinal plants for all groups of people, including those with disabilities.
3.) The people use more medicinal plants in their everyday life, both for preventive and treatment.
4.) More researches and development in the field of medicinal plants have been conducted with the objective to translate the academic knowledge into modern technology which will strengthen the agro-industrial sector of the country.
5.) The Park plays an important role in conserving the endangered medicinal plants and cultivating them into the forest.
6.) The Park serves as a world-class centre of reference for medicinal plants.

Contact :
Sireeruckhachati Nature Learning Park, Mahidol University
+66 2 441 5272 - 4