Updated  
March, 14 2012 10:25:01

What's up, Doc ? (14-03-2012)

What's Up, Doc? runs on our Health Page every Wednesday and features questions from our readers about their health concerns. Email your questions to newsdesk@vnsmail.com.

Many of my Vietnamese friends have told me about folk treatments for coughs, pains and sore throats amongst others. Are there any guidebooks or other types of reference material on such treatments? Could you offer specific examples of some such techniques?

Harold Henderson, Ha Noi

Dear Mr. Henderson

Many of our folk treatment techniques such as xong (herbal steam bath) and cao gio (coining, or skin rubbing) have been specified in textbooks for training students at the Ha Noi Medical University.

A popular technique used to treat colds is xong.

To perform the technique, you firstly need to collect the leaves of medicinal plants such as bac ha (peppermint), tia to (perilla frutescens), huong nhu tia (ocimum tenuiflorum), tre (bamboo), duoi (streblus asper) and sa (cymbopogon).

Add the leaves to a pot under 2 centimetres of water. Cover the pot with a thick piece of paper or a banana leaf and boil for 1-3 minutes.

When done, take off the lid and use a chopstick to make a hole in the banana leaf so that the steam is gradually released.

Let the patient sit under a blanket by the pot with their clothes off and allow the steam to emanate the upper body. Staying like this for 10-15 minutes will make sure the patient sweats a lot and feel a sense of release.

After that, towel the body down and avoid exposure to the wind. Taking a bowl of onion rice soup is also advisable.

A herbal steam bath promotes good health as it stimulates blood circulation and helps eliminate toxins.

Xong is also used to ease fevers, headaches, nasal congestion and pains all over the body.

To avoid burns, do not touch the hot pot.

Xong should not be applied to those with low blood pressure or heart disease, sufferers of sunstroke or viral haemorrhagic fever, pregnant women and children below 15.

Dr Nguyen Quang Vinh

National Hospital of Traditional Medicine

The opinion expressed on this page does not reflect that of Viet Nam News.

Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

Light it up with fire on Hue's Truong Tien Bridge Light it up with fire on Hue's Truong Tien Bridge

The 150-year-old Truong Tien Bridge, which spans over the renowned Huong (Perfume) River in Hue City, was lit up by fire in an installation by French artist Carabosse on Friday evening.

Hospital provides free asthma treatment Hospital provides free asthma treatment

The Bach Mai General Hospital will provide free check-up consultations and treatment to newly asthmatic patients on April 26, to mark Global Asthma Day (May 1).

Failure to address water pollution has consequences 1    Failure to address water pollution has consequences

Viet Nam needs to have a comprehensive, unified set of rules to control water pollution in the country, because the problem has assumed very serious proportions, experts and officials said at workshop yesterday.

Tokyo police release VNA flight attendant Tokyo police release VNA flight attendant

Vietnam Airlines announced on Wednesday that the Japanese authorities had released its 25-year-old flight attendant who had been arrested on suspicion of smuggling stolen goods.

Paean to people with disabilities Paean to people with disabilities

A photo exhibition in Dong Nai Province underscores the will and perseverance of 25 disabled people who overcame their situation to lead normal lives.