Adaption of the Curanderismo practices of South America.The creation of curandero ways of relating with the sacred plants combined with ritualistic practices that work from a bioregional animist perspective. Adaption of curandero ways of healing, divination, sorcery, and working with spirit, that relate to ones bioregion, through the co-creation of the mesa, between the curandero and the bioregion

Tuesday, December 25, 2007



Singado, or singa, is a tobacco infusion, made in a variety of ways, it is drunk from a shell through the nose, either into the mouth and spat out or swallowed down the back of the throat and into the stomach. Tobacco infusions are an ancient way of ingesting tobacco, in South America indigenous peoples have been drinking tobacco for thousands of years, there are a few ways one can drink tobacco, through the nose is one way. Drinking tobacco was not a recreational activity, it had a spiritual purpose, tobacco being a very sacred plant that has spirit that guides the curandero. Tobaquero's (someone who works with tobacco), are often put into semi coma states with some being fatal, one would slowly dieta tobacco gradually increasing dose over a period of time until deep visionary states are acheived and the tobaquero goes through their intiation into the art. i will add here that drinking tobacco as a tea is not something one does without the proper guidance from an experienced tobaquero, it can be seriously fatal, it is not something to play with.

So here comes the warning..

Tobacco is a very powerful and can be fatally toxic, in large doses. tobacco can be toxic. the amount of singa actually drunk is very small, depending on the strength of singada. Here is some further information about tobacco and its toxicity.

Absorption and Excretion: Nicotine is rapidly absorbed from all mucous membranes, lungs and the skin. Eighty to ninety percent is metabolized by the liver, but some may be metabolized in the kidneys and the lungs. It is excreted by the kidneys. Action: It acts on the autonomic ganglia which are stimulated initially, but are depressed and blocked at later stage. It also acts on the somatic neuromuscular junction, and afferent fibers from sensory receptors. It is the most widely grown commercial non-food plant in the world. It holds a high importance in financial and economic policies in many countries. Consumption is by way of smoking, inhaling or chewing and is a habit forming narcotic, and although bans of its use have been attempted, its consumption marches steadily forward. Nicotine is the primary psychoactive constituent of tobacco. It is found in cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and rolling tobacco, as well as in nicotine patches, gum, inhalers, and nasal spray. Tobacco has a long history of use by medical herbalists as a relaxant, though since it is a highly additive drug it is seldom employed internally or externally at present. The leaves are antispasmodic, discutient, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, irritant, narcotic, sedative and sialagogue. They are used externally in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings. The plant should be used with great caution, when taken internally it is an addictive narcotic. Acute Poisoning: G.I.T. Burning acid sensation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hyper salivation. Ingestion of parts of the tobacco plant may cause various symptoms and severe cases may result in a coma. Cardiopulmonary: Tachycardia, hypertension, tachyapnoea, (early); bradycardia, hypotension, respiratory depression (late). -Cardiac arrhythmias may occur. C.N.S.: Miosis, confusion, headache, sweating, ataxia, agitation, restlessness, hyperthermia (early); mydriasis, lethargy, convulsions, coma (late). Death may occur from respiratory failure. Chronic Poisoning: Symptoms are cough, wheezing, dyspnoea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, faintness, tremors, impaired memory, amblyopia, and blindness, irregularity of the heart with extra systoles and occasionally attacks of pain suggesting angina pectoris. Withdrawal Symptoms: Intense urge to smoke, anxiety, impaired concentration and memory, depression or hostility, headache, muscle cramps, sleep disturbances, increased appetite and weight gain, diaphoresis and rapid respirations. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) includes use of nicotine products including gum, transdermal patch, nasal spray, lozenge and inhaler. Fatal Dose: Sixty to hundred mg. of nicotine. It rivals cyanide as a poison capable of producing rapid death; fifteen to thirty g. of crude tobacco. Smoked Nicotine Dosages: Threshold : 0.2 - 0.3 mg Light : 0.3 - 0.8 mg Common : 0.6 - 1.5 mg Strong : 1 - 2 mg Heavy : 2 - 4 mg Fatal Period: Five to 15 minutes. The Circumstances of Poisoning: Accidental poisoning results due to ingestion, excessive smoking and application of leaves or juice to wound or skin. For malingering tobacco leaves are soaked in water for some hours and placed in axillae at bed time, which is held in position by a bandage. Poisonous symptoms are seen the next morning. Suicidal and homicidal poisoning is rare.

please seek further advice if you wish for more information.

Singado as plant teacher.

