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Traditional Medicine

The vietnamese traditional medicine has a long history Which started from the Hung Vuong dynasty about 2000 years B.C ago. Traditional medicine or oriental medicine was formed and based on interactions and influences between the two schools of chinese and vietnamese medicine for thousands of years ago from the 2nd century B.C. to the 9th century A.D.
 

 

The “Chronicle on the History of Vietnam Traditional Medicine has shown the important events happened during its forming and developing process. Among these events, it should be noted that Vietnamese people had discovered hundreds of medical remedies and accumulated a lot of experience in health care, disease prevention and treatment, many of which remain useful until now such as chewing betel, teeth dying for preventing being decayed, eating ginger for anti-malaria…). Since the Ly Dynasty (11th to 13th century), the Imperial Court had organized a medical division, and later changed to medical institute. Under the Tran Dynasty (13th to 14th century) medicinal herbs were planted, collected and used for disease treatment such as Duoc Son historical remain in Pha Lai- Quang Ninh province. This period witnessed many famous medical doctors who had made significant contributions to the development of Vietnamese traditional medicine, especially great physician Tue Tinh, known as the founder of Vietnamese traditional medicine. 
 
The greatest physicians are Tue Tinh (14th century) and Hai Thuong Lang Ong Le Huu Trac (18th century) who were well-known as the medical founders of Vietnam’s Traditional Medicine . 

 

 
Normally, according to Vietnamese tradition and custom, those who were considered as the most talented and successful men in any specific field were named as the saint. Tue Tinh was called the saint and founder of Vietnamese traditional medicine. He was also the author of some famous books such as Miracle Vietnamese Pharmacy and Great morality in art of medicine. He was the first man to give prominence to an idea of “the Vietnamese is treated by Vietnamese medicines”. 
 
Great physician Hai Thuong Lan Ong Le Huu Trac was the author of a great work about Vietnamese traditional medicine known as the encyclopedia of Vietnamese traditional Medicine with 28 episodes in 66 volumes “Medical origins with morality and skills”. On his 250th birthday, UNESCO has recognized and acknowledged him as a world’s cultural and well-known man for his great contribution to the development of traditional medicine and culture of the world. 
 
Royal Medical Physician Pham Cong Ban under the Tran dynasty (century XIII-XIV) was famous for his high virtue and great care for treatment of patients without any discrimination between the rich and the poor. Apart form his work as a medical physician in providing his medical care services to people, he spent his own money for emergency relief, taking care of the poor and disable patients, orphans and donated rice and medicines to people when epidemics happened. He had saved hundreds of lives, making a very bright example in the history of Vietnam medicine. 
 
Another Physician Tran Canh under the Tran Du Tong King Dynasty (Century XIV) had used an acupuncture technique to save the life of the King from drowning when the King was a small child. After the King had grown up and suffered from an impotency, Tran Canh himself successfully treated him again from this disease, enabling the King to have 3 sons. 
 
The Author Chu Van An (XIV Century) was very famous in the history of Vietnam’s culture not only as the Headmaster of Quoc Tu Giam college but also the author of the work "Detailed explanations to Medicine”. 


 
 
 
Great physician Tue Tinh, originally known as Nguyen Ba Tinh was born under the Tran Dynasty (Century XIV). In 1351, he passed an state exam orgnanized by the King and got a doctor degree. However, he refused to work a state mandarin but became a monk in a pagoda, making medicine and writing books. In 1385, he was arrested and brought to China as a tribute to the Minh Dynasty. In China, he was still well-known as an excellent physician and granted ‘Great Physician and Zen Buddhist’. The “Vietnamese Medicines as Magic” work consisted of 499 Vietnamese medical herbs, 3932 remedies for treating 184 types of diseases. The “Skills and knowledge of medical treatment” book recorded 630 Vietnamese medical herbs, 13 remedies for treating various diseases in Vietnamese way and 37 remedies for cold related disease treatment. 
 
Nguyen Dai Nang is a medical physician under the Ho Dynasty (1400-1406), a wizard who specialized in acupuncture in the early XV century of Vietnam and wrote a book on “Collection of Acupunctural techniques and methods”. The work of acupuncture methods was the earliest logically and structurally written in Vietnamese Nom Language by repeatedly using style of six word and eight word per sentence poetry in 3020 lines. Apart from dangerous spots of 14 pulses in acupuncture book of Oriental medicine, this work also showed some special vital points that Vietnamese physicians used at that time. 
 
Phan Phu Tien, the author of “Comprehensive Manuscripts of Flora” was the first pharmacy book published in Vietnam (1428). 
 
Nguyen Truc, author of “Bao anh luong phuong” - specializes in pediatrics in 1455. 
 
The great physicians in the XVI century such as Vu Toan Trai, Hoang Don Hoa royal physician and in century XVII such as teacher of the prince Nguyen Dao An. 
 
In additions, it is very important to mention about Hai Thuong Lang Ong Le Huu Trac, a great medical physician of Vietnam. He was a hypocrite. In the first episode of his book “ Morality and skills of medical physician”, it mentioned about “ teaching on consistent medical languages and morality’ and the moral virtue of medical doctors with 9 points and remains respected as forwards of textbook at pharmaceutical and medical Universities in Vietnam until now. The ministry of Health has taken it as regulations of traditional medical and pharmacy professions. 
 
Besides, there were also other famous physicians in the XVIII century that was considered as a golden Age in the history of Vietnam traditional medicine. For example, a physician Trinh Dinh Ngoan was born and worked under the Le Hien Tong dynasty who had made great contribution to constructing Thang Long Medical Temple. 
 
 Nguyen Huu Dao 
 Nguyen Hoanh 
 Nguyen Gia Phan 
 
Vietnam's hot and humid tropical climate provides for a cornucopia of medicinal plant species. As early as the 2nd century BC, Vietnamese have used hundreds of plant species for medicinal purposes. Statistics from the Vietnam Ministry of Health show that 1,300 medicinal plant species have been found in Vietnam.  
 
The extracts written by  
 
Le Khac Tam, PhD 
  
founder of Fitomuseum

 

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