Herbal Medicine in Bangkok

While it is easy to get the impression that Thai people routinely use traditional medicine, including herbs, that is generally not the case for Bangkokians. You will not find village elders hidden away in stilted houses brewing teas and mixing natural ingredients. Most urban Thais see MD’s – many of whom have been trained in the west.

Herbal remedies are, however, more widely available than in the west and this is especially true in Chinatown where you will find scores of shops. Unfortunately, there is usually a language barrier which makes getting what you want, never mind learning something, very difficult.

Still, Chinatown is worth visiting in its own right, and if you are interested in traditional medicine, you should find it worthwhile taking a walking tour and browsing around the numerous shops.

You will find Chinatown in the Yaowarat – Charoen Krung (New Road) area. North of the Chinatown-Pahurat area, with it fascinating back streets, is Luang Road, south is the Chao Phraya River, east is the Krung Kasem Road and west the Ong Ang canal.

If you are at Chatuchak Market, you will find health food shops near Chamlong’s vegetarian restaurant.

On the high end of the price scale is the Krung Siam St. Carlos Medical Center. It claims to be “the first integrated Thai herbal medical center in Asia.” It is in Patumthani, 8 kilometers from Don Muang International Airport. The center offers a number of services in addition to herbal treatments. For all practical purpose, it is a spa.