Tobacco is a very powerful plant teacher, if you are not familiar with plant teachers i will provide some background information.

this information comes from
The Concept of Plants as Teachers among four Mestizo Shamans of Iquitos, Northeastern Perú by Luis Eduardo Luna Perhonhatu 7B5, 00100 Helsinhf 10 (Finland)
Paper prepared for the Symposium on Shamanism of Phase 2 of the XIth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Vancouver, August 20-23, 1983.
Taken from The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 11 (1984) 135-156 Elsevier Scientific Publishers Ireland Ltd.

paper can be found

The Plant Teachers

When the four informants were questioned about the origin of their knowledge they all answered: La purga mlsma te ensena (The purgative itself teaches you), referring to the ayahuasca beverage. Other plants, some of which I learned were used as additives to ayahuasca, were also mentioned. Suspecting that at least some of them might be psychoactive, I started to make a list and if possible collect all those plants that teach medicine. I found in the shamans' reports that plants they called doctores or vegetales que enseñan (plants that teach) either: (1) produce hallucinations if taken alone; (2) modify in some way the effects of the ayahuasca beverage; (3) produce dizziness; (4) possess strong emetic and/or cathartic properties; (5) bring on specially vivid dreams. Quite often a plant has all these characteristics, or some of them. I was somewhat perplexed about how to find the right way of questioning my informants about the plant teachers. If I use, for instance, the Spanish verb marear (to make you dizzy), for example: ¿Don Celso marea esta planta? (Don Celso, does this plant, when taking it, make you dizzy?)
The answer could be: "Yes, it is a good medicine", or "Yes in our dreams the spirit of the plants presents itself to you", or , "Yes, it makes you throw up everything, or "Yes, it teaches you", or "Yes, it makes you see beautiful things", or finally "Yes, if you combine it with ayahuasca." Similar answers were given to me when I put the questions differently, Iike, Don Emilio, ¿es esta planta doctor? (Is this a plant teacher?) or Don Alejandro, ¿tiene madre esta planta? (Does this plant have its "mother"?). This set of associations is interesting indeed. The association of psychoactive plants with emetics and vermifuges has been pointed out by Rodriguez and Cavin (1982). The association between dreams and hallucinations is a common theme in shamanic literature. As far as I understand, all psychoactive plants are considered potential teachers. I once asked Don Emilio if he had ever taken the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis, which grows widely throughout the region on cow dung. He answered positively: "Bonito se ve. Dietandole debe enseñar medicina." (You see beautiful things. If you keep the diet it might teach you medicine).
The four informants I worked with do not agree as to whether all plant teachers produce visions. According to Don Alejandro, all the plants that have "mothers" marean (make you dizzy). This implies that there are plants without "mother", with which Don Celso and Don Emilio do not agree. Don Celso says: The mother of the lant is its existence, its life". Don Emilio affirms that all plants, even the smallest, have their mother. Some of the plant teachers produce visions only when associated with ayahuasca. Others produce only una mareación ciega (a blind dizzyness), in which you do not see anything. Other plants teach only during the dreams.
The following plants are considered to "teach medicine" if the proper diet is kept, and can be added to the ayahuasca beverage (Banisteriopsis caapi + Psychotria viridis): Tobacco (a variety called mapacho in the area), toé (Brugmansia suaveolens), uchu-sanango (Tabernaemontana sp.), ayahuma (Couroupita guianensis Abl.), caupuri (Virola surinamensis (Rol) Warb),tangarana (Triplaris surinamensis Chamisso), chuchuhuasi (Maytenus ebenifolia Reiss),. hiporuru (Alchornea castaneifolia (Willd.) Juss), mucura (Petiveria alliacea L.), lupuna (Ceiba pentandra)*, clavohuasca (Tynanthas panurensis)*, bellaco caspi (Himantanthus sucuuba (Spruce) Woods) (Soukup, 1970), huairacaspi (Cedrelinga catanaeformis Ducke) (Soukup, 1970), huacapu (Vouacapoua americana Aubl.) (Soukup, 1970), chullachaqui caspi (Tovomita sp.), cumala (Virola sp.), catahua (Hura crepitans L.), abuta (Abuta grandifolia), amasisa (Erythrinaglauca) (Villarejo,1979; Chaumeil,1982), nuc-nuc