AFTER giving his herbal medicine to terminally-ill cancer patients free of charge for more than 13 years, Mr Saengchai Haelerttrakoon, or Mor Saeng as he is widely known, has decided to allow his medicine to be commercially produced on the condition that it is not too profit oriented.
On the first Sunday of every month, thousands of people queue in front of the house of Mor Saeng in Prachin Buri for what is believed to be a herbal cure to cancer.
He himself and his close friends, who act as sponsors and have for over a decade helped support him financially, are now feeling the pinch. “We are now at the end of the road,” he said in his recent Facebook Live netcast with Mr Suthichai Yoon.
He estimated the number of recipients to be about 5,000 each month receiving a pack of 10 capsules of medicine from him. “But because these patients come to my place with their relatives, there are really big crowds,” he said.
Now because of the high turnout, Mor Saeng’s assistants divided the people in four groups for proper management to make sure that all who were present were distributed the herbal medicine they needed.
One group was made up of old patients who used to come to Mor Saeng’s house to receive the medicine. The second group comprises relatives of the old patients who came to pick up the medicine on their behalf. The third was new cancer patients and their relatives made up the fourth group.
Most of the new patients were terminally ill and had been told by doctors at hospitals to return home because they could no longer be treated as they had reached the final stage of the illness. For these patients, Mor Saeng’s herbal medicine was the last option.
Mor means “doctor” in Thai but Mr Saengchai has never received formal training as a physician.
He said he has seriously studied herbs, though, and has herbal formulas from a Cambodian doctor. They can be used to treat a swollen brain and liver abscesses, etc.
He said he had experimented with the formulas and tried to improve them on his own, initially by treating sick cats and dogs.
After years of experiments with encouraging results, he started distributing the herbal mixtures to terminally ill patients.
Word-of-mouth had since spread that his herbal concoctions could fight cancer.
“If you ask me, I can tell you that people who come to me are looking for a last hope. They are terminally ill patients who now just receive palliative care,” he said.
The concoctions have apparently worked well for some patients, Mor Saeng said, with patients including people from all social classes and family backgrounds.
Only people who can produce doctor certificates stating that they have cancer can get the free herbal concoctions.
It was reported that the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine was conducting laboratorial tests of Mor Saeng’s herbal medicines to determine their efficacy in the treatment of what kinds of cancer.
A senior health official in Prachin Buri province said a sample of the concoctions had already been tested and it did not contain steroids.
Mor Saeng said his mixture consisted of fermented rice bran, Smilacaceae plants, Smilax glabra, which is also known as Chinaroot, and pollen.
He said he hoped that relevant authorities would help to prove the effectiveness of his herbal concoctions with scientifically tested research.
But now that he and his supporters are moving towards allowing his herbal concoctions to be commercially produced, what he and his team are seeking from the authorities is to allow the herbal concoctions to be commercialized as “food supplements”.
“I am willing to share my formulas with people who are not profit-minded,” he said, adding that foreign medical firms have approached him to buy his herbal formula.
“I have been in talks with a Thai team, among whom are some of my sponsors, to help produce the herbal medicine. One of the conditions is that 30,000 sets (of ten capsules) of the herbal medicine or food supplements have to be given to me free of charge so that I can continue to distribute them free of charge,” he said.
He added that as he heard some patients have bought those herbal medical packs he distributed from others who received them at a price as high as 5,000 baht.
Top: Mor Saeng, inset, and the herbal capsules he gives out to the public. Photo:Post Today
First in-text: A long queue people waiting for herbal medical capsules at Mor Saeng’s house in Prachin Buri. Photo: Thai Rath
By Kowit Sanandang