Abstract Detail


Tejada, Natasha Muñoz [1], Torres Montufar, Jaime Alejandro [2], García González, Gabriel [1].

Plants vs. Devils: witchcraft in Sonora Market, Mexico City.

Folk or indigenous medicine is the result of the close relationship of man and plants and still plays an important role in countries like Mexico. Our country is considered one of the five megadiverse countries of the world with more than 22000 vascular plant species, but also is a multicultural with more than 60 ethnic groups. This combination allowed that almost 40% of the Mexican flora becomes a common alternative to medicine in many rural and urban communities. Traditional medical practitioners in Mexico are generically known as curanderos, chamanes, brujos or limpiadores (cleaners), many of them make extensive use of plants in the treatment of practically all body systems such as respiratory, gastric, renal, hepatic, neurologic, skin, and circulatory. However there is a particularly group of folk illnesses related to “supernatural” such as susto (fright), mal de ojo (evil eye) or amarres (moorings). These illnesses are complicate to conceptualize but are deeply rooted in Mexican and Latin American cultures but all of them are caused by the negative thoughts and feelings that a person or group of people has or have for another individual by negative thoughts and feelings manifest as a destructive force or energy. The Sonora market, practically located in the center of Mexico city, is the main distribution center of medicinal plants from Mexico and abroad. This market harbors approximately 300 useful plant species, but also, this market is locally known as the “witches market” because it have a section where all kind of amulets, potions, talismans, balms and preparations made from plants, animals or minerals to attract good luck and wealth, preventing or countervailing the nefarious effects of witchcraft or to harm to a person with witchcraft. However, there are not studies that address which are the most used magic plants to combat witchcraft, so our aim is to investigate the helpful plants to treat the witchcraft and to provide a species list and the way of use. By interviews we registered the 21 main plant species used against soul illnesses, bad luck and evil spells.

1 - UNAM, FES Cuautitlán
2 - UNAM, FES Cuautitlán, Departamento Ciencias Biológicas, Cuautitlán, EdoMex
3 - UNAM, FES Cuautitlán


Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PET005
Abstract ID:360
Candidate for Awards:None

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