In October 2021, the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) was held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, and saw great participation. A sea of flowers and attractive Yunnan cuisine on the table stole the show. But do you know what you see and taste could have a therapeutic effect?
Yes, it's "Dai medicine".
The Dai people in China mainly live in Yunnan Province where traditional medicine has developed for thousands of years. It is one of the four major ethnic medicines in China. Dai medicine has both internal and external uses, including some unique treatment methods. For example, they let the patients sleep directly on the medicine. Yunnan’s rich medicinal plant resources are a gift of nature.
The Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province is the region with the most intact tropical ecosystem in China. The tropical rain forest in Xishuangbanna is recognized as the "world natural gene bank". The growth of Dai medicinal herbs is closely related to the biodiversity environment. Every Dai stockade is a biodiversity community full of Dai medicinal herbs. Even the Cassia siamea Lam wood commonly used by the Dai family as firewood is a Dai medicine, which has the effects of clearing heat, hemostasis and removing blood stasis and can treat stomach pain. There are many kinds of wild orchids in the rainforest. Almost all kinds of orchids can be used as medicine. There are more than 2,000 known Dai medicine varieties in the tropical rainforest of Xishuangbanna. Dai families have more than 100 kinds of medicinal plants in their food every year. It is no wonder then that Dai people live longer.
After thousands of years of practice, Dai people have concluded that the curative effect of Dai medicine is closely related to its growth environment. For example, drugs that grow on cliffs and steep walls and with swollen joints can mostly treat fractures and other bone injuries. Most of the drugs grown in lakes and water can be used to treat rheumatism, numbness, edema; Most of the drugs with red flowers can be used to replenish Qi and blood and stop bleeding; The medicine with white flowers and white pulp can be used to calm the nerves and detoxify.
It can be seen that biodiversity is the foundation of Dai medicine. In the process of economic and social development, the biodiversity of Yunnan villages has also been damaged to some extent. Now, Yunnan is actively "returning glue to forest". Taking Manyuan village with very primitive characteristics as an example, every household has planted alpine plants with high economic value dominated by Dai medicine on the withdrawn rubber forest land and banana land, which has alleviated land degradation and contributed to the development of Dai medicine. At the same time, it has achieved the "win-win" goal of increasing villagers' income.
A variety of medicinal plants not only ensure the healthy reproduction of local ethnic minorities, but also create the "secret recipe" to protect human health. October 22 is celebrated as the "World Traditional Medicine Day". With the scientific protection of biodiversity, the establishment of various research institutions, the comprehensive collection of folk prescriptions, exchanges and cooperation with Thailand and other countries, the development of ancient Dai medicine has entered a new stage and is growing by leaps and bounds.