Kru khmer is the name given to traditional medicine practitioners. They still play an important role in Cambodians’ daily lives, having used herbs and animals for folk remedies since the Angkor Dynasty. “kru khmer” make and sell soaps, lip balms and insect repellents that contain these herbs.
When Ms. Shinoda first visited Cambodia when she was 20, she was taken aback by the smiling faces and seemingly happy lifestyle of the people. She worked for buildig school at the time, and found that just building is not enough to help kids to attend school, but it is also necessary to provide employment for their parents – and so thought about becoming a producer of goods.
It was this initial thought, and an encounter with the Cambodian herbal sauna “chupong” that led to her current endeavor. “The first time I tried an herbal sauna I was surprised at how refreshing sweating that much was, being surrounded by the scent of the herbs – I felt healed.” She began looking into the herbs as she was rapt by their effect. She visited a traditional practitioner who entrusted her with a recipe of secret herbs, which she used to make a product. This is how “kru khmer” became available to use as a spa product – sold in a trendy package aimed at women. In 2015, she also opened “spa khmer”, offering “chupong” experiences. She uses products and services to offer Cambodian’s “wisdom and tradition” to people from around the world.