Highlights

Nano Herbal Medicine by Chula Veterinary Science for Dandy and Healthy Gamecocks


Chula Veterinary Science lecturer came up with nano herbal products for gamecocks’ skincare and health booster that help treat fungal infection, chicken mites, and parasites, with an aim to expand the use to commercial chicken farming, cosmetic industry, and human dermatological drugs.


Raising gamecocks has long been a Thai tradition, with its folk wisdom passed down from generation to generation. One of the folk wisdom is the use of herbs as health nourishment for the gamecocks, which is still being practiced by some.  Others have turned to chemical drugs that are harmful to both the animals and their owners.

Dr. Teerapong Yata, a lecturer of the Biochemistry Unit, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University values the wisdom of using traditional herbs to treat gamecocks, despite some weaknesses which can be fixed with modern technology.

“Traditional raw herbal materials cannot be used effectively by animal bodies,” Dr. Teeraphong said about the inspiration for the nano herbal products that can nourish the gamecocks’ health, and well-being while increasing their survival rate.

Dr. Teerapong Yata, a lecturer of the Biochemistry Unit, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University
Dr. Teerapong Yata
Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University

Gamecocks and the skin problems that can cost their lives

Dr. Teeraphong revealed that the gamecocks’ health problems are often caused by mites or parasites on their skin and in their feathers. They also suffer from fungal infection and eczema, which is visible as white flakes on their skin.

“Mites and parasites will feed on the blood and skin tissue of the gamecocks causing them stress. Hens won’t lay eggs. And if left untreated for a long period, the chicken will lose weight, suffer from anemia and their immune system is eventually compromised.”

Today, some gamecock farmers tackle this problem by immersing the whole chicken in water mixed with pesticides.

“This method may yield quick results, but it leaves pesticide residues in the chicken, which may be harmful to both the chickens and the farmers if left to accumulate over time,” warned Dr. Teerapong on the use of such harmful chemicals.  The traditional method to use herbal medicines may not be as effective.  Dr. Teerapong said that “the folk medicine for eczema is to rub turmeric powder on the chickens. A large amount of turmeric is needed but not very effective, because human or animal skin does not often allow anything to pass through easily.”

A variety of nano herbal products for gamecocks

Dr. Teerapong found a solution to the problem by using nanotechnology to deliver active ingredients through the skin more efficiently, and has developed the following products to address gamecocks’ health issues:

PhytoNano-Hydrogel to treat fungal infection in gamecocks

It is a product derived from two active ingredients from Thai herbs: eugenol from clove oil which is antifungal and antibacterial, and curcumin from turmeric that helps heal wounds and reduce inflammation of infected skin.

“This innovative nanotechnology that we developed is a combination of herbs with phyton nano-hydrogel technology that can retain water and is prepared from a polymer with a lattice structure, so, it has a special property to fix the molecules of active ingredients on the skin long enough for them to work effectively. Moreover, the “Phyto nanoparticles” delivery system enhances the ability of the ingredients to penetrate the skin tissues and let the active ingredients work more effectively.”

PhytoNano-Hydrogel to treat fungal infection in gamecocks
PhytoNano-Hydrogel to treat fungal infection in gamecocks

PhytoNano-SPRAY and PhytoNano-Particle Shampoo to repel chicken mites and parasites

These products use nanoparticles to encapsulate three essential oils: clove, cinnamon, and citronella, which can kill mites, repel mosquitoes, and are high in antioxidants.

PhytoNano-SPRAY and PhytoNano-Particle Shampoo to repel chicken mites and parasites
PhytoNano-SPRAY and PhytoNano-Particle Shampoo to repel chicken mites and parasites

PhytoNano-Hydrogel skincare from turmeric extract for gamecocks

These skincare products for gamecocks use rosocyanin compound derived from curcuminoids from turmeric and borate that nourishes and strengthens the chicken skin.  It helps keep the skin red, clear, and healthy. It is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal.

Recently, this product was supported by the National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) to be used commercially.

Phytonnano-Hydrogel from Turmeric Extract
Phytonnano-Hydrogel from Turmeric Extract

The future of nanotechnology for human and animal health

These nano herbal products not only benefit gamecocks but also chicken farming.  They can be used to treat both broiler and laying chickens suffering from health problems related to chicken mites.

“We may apply these products as a spray for the chicken coop to solve problems for broiler chicken and laying hens, and increase marketing opportunities,” Dr. Teerapong said, and concluded with the opportunity to bring nanotechnology innovations to other industries for human products such as cosmetics and various pharmaceutical products through nanoparticles delivery through the skin.”

Gamecocks before-after one week of products usage
Gamecocks before-after one week of products usage

Chula’s encouragement and support for research is excellent for teachers, students, and the public.

Associate Professor Dr. Suchana Chavanich Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University