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
Traditional Cambodian Medicine
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.
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