Herbal Healing

Son Sarun came to the town of pailin in Cambodia's desolate northwest because of the stories he had heard: the $100,000 ruby found just over the next hill, the $25,000 sapphire that tumbled out of trousers being laundered in the river. He hadn't heard that the once gem-rich area had been largely mined out and all that remained was swamp and mosquitoes. When the 38-year-old former soldier came down with a headache and fever last year, he couldn't afford a doctor. He was no richer when blood appeared in his urine, sputum and excrement. One morning in December he collapsed.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!