This year (2011), herbalists and trained members of the communities from 6 different herbal medicine clinics from 4 districts in the Karen State have produced numerous herbal medicines that have been applied in the treatment of more than 150 different kinds of diseases and illnesses including cancer, gastro-intestinal and respiratory diseases, fevers, colds, malaria, spasms and partial paralysis.
Income generated from the sale of herbal medicines (within and outside the project areas) is used in the maintenance of clinics, the production of herbal medicines and the acquisition of vessels for storage. As a result of prolonged armed conflict, poverty and displacement, communities find it difficult to operate financially viable herbal clinics. Sales of herbal medicines are on the basis of moral values: cost of treatment is based on a patient’s individual capacity. Not only do herbalists provide treatment, they also provide food for those patients who come from afar. In 2011, of the 6 clinics, 3 from three district recorded/collected information on income generated, which totaled a combined income of 73,415 Thai baht.
The Herbal Medicine and Healing projects are unique because more women are participating in these initiatives.These projects have contributed to improvements in family health, income generation, forest conservation and the revival of traditional herbal medicinal plants.