Ethnomedicine in Northeast Thailand

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Chayan Picheansoonthon

Abstract

Northeast Thailand (or Isan) covers approximately 160,000 km2 and comprises adminis tratively 20 changwats (provinces) about 22 millions people. It is Thailand’s largest region, located on the Korat Plateau, bordered by Lao PDR (north and northeast) and Cambodia (southeast). The region
is rich in both cultural and biological diversity. The major population of the region is the Thai-Lao, with several other ethnic groups, the Khmer Surin, the Phu Thai, the Kui, the Soe, to mention a few. Folk healers in northeast Thailand can be roughly classifi ed into 4 groups: spiritual healers, ‘herbal sanding’ healers, ‘blowing’ healers, and folk masseurs. In this presentation, ethnomedicine of the Kui and the Phu Thai ethnic group in northeaster Thailand will be discussed. Studies on the “herbal sanding’ healers and the ‘blowing’ healers will be also be presented.

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