12 July 2024

Mahidol University has issued a statement, saying it has nothing to do with claims by product advertisers that extracts from Fingerroot, or Chinese ginger (boesenbergia rotunda), can kill the virus or stop the spread of COVID-19 in humans.

The statement, issued on Tuesday by Professor Dr. Banchong Mahaisavariya, rector of the university, said that the advertisers had referred to research reports, by the university and the Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS), about the efficacy of extracts from Fingerroot (Krachai Khao in Thai) in stopping the spread of the virus.

The statement said that the products being advertised are not produced by the university or TCELS and that they have nothing to do with the marketing or sales of the products, adding that the pictorial portrayal of their researchers in the product advertisements were included without the approval of the university or TCELS.

The statement said, however, that researchers had discovered that extracts from Fingerroot are effective at killing the SARS-CoV-​2 virus and stopping its spread in test tubes, but that more studies are underway to determine the safety and efficacy of the extracts and then the appropriate dosage for humans.

Nevertheless, it noted that Chinese ginger is a recognised medicinal herb and advised users to exercise discretion in their choices of products they use.

Fingerroot is a daily food ingredient and traditional medicine used in Southeast Asia and Indo-China. It has been shown to possess antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiulcer properties.