pichana (Scoparia dulcis L.), bobinsana (Calliandra angustifolia) (Soukup, 1970), chiric sanang.o (Brunfelsia grandiflora D. Don ssp. schultesü Plowman), remo-caspi (Pithecolobium laetum Benth.) (Williams, 1936), renaco (Ficus sp.), tahuari (Tabebuia sp.) (Williams, 1936), capirona negra (Capirona decorticans Spruce) (Williams,1936), and cumaseba negra, tamshi, puca lupuna, garabato, millo renaquilla, murure, palisangre, of which at this point I have only the common names. Some of these plants (tobacco, toé, catahua, mucura, chiric sanango and others) may be taken alone. This is also the case for suelda con suelda (Phtirusa pyrifolia HBK Eichler), raya balsa (Montrichardia arborecens Schott), ajo sacha (Mansoa alliacea (Lam) A. Gentry and oje (Ficus insipida) (Encarnacion, 1983).
*Personal communication and tentative plant identification by botanists at the Herbarium Amazonense, Iquitos.
Don Emilio suggests a certain order in taking and following the proper diet for plant teachers. This is for him the ideal order: ayahuasca, tobacco, renaco, chullachaqui caspi, tahuari, huairacaspi, caupuri, palisangre, perfume, camalonga, agua florida, pedernal, creolina, akanfor, tambor huasca, chuchuhuasi, lupuna. In his list there are five elements that are not plants: perfume, agua florida and alcanfor (camphor), which are made of the essence of plants, pedernal (flintstone) and creoline (a strong commercial disinfectant). The list of additives is an open one, and I often hear about new ones.
In some cases it is clear that by ingesting and following the diet for a plant the shaman is trying to participate in some of its qualities. Many of the plant teachers are very tall trees, that resist heavy rains, winds and inundations. The shaman will then be able to withstand the elements in the same way.
The appearance of the spirits can vary greatly. They assume different human or animal forms. The only concurrence I found among the informants is that the spirit of ayahuma is a man without a head. Quite often the spirits present themselves as small people of beautiful and strong constitution. The "mother" of tangarana is supposed to be the ant that lives in a symbiotic relationship with this tree. Don Alejandro reported that he had used the shoots of this plant instead of chacruna (Psychotria viridis), as an additive of ayahuasca with positive results. This is in fact very interesting. The mechanism that has been proposed to underlie the oral activity of ayahuasca, and which has been confirmed recently by McKenna and Towers (1984), postulates that the p-carbolines present in Banisteriopsis caapi are highly reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (MAO), protecting the N.Ndimethyltryptamine (DMT) present in Psychotria viridis (as in Diplopterys cabrerana) from deamination. If the effects of ayahuasca are primarily due to the DMT, perhaps the shoots of tangarana contain a similar component.
All four informants insist that the spirits af the plants taught them what they know. Don Celso never had a shaman as his teacher. On one occasion he made a very significant remark: "That is why some doctors believe that the uegetalismo (or science of the plants) is stronger than 1a medicina de estudio (Western medicine), because they learn by reading books. But we just take this liquid (ayahuasca), keep the diet, and then we learn". Don Alejandro told me that very soon he learned more than his teacher, an Indian captured by the caucheros (rubber workers), because the spirits of the plants taught him so much. Don Jose claims that his murrayas taught him everything he knows. As I mentioned earlier, he identifies them with the spirits of dead shamans. In his ecstatic trance they enter his body and talk to him in Cocama, a Peruvian tribe language. Don Jose is the only one of the four informants who manifests what could be labelled spirit possession. He sometimes maintains long dialogues with the spirits, who talk through his mouth in a loud voice.
The spirits, who are sometimes called doctorcitos (little doctors) or abuelos (grandfathers) present themselves during the visions and during the dreams. They show how to diagnose the illness, what plants to use and how, the proper use of tobacco smoke, how to suck out the illness or restore the spirit to a patient, how the shamans defend themselves, what to eat, and, most important, they teach them icaros, magic songs or shamanic melodies which are the main tools of shamanic practices.


