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A Two-Decades-Long Research Journey of Medicinal Herbal Products Formulated From Vietnamese Crinum latifolium L.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Van Truyen, former Deputy Minister of Health has repeatedly shared with the press that Vietnamese medicines are not inferior to imported medicinal products in terms of quality, competitive price, etc. so they are soon trusted and used by more and more people. Vietnamese medicines have a strong foothold on the market today as a result of silent contribution of scientists who have studied day and night to produce high quality medicinal products to serve patients.

A Two-Decades-Long Research Journey

The scientific research project “Study of the biological effects and safety of alkaloids and flavonoids from Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh” has been finished and received an “EXCELLENT” evaluation from the Peer Review Board. This news is a promising development for patients with lung and prostate cancer.

This scientific project was managed and partly funded by the Ministry of Health for a collaboration of scientists from Vietnam and Bulgaria to conduct and develop the protocol between the two countries which has been supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology since 2009. The peer review board concluded that the initial results are very encouraging and formally recommended in vivo clinical trials on lung and prostate cancer patients to further the solid scientific basis for the production of a new Vietnamese medicinal herb for mass production.

The research group was headed by the renowned Pharmacist-Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram (Director of Thien Duoc Co., Ltd). Associated with Dr. Tram are doctors and pharmacists at home and abroad from Hanoi Medical University, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck Medical University (Austria) and Thien Duoc Co., Ltd. They are all enthusiastic scientists who have devoted many years of their time to study Crinum latifolium before their official participation in this scientific project. In fact, leaves of the Royal Virgin herb were used as a traditional folk remedy for many diseases. Not only in Vietnam, but also in the world, many scientists have conducted research on this medicinal herb. However, there was no one who could turn this valuable medicinal herb into a modern, commercially available product serving the community.

In 1990, returning home after the completion of her doctoral thesis in Bulgaria, Dr. Tram developed “Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh” thanks to the support from the Vietnamese leading botanists Prof. Dr. Do Tat Loi, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Van Chi and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Cong Khanh. Since that time, she resolved to build a large-scale organic herbal material plantation and modern production facility. In July 2005, the first capsules were launched to the market which drew much attention from the public. In 2010, Healing Quest, a famous American television program specializing in integrative health, came to Vietnam to report on Dr. Tram’s research. This inspired scientific circles as well as people around the world to travel to Vietnam to learn more. A year later, Crila® - Dr. Tram’s medicinal herbal products for uterine, menopause and prostate health - officially entered the American market, which is considered the most demanding pharmaceutical market.

Good news for cancer patients

The study of Vietnamese herbal medicines produced from Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh to support the treatment of cancer has started since 2009. Pharmacist - Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram has innovated technology in cultivation, extraction and formulation to produce a new Vietnamese medicinal herb named “Crilin® T” from certain specific alkaloids and flavonoids (tumor growth inhibitory substances) extracted from the leaves and flowers of “Crinum latifolium L. var. crilae Tram & Khanh” (a new proprietary cultivar of Vietnamese Crinum latifolium discovered by Pharmacist – Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram). Studies were conducted for safety, toxicity and cytotoxicity, especially concentrating on the biological effects and evaluation of the ability of Crilin® T to stimulate the immune system against cancer.

American BALB/c nude mice were imported for the research project and inoculated with human lung cancer cells, helping the scientists discover several interesting outcomes. Reported to the ministerial level peer review board on December 31st, 2014 on “acute toxicity” of the new medicinal herb, the research group announced: After being administered to the highest possible dose, mice from all groups still ate, drank and excreted normally. No mouse died within 72 hours after taking trial drugs and no sign of toxicity was observed during 7 monitoring days. The research results of “subacute toxicity” of Crilin® T on rabbits have also led to the conclusion that this Vietnamese medicinal herb is safe for patients. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among others, are the subject of intense research study in Vietnam and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The scientists concluded the findings demonstrate Crilin® T has the ability to support the treatment of cancer. This low-priced medicinal herbal product is equivalent to cancer treatment drugs circulated in domestic and international markets. With this new discovery Crilin® T, Dr. Tram and her colleagues are expected to provide cancer patients with a specific safe and low-priced medicinal herb.


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