Tag Archives: natural healing

2021 Limpia–bad mojo be gone

I don’t know about you, but 2021 brought with it a lot of bad energy and sorrow. My mom died in May. My uncle, her youngest brother, died in November. People that I love have been ill and have yet to recover. The uncertainty of what might be open and what remained closed and whether it would be better to avoid holiday social gatherings brought more stress. The rising cost of living. Employment uncertainty. I could go on, but you get the gist.

With all of this, my sister-in-law decided that it would be fortuitous to visit Chencha, the curandera again. We haven’t been there in years. In fact, Chencha did not receive any visitors for over a year when she was recovering from COVID and in mourning for her husband that died of the same illness. But since she was up and about again, a spry 70-year-old, my sister-in-law made an appointment for us.

We were the only visitors in the waiting room at each visit. We all wore masks and took proper sanitary precautions. And so here’s how the limpias went.

Both my sister-in-law and I had her read the cards for us first. Our readings were very similar, the main difference being that T. would be introduced to a man from the U.S. shortly and have a whirlwind romance. No romance in my future. However, all the projects I have in mind will work out to my benefit, which was mostly my concern. I tend to overdo it when it comes to future plans. 

Then it was time for the limpia, cleansing. I called my husband in and had him go first. He wasn’t expecting that. He didn’t want his cards read either. Said he didn’t want to know. Anyway, Chencha started her prayers and all of a sudden burped so loud I imagine people in the street could hear it. She stopped a moment and said that my husband “andas bien fregado” (in bad shape). I have to agree with her there. She started again with the egg and rue branch movement and upped the intensity of her prayer. 

When she finished and went to crack the egg that had passed over and around my husband’s body, there was some sort of black figure in the yolk. She said it looked like a person in a wheelchair. Her interpretation of that was that someone was seeking to harm him. Their intentions were that he’d end up unable to get around, an invalid. She gave him a candle, a blessed Jesus card, and a bottle of Chloro-feel, mint-flavored. This beverage contained sodium copper chlorophyllin (a digestive aid), methylparaben (a preservative), mint, and propylparaben (an anti-fungal and anti-microbial compound). He was to drink a shot of it 2-3 times a day. He did and it certainly cleaned out his intestines. 

T. and I had a bit of salado (saltiness) in our egg. This is thought to be due to people’s jealousies and their petty actions caused by that. I’m never too chuffed about what other people think of me. T., on the other hand, was all in a dither. Since none of us had clear yolks, we went back a second time. 

The second visit resulted in a nearly clear egg for me, a cloudy one for T. and an extremely cloudy, but no black figure for my husband. Chencha also gave T and me plants. She said these were called La Flor del Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit Flower) because the flower looked like a dove. There are a variety of colors, but ours were orange/yellow. She said these would bring money into our place of business if we planted them there. Since T and I both work out of our homes, we planted them there. For plant lovers, this plant is Epidendrum radicans Pav. ex Lindl., which is a type of wild orchid. 

I didn’t go to the third session. I developed a rapid onset stomach flu or something and stayed in bed. My husband and T. went and had their limpias. T. was nearly better, but could stand for one more session. My husband was still in bad shape. 

Chencha sent a remedy home for me with my husband. She told him (and even wrote it down) to make a tea with equal parts romero, mejorano, and tomillo. Boil them in 1 liter of water. Then strain and serve. Add one tablespoon of honey and the juice from one limón. 

I had all of those ingredients on hand and my tea was soon prepared. I drank two cups before bed. By morning my fever was gone and my stomach was improved. YEAH! 

So, in all, I can’t say the three of us were rid of the bad 2021 mojo completely according to the egg thingy. It looks like we’ll be carrying some of it forward into 2022. Well, I guess we’ll have to see how it goes then. Onward!

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Natural Healing — Yerba Buena

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Yerba buena, (also spelled hierba buena) otherwise known as Spearmint, is yet another herb that came with the Spanish friars and was gleefully added to the indigenous medicinal herb garden. 

Curanderas (healers) add spearmint to make a concoction more palatable but it also has its own medicinal value.

