Debby Nguyen’s new book “Pills, Teas, and Songs” is a collection of 11 stories on medicine practices across different cultures and countries, for example, traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Vietnamese medicine (inspired by her own family and heritage), Ayahuasca, indigenous healing practices of the Lakota people, Black midwifery in the US, and more. The book is for anyone who wants to learn more about the people, history, art, politics, and culture behind the diverse medicine practices and products around the world. It is a journey focused on medicine that will take you from the United States to Peru, Nigeria, Russia, India, China, and more.
Through writing the book, Debby has learned about herbal medicine and home remedies that transcend continents, discussed cultural appropriation by Western society, and discovered the story behind an Indian antiseptic cream invented to protest colonization. Through telling stories of diverse medicine practices, she hopes to document pieces of history, culture, and politics, and educate others who are interested in incorporating different medicine systems into their life to preserve the evolving legacy of medicine that contributes to our understanding of healthcare.
Debby is currently a Pharmacy student at Northeastern University, a New York Times-featured writer, and the author of her new book, Pills, Teas, and Songs: Stories of Medicine Around the World. I began writing Pills, Teas, and Songs after going to Jai Ho Supermarket in Boston’s Chinatown and was hit with instant nostalgia when she noticed the Chinese medicine counter at the entrance. It reminded Debby of her family back in Vietnam, especially her late grandfather who was a traditional Vietnamese medicine practitioner. Through the book, she hopes to honor the cultures that she writes about beyond her own and to inspire readers to be curious about the medicine practices that they incorporate into their lives.
Here is the link to the preorder page: igg.me/at/debbynguyen.