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Local farmers reported that thieves took advantage of the holiday to break into gardens in Đăk Na, Đăk Sao, Tê Xăng and Ngọc Lây communes.

A majority of the stolen Ngọc Linh ginseng plants are four to ten years old. Authorities are assessing the loss caused by the theft. 

Police are coordinating with the neighbouring districts in search of the perpetrators. 

Tu Mơ Rông District People’s Committee advises local farmers to have a person on duty 24/7 at their ginseng farm and install surveillance cameras to prevent thefts. 

A rare medical root, Ngọc Linh ginseng (panax vietnamensis, or Vietnamese ginseng) contains 52 saponin compounds with health benefits.

The plant was found on Ngọc Linh Mountain, between Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands and the central Quảng Nam Province in the late 1960s.

With 17 amino acids, 20 trace minerals and 0.1 per cent of attar, Ngọc Linh ginseng also has anti-stress, anti-aging effects and can help improve immunity, enhance liver functions and lower cholesterol.

It also works well with antibiotics and diabetes medications.

One of the world’s most precious, the plant has been recognised as a national product under the Prime Minister’s Decision 787/QĐ-TTg dated June 5, 2017. — VNS