Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vietnamese Traditional Medicine

On our last morning in Saigon, we decided to take a cab to the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine.

In college, I took a course on traditional Chinese medicine, so I was already familiar with many of the concepts and some of the history related to the museum we visited. Since Vietnam has significant Chinese influence, the traditional medicine systems are largely the same.

The main difference between Eastern and Western medicine is that the Eastern approach treats the body as a whole, while Western medicine aims to treat specific symptoms. Eastern medicine practitioners believe in the holistic approach because symptoms can indicate a larger problem.

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh


Statue showing 100 prominent doctors:
From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh


Various herbs used in traditional Vietnamese medicine:
From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh


Grinding herbs in the traditional Vietnamese style:
From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh


Glass medicine vials:
From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh


The museum was fascinating! I've always liked learning about holistic medicine and it was interesting to see ancient medical texts and learn about some of the history. Our admission fee came with a guided tour, which was helpful since there wasn't much in terms of written explanations for the exhibits. We were also the only people at the museum that morning, which made it feel like a private tour. Definitely a must see!

Right before we caught the bus to Cambodia, we witnessed some wedding processions. August 5th was a very auspicious day in Vietnamese culture so there were TONS of weddings happening. This wedding was unique because it was a Vietnamese woman and Western man. They are wearing traditional Vietnamese clothes- ao dai.

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh

From K - Saigon and Phnom Penh

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