Scientists from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology’s Institute of Marine Biochemistry have identified many valuable compounds in the Cây Lược Vàng plant, whose scientific name is Callisia fragrans.
The compounds included ecdysteroid, megastigmane, adenosine and N-trans-feruloytyramine agents, which can be used in preventing inflammation and osteomalacia, protecting the nervous system and improving the immune system, said Nguyen Van Hung, chairman of the institute’s scientific council.
To find the medicinal agents, scientists from the institute conducted tests on more than 400kg of the plant, which was supplied by the Hai Phong Education and Labour Centre.
Different parts of the tree were dried, soaked with methanol solvent and carefully studied.
The luoc vang has been used traditionally to relieve pain, reduce fever and treat digestive disorders for many generations. As the treatment is so effective, scientists from the institute last year decided to conduct research on the plant, said Hung.
“It was the first time in the country, as well as in the world, that official research on the tree’s chemical composition and biological effects has been carried out,” he said.
Hung said the institute plans to continue its research before manufacturing products from the plant.
“However, the path from researching to manufacturing products is extremely hard and needs contributions from relevant ministries and sectors,” said Hung.
Before products from the plant are produced, residents can continue to use traditional medicine derived from the plant, as initial research by the institute showed that these treatments were safe, he added.
Associate professor Nong Van Hai, director of the academy’s Genom Institute denied claims that the luoc vang plant contains poisonous agents, as reported by some e-newspapers.
Hai said that the institute’s research showed that the plant’s toxicity rate was very low and did not affect people’s health. The plant has antibiotic agents that benefit a person’s metabolism.