Due to the new outbreak of COVID-19 in April 2021, the 3rd Army Area assigned military units in the northern region to plant Andrographis Paniculata to use as medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 with the following objectives:
1) To propagate for replanting and expanding the planting area, as well as to give the young plants to personnel, families, people, including agencies to use it as medicines for the treatment of COVID-19.
2) To process Andrographis Paniculata into capsules and use them as medicines to cure COVID-19 by cooperating with the institutes from the Ministry of Public Health that have standardized facilities and processing tools.
On October 19th, 2021, Lieutenant General Apichet Suesat, Commander of the 3rd Army Area/Director of Internal Security Operations Command 3, donated leaves dryer machines and capsule filling machines to the people for building community strength and self-reliant during this period of the Covid-19 epidemic at Bueng Thao Temple, Nong Son Sub-District, Sam Ngam District, Phichit Province.
On November 5th, 2021, the Tahaan Pan Dee Project, the 3rd Army Area, by the 3rd Army Support Command, Mueang District, Phitsanulok Province has harvested 34.70 kilograms of Andrographis Paniculata and 2 kilograms of dried Andrographis Paniculata to be donated to the temple in the production of Andrographis Paniculata capsules for succession and development, as well as for use in preventing and treating the outbreak of the COVID-19 to the people in the area.
Andrographis Paniculata is an annual plant, about 30-70 cm tall, with a bitter taste in every part, blooming into a bouquet, white petal, brown pods, and has seeds inside. It is an herb that has research supports and is on the National List of Essential Medicine. Covid-19 cases with mild symptoms can use it to reduce the risk of intense disease. It also has “Andrographolide” that helps inhibit the entry into cells and the replication of viral genetic material. Patients should take 180 milligrams of Andrographis Paniculata capsules three times a day for five days.
Andrographis Paniculata planting processes of Tahaan Pan Dee Project of the 3rd Army Area are as follows:
1. Propagating of Andrographis Paniculata has two methods as follows:
1.1 Propagate by seeds from completed mature pods that are red-brown and free from disease and insects. Before planting, soak the seeds in water at room temperature for 6-12 hours, then sow (mix the seeds with sand at a ratio of 1:1-2) or sprinkle the seeds. (Sprinkle in rows, dig shallow grooves in a long row, with a distance of about 40 centimeters between the rows, sprinkles the seeds, cover the soil thinly)
1.2 Cultivation by digging a hole about 15 cm wide, about 8-12 cm deep, in rows, 20-30 cm between plants, and 40 cm between rows.
2. Harvesting should do from the beginning of flowering up to 50%, or 90 days after planting, in order to obtain high active ingredients and should be harvested in the morning.
3. Harvest method: Cut the whole plant 5-10 cm above the soil.
4. Cultivated species: Follow the recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in planting two cultivars with high Andrographolide as follows:
4.1 Phichit 4-4 strains contain Andrographolides 12.20 grams per 100 grams of dry weight.
4.2 Phitsanulok 5-4 strains contain Andrographolides 8.89 grams per 100 grams of dry weight.
People who live in the area of 17 northern provinces can assure that the Royal Thai Army, by the 3rd Army Area, is ready to support people by sending personnel and military equipment to help people out of the crisis and integrating military capabilities in every aspect.