Natural Medicine Gets a Boost

Cambodia is studying ways to expand the use of traditional medicines and the more than 500 plants that can be processed or mixed for natural remedies, Mini­ster of Health Hong Sun Huot said upon his return from a conference of Asean ministers in Malaysia.

The ministers agreed to promote traditional medicine in fighting illness, he said Monday.

Cambodia still has a long way to go before it is on par with Japan or China in marketing its traditional medicine, he said.

“We do not have enough technical assistance in order to provide treatment through traditional medicine and traditional style,” he said. “We have to make sure that traditional medicine to treat sick people in a traditional way is also done in a proper way.”

For instance, some midwives pack a baby’s belly button with dirt soon after birth. This can be dangerous for the baby, said Hieng Punley, director of the Mini­stry of Health’s National Center for Traditional Medicine.

All traditional healers should get training and be educated about dangerous treatments, Hieng Punley said.

The center is now leading a team to search for plant medicines at several mountains in Pursat and other provinces so the plants can be grown and studied at the center.

Since Phou Yong Nin opened his traditional medicine shop on Mao Tse-tung Boulevard, more and more people come to buy his med­icine of tree roots and mixes of Chinese traditional medicine.

In a local newspaper advertisement, Phou Yong Nin said he can cure 58 types of sicknesses. He said he would welcome the ministry’s interest in traditional remedies.


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