The Medicinal plants catalog is a new project we have initiated to collect the most well-known powerful healing herbs and plants from all regions of Laos. Sacred Place supports the use of traditional herbal medicine in Laos and recognizes the powerful healing properties of these medicinal plants to cure and prevent many modern diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer, liver, kidney and intestinal disorders, auto immune diseases and much more. The objective of creating this catalog is to inform the reader and our visitors to Sacred Place about the healing properties of the most important medicinal plants we have in Laos, such as Moringa, Black Ginger, Carmuna and Reishi Mushroom and how they can be used.
Lao Traditional Medicine or “Ya Phurn Meuang Lao” dates back 4500 years to the first group of Lao people located in the southern part of present China. While the well documented practices started as early as the 14th century, after the establishment of the First Kingdom (Lane Xang Kingdom), the earliest practices of traditional medicine in Laos are still unclear. It is evident that Buddhist and Sino-Indian influences helped shape the traditional pharmacopoeia and practices used in traditional medicine. In addition to its abundance of traditional herbal knowledge, Laos contains immense areas of untouched pristine forest. These forests hold a wealth of information, medical and otherwise. It is thought by many scientists to be one of the “most botanically unexplored countries in all Asia”. In many of the Buddhist temple-compounds, or wats found in every village in Laos, young monks are trained in traditional medicine by older monks. Information about the uses of medicinal plants also appears in palm-leaf manuscripts located in the libraries of the larger wats, written several generations ago in old Lao and Pali -the language of the sacred Buddhist texts. Lao palm leaf manuscripts are typically written on leaves of the palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer L., Arecaceae), which are very thick and durable.
The government recognizes the importance of traditional medicine (TM) in Laos, and has established the Traditional Medicine Research Center (TMRC) under the Ministry of Public Health. The TMRC holds an ample library about traditional medicines, including a collection of medical palm leaf manuscripts. Many of these manuscripts have been translated from their original scripts into the modern Lao language, and into English but thousands of these manuscripts are waiting to be translated still. Finally it is very important to acknowledge that human beings have been using medicinal plants as a way to cure themselves of infections and diseases for thousands of years. It is only in the last 50-60 years that the pharmaceutical industry emerged and started designing synthetic man made medicine to cure these diseases based on the medicinal properties of herbal plant medicine.