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.
Mor means “doctor” in Thai but Saengchai Haelerttrakul, who is widely known as Mor Saeng, has never received formal training as a physician.
“I have seriously studied herbs, though,” Saengchai said. “Also, I have herbal formulas from a Cambodian doctor. They can be used to treat a swollen brain and liver abscesses, etc.”
Saengchai said he had experimented with the formulas and tried to improve them on his own, initially by treating sick dogs.
After years of experiments with encouraging results, he started distributing the herbal mixtures to terminally ill patients.
Saengchai said 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 receive just palliative care,” he said.
To treat the patients, Saengchai has distributed herbal concoctions for free over the past decade on the first Sunday of each month with the help of sponsors who believe in the effectiveness of his formulas.
The concoctions have apparently worked well for some patients, Saengchai 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.
He estimated the number of recipients to be about 5,000 each month.
“But because these patients come to my place with their relatives, there are really big crowds,” he said.
With so many people heading to Saengchai’s house in Prachin Buri province on the first weekend of every month, local police have had to help facilitate the flow of traffic.
Saengchai said he hoped that relevant authorities would help to prove the effectiveness of his herbal concoctions with scientifically tested research.
A senior health official in Prachin Buri province said a sample of the concoctions had already been tested and it did not contain steroids.
Saengchai said his mixture consisted of fermented rice bran, Smilacaceae plants, Smilax glabra, which is also known as Chinaroot, and pollen.
“I am willing to share my formulas with people who are not profit-minded,” he said.