Mayan Healers in Guatemala

Mayan healers in Guatemala do grow their medicinal herbs.

This practice has been a cornerstone of traditional Mayan medicine for thousands of years, and it continues to be an important part of their healing practices today.

Reasons why Mayan healers grow their own:

  • Control over quality and origin: Growing their herbs ensures they have access to high-quality plants that haven’t been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Connection to the land: Growing herbs is deeply connected to the Mayan worldview, which emphasizes respect for nature and the interconnections of all living things.
  • Cultural preservation: Growing and using medicinal herbs is an important part of Mayan cultural identity and helps to preserve traditional knowledge.

How Mayan Healers in Guatemala grow them:

  • Home gardens: Many healers have small gardens near their homes where they grow a variety of medicinal plants.
  • Communal gardens: Some communities have communal gardens where healers and other community members can grow herbs together.
  • Wild harvesting: Healers also supplement their gardens by sustainably harvesting wild plants from the surrounding forests.

Examples of medicinal herbs grown by Mayan healers:

  • Xolocotz’i (achiote): Used for wound healing, skin conditions, and digestive problems.
  • Hierba del cáncer (cancer herb): Used for a variety of ailments, including cancer, although its effectiveness is not scientifically proven.
  • Manzanilla (chamomile): Used for relaxation, anxiety, and inflammation.
  • Romero (rosemary): Used for memory, circulation, and pain relief.
  • Ruda (rue): Used for spiritual cleansing and protection.

Importance of traditional Mayan medicine:

Traditional Mayan medicine plays a vital role in the healthcare system of Guatemala, especially in rural areas where access to modern healthcare is limited.

It is estimated that up to 80% of Guatemalans rely on traditional medicine at some point in their lives.

Mayan Healers in Guatemala

In understanding Maya medicine, it is important to recognize that the Maya equated sickness with the captivity of one’s soul by supernatural beings, angered by some perceived misbehavior.

For this reason, curing a sickness involves elements of ritual, cleansing, and herbal remedy.

Research of Maya ethnomedicine shows that though supernatural causes are related to illness, a large percentage of Maya medical texts are devoted to the treatment of symptoms based upon objective observations of the effects of certain plants on the human system