Curanderismo Beliefs and Healing Levels

Mexican folk healing, or “Curanderismo”, is a custom that combines Mayan, Aztec, and Spanish Catholic traditions.

Curanderismo is a holistic health care method that has been used in the America for hundreds of years. In Mexico, it is also known as Mexican traditional medicine, “medicina del campo” and traditional folk medicine.

Folk therapists, known as Curanderas, near you is someone you ask for help for an un-diagnosable disease, especially when the disease may have a metaphysical or supernatural origin.

Who exactly is Curandera?

In many Hispanic communities in the United States and Mexico and parts of Central and South America, people often turn to Curanderas or curandera.

Who exactly is Curandera
Who exactly is Curandera?

Curandera (which is a female form, ending in ero with a male) is a person who practices Curanderismo (psychotherapy based on traditional herbs and medicines) and is often considered a leader of the local community.

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Just like folk healing in other parts of the world, many cultural and social influences flood the way other members of the community view Curandera.

Normally, people believe that Curandera was given by God to heal people; but remember, most Spanish-speaking countries are Catholic.

More importantly, a curandera is the only person with the skills and abilities to fight falciparum malaria, which is caused by curses, hexagons, or malodor (evil eyes).

Usually, people think that these negative effects are brought about by the work of Bruhas or Brujos, who practice spells or low magic, and are sometimes considered to be with the devil.

In some cases, curandera may perform a barrida ritual, in which the subject will be captivated and used to eliminate negative energy.

In some cases, eggs are used as bait targets, and it absorbs negative magic powers. Then, put the eggs and magic away from the victim.

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Is there a different specialization amongst Curanderas?

People who practice it can be divided into three categories according to their degree of specialization.

Yerbero is a person who mainly practices herbal remedies. Herbal medicine may prescribe some herbs for healing, including tea and ointment, or blending plants to apply and burn.

For magic related to pregnancy and childbirth, you can visit the local midwife partera.

In addition to childbirth, partera also helps women who wish to become pregnant or unwilling to become pregnant, and helps postpartum care. Usually, she provides services for many female reproductive problems.

There are also curanderas dedicated to sobradores or massage therapists. They use touch and massage techniques to promote recovery.

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Regardless of the degree of specialization, most curanderas can diagnose the patient’s disease on comprehensive physical, mental and emotional level.

What are certain beliefs related to Curanderismo?

Curanderismo originates from many different beliefs and practices. Mayan, Aztec, and Catholic beliefs are the most obvious influences, but they are by no means the only influences.

What are certain beliefs related to Curanderismo
What are certain beliefs related to the method?

Cuban Santería with African ancestry is also the main influence, as is Islamic medicine and Greek humor theory.

Because different therapists and regions prefer different behaviors, curanderismo itself also has a lot of diversity.

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Aztec doctor Martin de la Cruz published the first book detailing traditional Mexican medical practices, just 31 years after Spain and Spain conquered Mexico.

Libellus de Medicinalialibus Indorum Herbis was written and translated into Latin in Nazautl, an Aztec language. It lists 251 herbs commonly used by Aztecs.

What is the Spiritual and Historical Significance of Curanderismo?

Most of Curanderismo’s foundation is the fusion of local healing practices and Jewish Christian principles.

Robert Trotter and Juan Antonio Chavira have also mentioned in their book “Curanderismo: Mexican American Folk Healing” that:

“The teachings have been combined with folk wisdom to lay the foundation for the theory of disease and rehabilitation, and the theory of disease and rehabilitation constitutes the structure of curanderismo.

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The Bible greatly influences Curanderismo through the specific healing properties of animal parts, plants, oil, and wine. “

Northern Arizona University professor of anthropology Trotter (Trotter) said in his paper ” Curanderismo: A Picture of Mexican-American Folk Healing ” that there are other historical influences.

He cites the following belief:

Originated from Greek humoral medicine intertwined with the practice of early Judaism-Christian healing traditions.

Other roots came from medieval Europe, which used the magical healing of medicinal plants of the old continent and medieval witchcraft method.

The conquest of Southern Europe can be seen in curanderismo. It includes Native American traditions and a large number of pharmacopoeias in the New World.

In addition to being influenced by the Bible, Curanderismo also stems from the shamanistic customs of the local indigenous culture and the European witchcraft concept brought by the Spanish settlers into the new world.

How does it affect the curing of the body?

Broadly speaking, it can be divided into physical and mental aspects, although in practice, folk therapists tend to emphasize the connection between the body and the mind or spirit.

How Curanderismo affect the curing of the body
How does it affect the curing of the body?

Contemporary Curanderismo still uses herbs extensively to treat physical diseases. Plants can be used alone or mixed to make herbs.

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Garlic and onions and aloe are widely used. Animal-based medicines are also used, including snake oil obtained from snakeskin fat and bufo toad medicine, which contains powerful psychedelic drugs.

The temazcal ritual is widely regarded as one of them, particularly powerful and perfect remedies. Temazcal stands for returning to the uterus and is used to cleanse impurities from the body.

The ceremony was performed in a stone structure in the shape of an igloo. Shamans poured scented water into heated volcanic rocks and filled it with steam.

How the Healing of Spirit is possible by this method?

Other curandero rituals are aimed at treatment on the spiritual or psychological level. Certain situations and curses require special treatment.

How the Healing of Spirit is possible by Curanderismo
How the Healing of Spirit is possible by this method?

Evil eyes are a curse caused by a vicious expression, and it particularly affects babies.

