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Scientists discuss medicinal insects
(VietnamNet) 18:50, 2008/01/09
Hanoi Times – Over 200 scientists and doctors gathered in Hanoi at a conference about using insects in medicines last week. They are planning a five-year project researching medicinal insects.

Hanoi Times – Over 200 scientists and doctors gathered in Hanoi at a conference about using insects in medicines last week. They are planning a five-year project researching medicinal insects.

The conference attracted scientists and doctors from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as well as hospitals and universities.

This is the first time scientists and doctors have convened at a seminar to discuss using insects medicinally.

At the seminar, Dr. Le Xuan Hue from the Institute for Ecology and Fauna Resources announced his research of scorpions.

Vietnamese people often soak scorpions in alcohol to make a drink they believe strengthens their health or to use in massage. Scorpions are also mixed with some kinds of herbs to cure headaches and other diseases.

Doctor Tran Thi Hong Thuy from the Military Traditional Medicine Hospital released her research o­n earthworms (Pheretima asiatica Michaelsen). Accordingly, earthworms can be used to cure high blood pressure.

Dr. Dai Huy Ban and his co-workers from the Science and Technology Institute of Vietnam announced their research about Dong Trung Ha Thao (Asaria sp cordyceps roberti), an organism believed to shift between insect and plant. Dong Trung Ha Thao is a tonic comparable to Ginseng. In the past, o­nly royal families used this medicine. Research shows that Dong Trung Ha Thao is good for health and can be used to cure pulmonary tuberculosis and bronchitis, to stabilize blood pressure and strengthen sexual ability.

Scientists also presented their research about other species of insects, such as ants, worms, belostomatids, termites, etc.

According to Dinh Thanh Ha, from the Military Traditional Medicine Hospital - a member of the organizing board - a State-level research project, namely “preserving, exploiting and using insects in traditional medicines,” will be carried out from 2008 to 2013. To serve this project, an insect center will be established in Ba Vi, Son Tay province this year.

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