The origins of Thuoc Nam and Traditional Vietnamese Medicine or y hoc viet nam date back thousands of years. It is an area that has developed over time, supported by the country's warm tropical climate, which offers ideal conditions for the growth of hundreds of plants used in the discipline. The tradition of ingesting these herbal remedies lives on today, from stilted rural villages to frenzied metropolises.
While Thuoc Nam's very roots are not entirely clear, most scholars believe that the field started to develop anywhere from 2,200-2,500 years ago during the Hang Bang dynasty. Ancient Chinese texts indicate that a system of herbal medicine had been developed in the northern regions of Vietnam before their southern invasion in the second century B.C.
After the Chinese of the Red River Delta's successful invasion and occupation, Thuoc Nam evolved alongside Traditional Chinese Medicine or Thuoc Bac. In some cases, the Chinese forced their neighbors to pay taxes in the form of herbal remedies and medicines. The two disciplines remained separate for the next thousand years, but visible effects on each other existed.
The Vietnamese declared victory in the Battle of the Bach Dang River in 938 AD, and over 1,100 years of Chinese rule came to an end. In the creation of Thuoc Nam, the next thousand years became a seminal time as it brought with it the two most significant and respected doctors of the field, Tue Tinh and Hai Thuong Lan Ong.
Tue Tinh was born in the 14th century, and he is sometimes referred to as the father of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine -yhocvietnam, although he is around 1500 years late for the group. He wrote several essential texts and came up with the concept of the need for Vietnamese to be treated by Vietnamese medicine," including Great Morality in the Art of Medicine.
It was 300 years later that Hai Thuong Lan Ong came along. He published a 66-volume Encyclopedia of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine in the mid-1700s, after researching dozens of years, which is still referred to today as one of the seminal works on the subject. For more information, check out yhocvietnam.com.vn.