Maya medicine is based on its own culture, cosmo-vision, and spirituality. Balance between mind and body, energy meridians, bio-dynamic and holistic focus, are all concepts which have gained favor in recent decades. Alternative medicine and naturopathy have become normal options to obtain health without secondary costs.
Little by little, without a lot of noise, the various disciplines contained within the field of naturopathy or natural medicine, have gained the confidence of thousands. Over time, knowledge has grown about working with plants. Beyond their curative powers, people recognize their spiritual and beneficial qualities.
In Maya medicine, nature is within man, determining their lives and their processes of health / illness. (For this reason it is worshipped with gods.) The environment and the cosmos influence life, and explain the body’s functions through the laws of nature.
Maya medicine considers man as an integral and interactive part of the cosmos and of society, which is why his actions all have their own repercussions. Any change or action of nature, community or family, affects man, causing health or illness.
This cosmo-vision affects Maya medical practices and creates the base for specific mechanisms for diagnosis and treatment.
The holistic approach of Maya medicine relates intimately the body and soul, relates all the parts and organs of the same body, relates the body with cosmic time, and relates the body with heat and cold. It utilizes “vital beginnings” and conceptualizes illness as an unbalance, which can be primarily caused by elements with hot and cold properties.
The causes of attack on the body’s equilibrium may be produced by the body itself, by the family, by the community, by nature, or by various divinities.
So health is the result of living according to the laws of nature and society, and illness is the result of the transgression of those laws.
In this sense, the mechanisms needed to achieve balance (healing) have to do with various elements such as the use of medicinal plants, the performance of offerings and ceremonies, and turning to indigenous therapists like herbalists, midwives, spiritual guides, massage therapists, bonesetters, and priests. The Kuch kaab Yéetel J-men Maaya’ob, A.C. (Council of Elders and Maya Priests) carries out tremendous work in Yucatán, alongside the herbalists or traditional doctors (H-men). Those who are social servants by heredity in charge of community health since ancestral times and recognized by the SSA (Secretary of Health and Assistance) are still available today to provide consultation and share their cosmogony and cosmo-vision, giving us health and showing us a form of living in harmony with mother nature, the cosmos, and our brothers. These are invaluable principles of the Maya culture and its representatives.
Editor’s note: the following recipes are from Maya herbalists. Yucatan Today is not responsible for their results.
I leaf of trumpet tree (guarumbo)
1 handful of Neem leaves
7 Xkanlol leaves
Preparation and dose:
Boil the ingredients in 2 liters of water for 13 min (after the water begins to boil). Drink as water for 3 weeks, then rest for one week and repeat as necessary until results obtained (varies by patient). Recommended to drink the full recipe each day and do not drink alcohol during treatment. Maximum time to eradicate diabetes: 3 months.
1 handful of eucalyptus
7 cow’s foot lily flowers
1 handful of large oregano
½ handful of small oregano
7 lemon tea leaves
7 soursop (guanabana) leaves
Preparation and dose:
Boil the ingredients in 2 liters of water for 7 min (after the water begins to boil). Cover and allow to steep until lukewarm, and sweeten with honey. Drink every 6 hours for 3 weeks, then rest for one week and repeat as necessary until results obtained (varies by patient). Recommended not to drink anything cold during treatment and avoid exposure to cold. Maximum time to eradicate asthma: 52 days.
1 bunch of Chaya de Monte (see photo)
1 bunch of stinging nettle.
Boil the ingredients in 4 liters of water, leave to boil for 13 min. Remove from heat and cover. Drink one cup every 6 hours for 7 days, rest for 5 days, and repeat until results obtained. Results vary by individual. Eradication of problem in 3 months.
I bunch of avocado leaves
1 bunch of Zapote Indio leaves (see photo)
Boil the ingredients in 2 liters of water, leave to boil for 7 min. Remove from heat and cover. Drink one cup every 8 hours for 9 days, rest for 7 days, and repeat until results obtained. Results vary by individual. Eradication of problem in 3 months.
Text by Anabell Castañeda
Emai: [email protected]
– Maya Bonesetters
– Snakebite Curers
– Maya Midwives
– Maya Herbalists
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