To treat acid indigestion, gastritis, heartburn, and nausea steep dried or fresh yerba buena for 15 minutes. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature. Add limón and baking soda and drink as needed. Nausea caused by pregnancy tea is made from yerba buena flavored with canela (cinnamon). Nausea caused by a hangover calls for a tea made from a spoonful of yerba buena flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Intestinal inflammations are traditionally treated with an infusion of powdered root. Spearmint has a proven antispasmodic effect.

For the most part, yerba buena (good herb) is still used primarily to treat stomach ailments in Mexico, although the herb has other medicinal properties worth noting.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) has been shown to reduce pain for people who have osteoarthritis. The antioxidant properties protect the liver. Regular ingestion improves memory. Spearmint is effective in reducing anxiety and is antimicrobial. Infusions of spearmint have been traditionally used topically as a mild wound wash to reduce the chance of bacterial infections. A poultice of spearmint leaves and a little olive oil is sometimes used to treat burns.

It is both antiproliferative and antidiabetic. It has been effective in the treatment of Polycystic ovary syndrome and hirsutism. Yerba buena has often been used medicinally particularly digestive issues. It has been shown to have anti-obesity properties.

Yerba buena is often used to reduce flem. To make a tea for colds and flu, boil 10 grams of the leaves for each 1 / 2 liter of water. Tea for a headache is made with a sprig of fresh hierbabuena and a few romero leaves (rosemary).

Babies are given teaspoons weak tea made from yerba buena then they have hiccups and are teething. If a baby is colicky, basil, cempasuchil, eneldo (dill), fennel, senna, yerba buena, brook mint, rosa de castilla (rose) are combined in equal parts. Three fingers full (a good pinch) of the mix is steeped in a liter of water.

Yerba buena is a natural food preservative and can be used as an organic insecticide. It also prohibits the growth of certain fungi on plants.

Overall, yerba buena is a good herb to have on hand.

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Filed under Homesteading, Mexican Food and Drink, Natural Healing

Natural Healing–Nispero leaf tea — Loquat leaf tea

I have long enjoyed the nispero fruit which is known as míspero locally.  Mama Sofia had several full-grown trees and when in season would always give us a bucketful to take home.  My husband has been trying for years to grow our own nispero tree. One time Miss Piggy broke loose and ate it.  Another time, a hoard of ants stripped the sapling bare overnight and it dried out. A third planting was destroyed by the chickens.  However we currently have not one, but two, healthy nisperos out back. They aren’t mature enough to produce fruit yet, but I have made nispero leaf tea.  It’s delicious! It has a fruity flavor all its own.

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The nispero (Eriobotrya japonica) otherwise known as loquat is not native to Mexico or Japan, but China.  I wasn’t able to trace its migration to Mexico, although I imagine it came with the Spanish.  Regardless how it arrived, it is a healthy addition to your Mexican diet whether eaten as a fruit or enjoyed as a tea.  It’s long been used to treat skin inflammation and respiratory problems in China. Here are some other health benefits:

Loquat has been found to be Anti-acne, Anti-aging, Anti-allergy, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory  and provide beneficial immunomodulatory effects (Read more here and here and here.) It reduces body weight through control of lipid metabolism and reduces fat deposits in the liver. The loquat flower has a protective effect on acute alcohol-induced liver injury. Loquat also reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides (Read more here.) and prevent skeletal muscle atrophy. (Read more here.) It is useful in treating diabetes (Read more here.), useful in treating cancer (Read more here and here and here and here.), useful in fighting bacterial infections, and useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders. Loquat leaf tea is known to relieve cough and reduce phlegm. as well as aiding in the treatment of chronic bronchitis.  Finally, Loquat suppresses ovariectomy-induced bone mineral density deterioration.  

Here’s how to make nispero leaf tea:

Pick a handful of leaves, preferably young leaves.  Scrape off the furry underside. Wash and let dry.

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Cut the leaves lengthwise in long stripes to reduce oxidation.  

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Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Let the leaves steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve. Flavor with honey if desired.  It really doesn’t need it. The flavor is lightly fruity.

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I found one recipe that suggested the tea can be served as a hot toddy, with a splash of whiskey or bourbon and lemon on the side.  I suppose it could. Maybe I’ll try it this way during the rainy season on one of my days off.

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Filed under Mexican Food and Drink, Natural Healing