Susto which means fear or mental loss is another symptom, such as nervousness, insomnia, and depression.

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Curanderas believes that these two conditions can be cured by spiritual cleansing, which has pre-Hispanic roots and usually incorporates prayers for Catholic saints.

The ceremony usually requires a chicken egg and some rosemary plants.

To clean the patient, a Curandera brushes their heads, torso, and limbs with plants to remove the negativity. Before breaking the egg into a glass of water, it is rubbed across the body.

The Curandera examines the eggs in the water & makes predictions or suggestions based on the shape he sees in the glass.

The ceremony ends with praying and spraying perfume over the patient.

Is there any Cultural Difference between Curanderismo and Wiccan Spirituality?

Many people in Mexico and the United States have confused and confused some of its practices, such as candlelight and protection rituals with Wicca and other pagan traditions.

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This is not to say that contemporary Curanderismo practitioners have not merged the two.

It is also believed that Wiccan spirituality may be a path that British Americans or European Americans hope to learn before seeking Native American traditions, as this may be more in line with their European ancestry.

This allows for a good and thoughtful dialogue.

The Wiccans symbolically strengthened their connection with the ancient pre-Christian era, and adopted a more controversial self-title than “voodoo”.

In Mexican culture, the use of the word “bruja” is quite different. In our culture, bruja is not the vocabulary of cultural practitioners of Wicca or other Western tantric traditions.

Bruha (brujo (if male)) is feared to use training, knowledge, and skills to harm others (leading to illness, accidents or even death).

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Coercing someone against their will (interfering with love Relationship, Marriage or career success), or further develop yourself and ambition.

In the indigenous community, it may be called “bad drug”.

How has Curanderismo Evolved Today?

It is practiced in many parts of the Spanish-speaking region of the Americas, and many people advocate this holistic, spiritual practice as supplement to scientific medical treatment.

In consideration of the method, Author Stacy Brown has mentioned in her book The Place of Traditional Hispanic Folk Healing in Modern Medicine, that;

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The traditional medical practitioners are best able to educate themselves about the ideas and practices of Curanderismo, especially in the treatment of Hispanic Communities Patients.

Brown said: “Historically, Curanderas has been a major healthcare provider in many communities, but with the rise of the modern healthcare system, modern physicians’ rigorous science and pharmacy have often ignored the spirit and herbal treatment of Curanderas.

As the Curanderas role inevitably diminishes, the healthcare community must understand and utilize the positive and widespread influence of these traditional therapists in the Hispanic community.

The core of traditional medicine and traditional medicine is the communication between the “therapist” and patient necessity. Its cultural and healthy alternative is the choice of millions of American residents. “

Dr. Martin Harris studied the cultural challenges faced by mental health patients in the Hispanic community, especially in the diagnosis of DSM-IV.

Harris pointed out that the integration of Curanderas in their community is one of the key points for their success in treating their neighbors.

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The background of Curanderas’ practice is always their home. There are a waiting area and a private consultation room.

Curanderas people practice in the communities they serve. In this regard, they are fully integrated with their clients and their patients build relationships that are culturally relevant and appropriate.

In addition to sharing the client’s geographic location, the contributor also shares the patient’s social/economic, class, background, language and religious beliefs, and disease classification system.

What is the future of the Curanderismo?

The modern practice of the method was greatly influenced by practitioners such as Teresa Urrea and Niño Fidencio, who established a large group of followers throughout their lives.

When she fell into a coma, Urrea was famous in her youth, and mysteriously “resurrected” after waking up.

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In 1889, her well-known treatment capacity spread throughout the country, and more than 1,000 people camped outside her desert town to seek attention.

Niño Fidencio also attracted pilgrims from all over the country in the 1920s and 1930s. Even Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles visited him when he was sick.

Today, several colleges in Mexico offer its courses, like La Tranca Rehabilitation College in Cuernavaca, which is teaching center for Curanderismo technology.

Foreign interest in this tradition is also growing, and the University of New Mexico even offers a course.


In this article, we have tried to shed light on the Mexican folk magick healing method Curanderismo and how the healing of spirit is and the treatment of the body is carried away by Curanderas.

It is a Mexican-American healing art that combines physical, mental & supernatural aspects.

Consultants who can understand the practice, understand personal prejudices and fears, and combine consulting skills with cultural values ​​and beliefs can better help clients.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are the three levels of healing that are practiced among Curanderas?

Relying on spiritual and herbal remedies, Curanderas (male) and Curanderos (female) heal individuals in three realms: physical, spiritual, and emotional.

What is Limpia cleansing?

A Limpia or spiritual cleansing is used to cleanse the body, mind, and soul of negativity. It is known to remove bad luck, blockages, confusions, bad karma, witchcraft, ends generational curses, imbalances, helps with addictions, phobias, and fears.

What is Brujeria magic?

Witchcraft, Spanish brujería pronounced [bɾuxeɾˈi. a], comprises various types of occult religious practices that exist in some Latin American and Afro-Caribbean cultures. Influenced by indigenous religion, Catholicism, and European witchcraft, the purpose may range from benevolent white magic to evil black magic.

Are Curanderas religious?

The use of Roman Catholic prayers and other borrowings and lendings is often found alongside native religious elements. Many curanderas emphasize their native spirituality in healing while being practicing Roman Catholics. Curanderas are often respected members of the community.

How does Limpia work?

The egg, Swiecicki says, is an especially important part of the Limpia. “It’s used as a psychic vacuum cleaner. It’s rubbed all over the body, to pull off negative energy, cords, to move stuck emotions.”