The Protection and Promotion of Thai Traditional Medicine Knowledge Act B.E. 2542 (1999)

  • General Information

The scope of this law is to protect the wisdom of Thai traditional medicine, including traditional drug formulas and Thai traditional medicine textbooks, and Thai herbs which are the herbs per se as well as the areas of their sources.

According to this Act, the Thai traditional medicine knowledge and wisdom is classified into three types:

  1. Traditional Thai drug formulas or Thai traditional medicine textbooks of the nation;
  2. General Thai traditional drug formulas or general Thai traditional medicine textbooks; and
  3. Private Thai traditional drug formulas or personal Thai traditional medicine textbooks.

The monitoring and protection of each type of Thai traditional medicine wisdom involve different criteria; the use of the country’s Thai traditional drug formulas for commercial purposes has to get permission with an agreement on benefit sharing, right limitation, procedures and conditions as specified in the ministerial regulations.

Regarding the protection of herbs, herbs are divided into three groups; namely. herbs deserving research, herbs of economic importance, and herbs nearing extinction or endangered herbs.  The control and utilization measures will be different according to the type of herbs.  According to the law, herbs do not include only plants, but also animals, microorganisms, minerals, and original extracts from plants or animals.

The control of access to herbs under this law is carried out using two methods:

  1. issuing a notification of “controlled herbs” especially those valuable for research, of economic importance or nearing extinction (Section 44); and
  2. issuing a notification of a “protected area for herbs” in case such an area is the provenance or origin of herbs, or its biodiversity may be damaged, or the nature of herb utilization is at risk of becoming extinct or declining genetically, or the state intends to use such an area for promoting public participation in the management, development and utilization of herbs in the area, whereas the area has not been declared as a conservation zone as per Section 61.  After the “protected area for herbs” has been declared, ministerial regulations will be issued to specify various protection measures related to access, utilization, management procedures, etc.[1,2]


  • Contact Details

Bureau of Protection TTM Knowledge and Medicine Plants
Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine
Ministry of Public Health
Tiwanont Road, Muang
Nonthaburi, 11000 Thailand
Tel: +662 590 2608
Fax: +662 149 5607


  1. Petrakard P, Chankittiwat V. Protection of Wisdom of Thai Traditional Medicine.  In: Chokevivat V, Wibulpolprasert S, Petrakard P. eds. Thai Traditional and Alternative Health Profile: Thai Traditional Medicine, Indigenous Medicine and Alternative Medicine 2009-2010. Bangkok: War Veterans Organization Office of Printing Mill. 2012. p. 313-14.
  2. The Protection and Promotion of Thai Traditional Medicine Knowledge Act B.E. 2542 (1999). [cited 2012 Oct 6]. Available from:



National Health Commission

National Health Commission Office of Thailand

National Health Building, 3rd Floor,

88/39, Tiwanont 14 Rd., Muang District,

Nonthaburi 11000 Thailand.

Tel: +66-2832-9000