Alternative Medicines

5 February 2010

Nothing in Cambodia is quite like it is in other places, and every day has its surprises and learnings ("I didn't know they thought that!"). Healthcare is certainly one of the areas of difference. Western-style medicine--actually ANY professional medicine--doesn't exist in many areas and people depend on tribal healers, the collective wisdom of the village, and various alternative remedies. Some of them work. Some of them don't. Some of them kill.

A common sight in Cambodia is a person with a white "Band-Aid" ("plaster," in British English) stuck on some part of the body. It's actually less a Band-Aid than just an adhesive patch that is used to hold some herbal remedy on a sore or injured spot. There is no attempt to hide or disguise these plasters and people are not self-conscious about these poultices at all.

Poultice, n., A poultice, also called cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth over the skin to treat an aching, inflamed, or painful part of the body.

Go to Charlie Dittmeier's Home Page
Go to Daily Life in Cambodia