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Article “YANGON HEALERS PEDDLE ‘MIRACLE’ CANCER CURE”

A mysterious powder made by spiritual healers in Yangon is claimed to be effective against serious illnesses but there is no evidence it is anything more than a placebo.

By JOSHUA CARROLL | FRONTIER
Photos MARO VERLI

U Win Maung, a shamanistic healer in Yangon, produced a small plastic bag containing spherical, beige pills and flung it nonchalantly on the floor in front of him. These little balls, he proclaimed matter-of-factly, can cure cancer, AIDS and malaria.

It is hard to tell if the 69-year-old believes his own nonsense. But many do, and they are willing to pay good money for the pills, said to contain a mysterious but ultimately useless substance known as Gold Ash Powder.

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