Da Lat student makes stress-relieving tea with wild plants

Nguyen Long Hoang (23 years old, native of Da Lat) and 4 members of the MEDTECH team have just won the Consolation prize of the 2022 Science Initiative contest with the product Assamica centering tea. Assamica tea has the main ingredient Crotalaria Assamica – long-leaved raspberry plant.

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Long Hoang (2nd from left) received the Science Innovation Award 2022. (Photo: Hoai Anh)

6 years ago, during a picnic in Langbiang, Long Hoang accidentally learned about the long guava leaf rattlesnake from ethnic minorities. The boys were told about the water they cooked and drank every day from this tree. The plant has anti-stress and insomnia effects that have been passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. This is a very easy plant to find because it grows wild everywhere.

Faced with a lot of exam pressure and often heard from friends about insomnia, Long Hoang felt both interesting and curious about this plant. At the end of the picnic, Long Hoang asked for a sample of the tree to learn and conduct preliminary research on the chemical composition of this plant.

After entering Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Long Hoang began to find teammates to study with. The MEDTECH group consisting of Long Hoang, Thao Nguyen, Hoang Phong, Hien Xuong, Tuong Vy and Vo Viet Tien was established. Research shows that the plant has many natural high antioxidant activities, which help fight aging, prevent cancer and improve health.

“From laboratory research to mass production is a long journey. We had to try hundreds of times, followed by hundreds of disappointments and frustrations. But we don’t give up.” Long Hoang said.

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MEDTECH team members introduced Assamica Centered Tea. (Photo: NVCC)

The team started by figuring out how to make a dry powder from the long-leaved rattlesnake plant. When there is dry powder, the group sits down to calculate the extraction rate, the type of solvent to use or the herbs to add.

After 3 years of research, MEDTECH created a satisfactory product by using a heating-assisted ultrasonic extraction method to increase extraction efficiency. With modern extraction technology, the team chose the right solvent ratio. Most importantly, solvents do not affect product quality, can replace solvents to diversify products. From there, the “brainchild” of MEDTECH – Assamica centering tea was born.

Assamica Centered Tea has a completely green production process, managed by artificial intelligence technology to help optimize costs, as well as easily improve from the existing process. Currently, Long Hoang’s team also develops the process and manufactures the product on an industrial scale.

Raw materials are grown and harvested according to organic standards, without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Harvested seeds are dried and randomly sampled for quality control using AI technology. Next will be the process of grinding ingredients, extracting, mixing according to the recipe and packaging.

“Throughout the product development process, the team always puts green production on the top. The project uses green solvents and modern extraction technology to minimize the impact on the environment. However, the production process still ensures efficiency, as well as economy. In addition, from the by-product of the manufacturing process combined with a special bio-glue, the team successfully created a waterproof, heat-insulating and recyclable packaging many times.” Long Hoang shared.

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Long guava leaf rattlesnake. (Photo: NVCC)

The product has been tested for acute toxicity (safety), side effects and sedative activity on in vitro (cell line) and in vivo (mice test) models, with safe results. For health, high potential anxiolytic. In addition, this tea is evaluated to help prevent aging, cancer and other dangerous diseases. The MEDTECH team has completed the procedures for patent registration.

“Normally the long guava rattle is just a wild plant. But if you know how to plant it, it can become a tree of high economic value. In addition, this is also a plant capable of combining with other industrial crops, playing the role of improving and restoring soil quality, increasing soil fertility.

The group intends to transfer the process back to local people after planting according to organic standards. Thereby creating jobs for people and sustainable economic value for the locality. Long Hoang said.

Currently, there are 4 product lines of tea bags, instant tea, bottled tea and convenient cup tea. In the near future, the group plans to develop more new products and call for capital from investors.

Video: MEDTECH team introduces Assamica centering tea

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