Medicinal Plant, Anoectochilus: Distribution, Ecology, Commercial Value and Use in North Vietnam
Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International
Anoectochilus orchids have been widely used as medicine. However, it has been overharvested in nature because of high commercial values. This study aims at identifying distribution ranges and ecological characteristics of Anoectochilus orchids serving for sustainable development and describing traditional uses by ethnic people in Lai Chau Province, North Vietnam. Methods: Twenty-one plots of 100 m2 each (10 m × 10 m) were established for ecological survey and stand structures were analyzed for
... were analyzed for vegetation characteristics. While interviewing was applied to gather information on harvesting method, marketing, and medicinal uses. Results: Three Anoectochilus orchids (A. lanceolatus, A. calcareus, and A. setaceus) were found in Lai Chau Province, North Vietnam. These species distribute in both evergreen old-growth and secondary broadleaved forests, and mixed broadleaf-bamboo forest on the elevations of 996–2,134 m. They grow in forests with a high canopy cover of 67 m2 canopy area/ 100 m2 land and high cover (> 90% land) of low vegetation (< 2 m tall). It is believed that using the whole plant of Anoectochilus can treat hypertension and diabetes mellitus and improve the development of underdeveloped children. The folk uses include soaking in alcohol and boiled water for daily drinks like green tea, and consuming as a vegetable. The best harvesting season is during Autumn–Winter and fresh product is mainly marketed with the price of up to 100 U$D/1 kg fresh mass. Conclusion: A. lanceolatus, A. calcareus and A. setaceus are potential forest herbs for poverty reduction to ethnic communities in North Vietnam. The natural populations have been reduced remarkably because of overharvesting. Growing techniques are an urgent need for the conservation and sustainable development of such valuable orchids.