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During the first half of the twentieth century, representatives of the French colonial health services actively strove to expand the practice of Western medicine in the frontier colony of Cambodia. But as the French physicians ventured beyond their colonial enclaves, they found themselves negotiating with the plurality of Cambodian cultural practices relating to health and disease. These negotiations were marked by some success, a great deal of misunderstanding, and much failure.
Bringing together colorful historical vignettes, social and anthropological theory, and quantitative analyses, Mixed Medicines examines these interactions between the Khmer, Cham, and Vietnamese of Cambodia and the French, documenting the differences in their understandings of medicine and revealing the unexpected transformations that occurred during this periodfor both the French and the indigenous population.