Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha on popularization of bone and joint medicine of the Red Dao people
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha is currently the Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Institute of Natural Compound Chemistry, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. She said that on a trip to Sa Pa, she saw the traditional bathing medicine being sold everywhere. This is a very famous bathing practice of the Red Dao people in Lao Cai province, which is said to support joint pain.
To use this herbal bath remedy, users must boil the medicinal herbs into bath water, then soak for 35 to 40 minutes to take effect. "This method is very complicated and time-consuming. Not to mention the ingredients and formula of the bath leaf are not clearly defined. At the same time, this remedy’s safety and effectiveness have not been proved by any scientific evidence when used for many different people," Assoc. Prof. Dr. said.
As a person who has pursued research on medicinal plants as well as traditional remedies for many years, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ha wants to delve into research. She wants to turn this remedy into an easy-to-use product that still works for everyone.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha
Ms. Ha submitted this research project to the L'Oréal - UNESCO For Women in Science Award Council. Professor and Academician Chau Van Minh, President of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Chairman of the Award Council, said that scientists have evaluated this as one of the three excellent projects of 2022. The Council presented her VND150 million to pursue research.
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ha, she will use this fund to survey and search for medicinal samples in Sa Pa district, Lao Cai province. "The process of collecting and surveying data will be the first foundation of my research work," she said. After that, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha aims to supplement scientific evidence for the remedy. From the research results, local people will better understand the value of the remedy to develop and replicate precious medicinal plants.
Professor and Academician Chau Van Minh, President of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Chairman of the Award Council, presents the award to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha. Photo: Quynh Anh
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha said that according to the initial survey, the remedy has 35 to 40 different types of medicinal herbs. However, there are many medicinal names that are local folk names. "We need to collect samples and determine the scientific names and then synthesize a standard scientific record of these medicinal herbs," Ms. Ha said. In the future, she will develop breeding and planting with local people to create a stable source of raw materials for the production of products.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Minh Ha has more than 20 years of pursuing the field of Organic Chemistry and Chemistry of Natural Compounds. She owns dozens of research results and medicinal extraction technology. There have been nearly 100 types of medicinal plants that are medicinal plants used in folk remedies, which have been deeply studied by her and her colleagues for their biological activities.
Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version