Sustainable Income Models

Notebook of Transferring Herbal Medicinal Wisdom

  • One day, Hoang (CIRUM field staff) was visiting Mr. Hung’s house in Khe Vap village, located in the forested mountains of Northern Vietnam. While having a chat about herbal medicinal plants, Mr. Hung proudly brought out an old Notebook, which Hoang immediately recognized. It was the book that CIRUM had handed out long time ago to Hung’s father, Mr.Tai, when the herbal healers association had just been established. In this Notebook Mr.Tai had dried and sticked various herbal plants with the greatest care and had written down his knowledge on the medicinal use of each plant.

    Mr. Tai who had passed away in 2008, used to be a respected herbal healer with fame in and outside the commune. He had attained extensive knowledge on herbal medicinal plants from his father. This knowledge is an important part of Dzao local wisdom and identity and in line with the Dzao tradition, Mr.Tai, his father and his ancestors had broadened their wisdom through going into the forest, studying herbal plants and curing villagers without expecting anything in return. With changing times, as income became more important, young villagers lost interest in herbal healing, including to Hung who for long time did not pay much attention to his father’s practice. However, his disinterest changed after CIRUM came into the community and took several initiatives to encourage traditional herbal healers towards the preserving, sharing and passing of their wisdom to the young. With his excitement and passion to exchange knowledge with others, Mr. Tai was a pioneer and a source of inspiration to other healers and the youth from the beginning.

    After realizing the values and contributions of this local wisdom, also Mr.Hung started to learn about herbal medicinal plants and he is continuing this practice with other healers up to date. As he states ‘to me this Notebook is an invaluable inheritance from my father and I wish I had started to learn from him long time ago’. Unfortunately Mr. Tai passed away before completing his Notebook, but Mr.Hung now completing the book, day by day.


    Pictures of transferring herbal medicience wisdom
    Mr. Hung showing us the herbal Notebook of his father, Mr.Tai (Picture: CIRUM)

    Mr. Tai training young people on the indigenous herbal plants in the forests of Khe Vap (Picture: CIRUM)

    Young and old herbal healers are placing the regulation board for the protection of the Herbal Conservation area, legally handed over to the Herbal Healers Association (Picture: CIRUM)