Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lao traditional medicine institute appeals for more Covid research funding

Lao traditional medicine institute appeals for more Covid research funding

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman gets the coronavirus vaccine at Lao's Luang Namtha province. VIENTIANE TIMES FACEBOOK

Lao traditional medicine institute appeals for more Covid research funding

The Institute of Traditional Medicine, supervised by the Lao Ministry of Health, is submitting proposals to request additional government funding to support studies on the use of plant extracts to treat Covid patients.

The institute’s trials involves three plants, namely heartleaf or Houttuynia cordata (phak khao thong), green chiretta or Andrographis paniculata (la xa bee), and fingerroot or Boesenbergia rotunda (ka xai khao).

Institute of Traditional Medicine director-general Dr Bounleuane Douangdeuan told Vientiane Times: “We welcome any kind of support from interested sponsors to help our research. We would like to encourage as many people as possible to donate to this cause.”

Without more funding, the institute may not be able to make use of traditional medicine in the treatment of Covid patients because its budget for use in the research and production of medicines is limited, Dr Bounleuane said.

The Institute of Traditional Medicine owns land on which to grow plants used in traditional medicine and for use in the research, testing and certification of plants for medicinal use.

An important focus of the institute’s research is the cataloguing of indigenous species that can be used in the treatment of Covid-19 and the publishing of research results to serve as a reference for use by contemporary healers and the wider public.

The provision of additional funds will enable the institute to carry out more studies, analysis and quality assurance certification of plant extracts for medicinal purposes.

These substances are not on sale to the general public because they are only available for the treatment of people in the early stages of Covid-19.

Trials showed that patients’ condition improved within three days of treatment, Dr Bounleuane said.

Green chiretta is used to ease the initial symptoms of Covid-19 such as sore throat and inflammation. Modern studies have also focused on the benefits of the herbaceous plant for respiratory and digestive conditions.

The government’s policy is to encourage the integration of modern and traditional forms of medicine in primary healthcare facilities for the treatment of Covid-19 in local communities.

The overall goal is to broaden knowledge and capacity in the treatment of the virus using traditional medicine, an official from the institute said.

The initiative is an extension of the health sector development plan for 2016-2020 on the promotion, use and preservation of natural medicinal resources.

Most ASEAN countries have seen success in the use of plant extracts to treat the early stages of Covid-19, including Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, which have centres for the study of traditional medicine.



  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • Two major S’ville events could jumpstart international tourism: insiders

    Preah Sihanouk province is set to host two major international tourism-related events in late 2021 and early 2022, which insiders expect to ignite new interest among new and repeat foreign holidaymakers into visiting the Kingdom and significantly raise tourist arrivals from near zero in the Covid era.