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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias

CiteScore 2017: 1.41

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.472
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.564

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Traditional Cambodian Medicine

Mark J Richman / Suhaila Nawabi / Lauren Patty / Irwin Ziment
Published Online: 2010-07-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1553-3840.1194

In 2006 and 2007, the authors visited Siem Reap, Cambodia for eight weeks. To understand the spectrum of Cambodian healthcare, we investigated traditional medical practices and herbal medicines in addition to Western medical practice. Our hosts were English-speaking physicians and translators. At the provincial hospital medicine/surgical wards, government satellite clinics, pharmacies, and street vendors, we inquired about and observed Cambodian traditional medical practices. We supplement these observations with literature review. Traditional Cambodian medical practices are widely used. They share with Chinese medicine three explanatory models of disease: supernaturalistic theory, naturalistic theory, and maintenance of “hot/cold” (“yin/yang”) balance. Four forms of therapy are delivered by medical and “para”-medical personnel: spirit offerings, dermabrasion, maintaining “hot/cold” balance, and herbal medicines. Specific examples include use of tattoos/religious medals; healing ceremonies; dermabrasion; and consumption of “hot” or “cold” foods/medicines. Non-prescription herbal preparations are cheaply available in markets. Specific treatments exist for certain symptoms and conditions, including asthma and pregnancy. Recent studies have demonstrated several promising Cambodian medicinal plants. Future investigations may identify the scientific names and characteristics of additional widely-used herbal medicines. Visiting medical volunteers should learn the importance of indigenous Cambodian medical practices and herbs in the healing process.

Keywords: Cambodia; traditional medicine

About the article

Published Online: 2010-07-12

Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Volume 7, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1553-3840.1194.

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