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Medicinal plant products earn their maker a healthy wage 

Today, many Lao people realise how important it is to take care of their health and are buying more and more traditional medicine products.
Owner of Sustainable Lao Agriculture Processing Products, Mr Souny Phomduangsy, is one of many people who have been successful in turning plants into health remedies and his traditional products are increasingly popular among customers.

Mr Souny Phomduangsy shows the products on sale at his booth at the Intellectual Property Fair held in Vientiane recently.

He makes health juices using sweetcorn, phaknork (pennywort), and yanang (Tiliacora triandra). He uses these plants to make juices after learning that they have a lot of health benefits.
Corn is a great source of calories and is also high in fibre. It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals.
Phaknork helps reduce high blood pressure, is good for wounds and skin diseases, helps with insomnia, nourishes the brain and skin, reduces swelling, is an inflammatory, and eases tiredness.
Yanang helps to reduce fever, relieves pain, stabilises blood pressure, stops the growth of cancerous cells and tumour formation, reduces body temperature, reduces sugar levels in diabetics, and has anti-inflammatory qualities that can alleviate and cure gout and arthritis, as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.
Mr Souny recounted the success of his venture to media who met him at the Intellectual Property Fair at Lao-ITECC where he was displaying his products.
As he works at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Centre, he knows that Laos has an abundance of medicinal plants. This got him thinking about how he could use them to boost his income.
Before deciding to use medicinal plants to make traditional medicines, Mr Souny learned that many such products are imported from neighbouring countries and are very popular in Laos.
Based on his years of experience at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Centre, he was confident he could put his ideas into practice.
He began by collecting medicinal plants that were easy to find, including plants that are popular vegetables. He decided to use these plants as the basis for making juices that would keep people healthy.
At first, he made juice for use only by his family and friends, who all gave him positive feedback. Based on this success, in 2007 he taught everything he had learnt to his wife so that they could run a small business together.
Today, the products made by Mr Souny, who lives in Phosavanh-neua village, Sisattanak district, can be found at minimarts in Vientiane and at organic markets.
In addition, he brings other items from the provinces that he can also sell as a further means of boosting his income. These include bael fruit juice, honey, cheobong chilli sauce and khayphaen (dried riverweed).
Since he began making and selling traditional remedies, he has earned about 6-7 million kip a month, which has been a huge boost to the household.
This is yet another good example of the way in which government staff spend their free time to supplement their income by earning extra money for their families. “These plants have helped my family to rise above poverty in a way that is sustainable,” Mr Souny said with satisfaction.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update May 20 , 2017 )

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