Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A cure for 'everything'

A cure for 'everything'

A cure for 'everything'

At the Russian Market, Madame Phal Ly fans her customers as they pick through the

curious packages lining her stall.

An assortment of herb and plant preparations are helpfully illustrated with little

dramas.

In one, a baby gurgles in front of a television set, advertising a herbal infusion

to combat fever. In another scene, a couple sits chastely back-to-back.

"That's for syphilis," explains the 60-year-old stall-holder. "You

roll the dried tree bark into pellets and swallow it."

The bark appeared identical to another batch reputed to aid women after birth. Some

medicines, says Madame Phal Ly, "cure everything."

The herbs are gathered from across the country and provide cures for apparently every

ailment. The TB cure shows a delirious man lying in bed as inflamed lungs float above

his head.

A deep-red medicine, concocted from crushed roots, is said to cure hemorrhoids the

instant it is swallowed

Many cures are best inhaled. Madame Phal Ly suggested I smoke a piece of pale bark

"to cure headaches."

I then counterbalanced the effect with a puff of a coconut cigar wrapped in coconut

leaf and felt suddenly restored.

The suspicion that you might be consulting a witch at her cauldron is confirmed by

a string of strange-looking dried pods hung around the stall.

These are venomous snakes' pancreases. By eating just a morsel, fevers can be cured.

Strung beside them are frightening, dried up, furry little creatures, stretched out

crucifixion-style with the innards removed. This, it seems, is the miracle cure.

So Kun, 52, swears by it, having cured a troublesome ulcer that no hospital nor conventional

doctor could handle.

He finally resorted to the healing properties of the nocturnal annee, captured in

the forests of northern Cambodia.

"I ate four of them," insists Mr So, who says he first dried, then pounded

the animals to dust and slowly consumed them over a period of two months in a palliative

of honey.

The honey for sale at the stall had tiny bee corpses floating unappetizingly on the

surface but I bought some to go with a packet of fortifying tea.

It may otherwise have a rather bland taste, but definitely makes you feel better.

Down on Monivong Blvd. the herbalist store run by Muan Vanna is crowded with customers.

From behind a vast array of glass bottles containing colorful and unidentifiable

potions, Dr Vanna produced a remedy with an English label.

"For very thin woman," it proclaimed before explaining: "Warm temperature

in body have shook in chest everyday. It precautions because of to bulge fallopian

tube." (sic)

I promised to take it three times a day, made my excuses and left.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided