Healing with Herbs and Rituals is an herbal remedy-based understanding of curanderismo and the practice of yerberas, or herbalists, as found in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
Part One, "Folk Healers and Folk Healing," focuses on individual healers and their procedures. Part Two, "Green Medicine: Traditional Mexican-American Herbs and Remedies," details traditional Mexican-American herbs and cures. These remedies are the product of centuries of experience in Mexico, heavily influenced by the Moors, Judeo-Christians, and Aztecs, and include everyday items such as lemon, egg, fire, aromatic oil, and prepared water. Symbolic objects such as keys, candles, brooms, and Trouble Dolls are also used.
Dedicated, in part, to curanderos throughout Mexico and the American Southwest, Healing with Herbs and Rituals shows us these practitioners are humble, sincere people who have given themselves to improving lives for many decades. Today's holistic health movement has rediscovered the timeless merits of the curanderos' uses of medicinal plants, rituals, and practical advice.
Eliseo "Cheo" Torres is vice president of student affairs at the University of New Mexico.
Timothy L. Sawyer, Jr., is a public information representative at the University of New Mexico.