when working with singado one can work it with ayahuasca as talked about in Luna's article, tobacco also works really well with San pedro cactus brews. The drinking of the singado is a main element to Andean mesa ceremonies. Often singado will be made with various other herbs, depending on the curandero and thier relation with the plants.

Singado and San Pedro

San Pedro is a cactus in the Echinopsis family. There are many cultivars of the hallucinogenic cacti and i wont go into that here at this time but San pedro has been used for thousands of years for divination, healing, sorcery and visionary states of awareness. the curandero/a work with a mesa, a divine table that works with the bioregion, spirit and curandero or brujo. (see further posts here about the mesa) tobacco is prepared as singado and is worked with throughout the ceremony, the tobacco infusion raises ones energy, it also provides clarity of the mind and sight, which enables the curandero or brujo to see clearly spiritually. For this reason it is sometimes known as condor herb, as it gives you the strength and sight of a condor. alos known as black tobacco or jungle tobacco, the particular tobacco mainly made into singado is mapacho, N. Rustica. However N. Tobacum is often made into singado as well, the mapacho is alot stronger than tobacum.

Howard G Charing, an author who has written alot on pervian vegetalismo practices has written the following interview with a peruvian curandero.

What is the relationship of the maestro with San Pedro?

In the north of Peru the power of San Pedro works in combination with tobacco. Also the sacred lakes Las Huaringas are very important. This is where we go to find the most powerful healing herbs which we use to energize our people. For example we use dominio [linking one's intent with the spirit power of the plants] to give strength and protection from supernatural forces such as sorcery and negative thoughts. It is also put into the seguros - amulet bottles filled with perfume, plants and seeds gathered from Las Huaringas. You keep them in your home for protection and to make your life go well. These plants do not have any secondary effects on the nervous system, nor do they provoke hallucinations. San Pedro has strength and is mildly hallucinatory, but you cannot become addicted. It doesn't do any harm to your body, rather it helps the maestro to see what the problem is with his patient. Of course some people have this gift born in them - as our ancestors used to say, it is in the blood of a shaman.

Is San Pedro a 'teacher plant'?

Of course, but it has a certain mystery.You have to be compatible with it because it doesn't work for everybody.The shaman has a special relationship with it. It circulates in the body of the patient and where it finds abnormality it enables the shaman to detect it. It lets him know the pain they feel and whereabouts it is. So it is the link between patient and maestro. It also purifies the blood of the person who drinks it. It balances the nervous system so people lose their fears, frights and traumas, and it charges people with positive energy. Everyone must drink so that the maestro can connect with them. Only the dose may vary from person to person because not everyone is as strong.

What about the singado?

(inhalation of tobacco juice through the nostrils) The tobacco leaf is left for two to three months in contact with honey, and when required for the singado it is macerated with aguardiente, or alcohol. How it functions depends on which nostril is used; when taken in by the left side it is for liberating us of negative energy, including psychosomatic ills, pains in the body, bad influences of other people - or 'envy' as we call it here. As you take it in you must concentrate on the situation which is going badly, or the person which is giving out a negative energy. When taken through the right nostril it is for rehabilitating and energizing, so that your projects go well. It's not for getting high on. Afterwards you can spit the tobacco out or swallow it, it doesn t matter. It has an interrelation with the san pedro in the body, and intensifies the visionary effects.

Tobacco is an important plant in the ceremonies - can you smoke in the session?

No, no, no. It may be the same plant but here another element comes into play, which is fire. As the session is carried out in darkness, the fire in the darkness can perturb, create a negative reflection or vision. It can cause trauma. Y

ou use a chungana (rattle) during the san pedro sessions and I 'see' the sound as a beam of a light penetrating the darkness.

Yes, sound and light are interrelated. Chunganas are used to invoke the spirits of the dead, whether of family or of great healers, so that they may feel comfortable with us. the chunganas are to give us 'enchantment' (protection and positive energy) and it has a relaxing effect when taking san pedro.

What is the power of the artes - the objects on the mesa?

They come from Las Huaringas, where a special energy is bestowed on everything, including the healing herbs which grow there and nowhere else. If you bathe in the lakes it takes away all your ills. You bathe with the intention of leaving everything negative behind. People go there to leave their enemies behind, so they can't do them any harm. After bathing, the maestro cleanses you with these artes, swords, bars, chontas (bamboo staffs), saints, and even huacos (the powers from ancient sacred sites). They 'flourish' you - spraying you with agua florida (perfume) and herb macerations, and giving you sweet things like limes and honey, so your life flourishes. We maestros also need to go to Las Huaringas regularly because we make enemies from healing people, so we need to protect ourselves. The reason for this is that two forces exist: the good and the bad. The bad forces are from the pacts which the brujos (sorcerors with negative intentions) make with the devil. The brujo is the rival of the curandero or healer. So when the curandero heals, he makes an enemy of the brujo. It's not so much because he sends the bad magic back, as because he does the opposite thing to him, and they want supremacy in the battle. Not far from Las Huaringas is a place called Sondor, which has its own lakes. This is where evil magic is practiced and where they do harm in a variety of ways. I know because as a curandero I must know how sorcery is practiced, in order to defend myself and my patients.

so that is an interesting article about singado san pedro and the way a huachumero works.

(see part 2 for a pictorial display of making some singado.)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Background information.


Curanderismo is a holistic system of Latin American folk medicine. This type of folk medicine has characteristics specific to the area where it is practiced (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Argentina, Mexico, the southwestern region of the United States, etc.). Curanderismo blends religious beliefs, faith, and prayer with the use of herbs, massage, and other traditional methods of healing. Curanderismo can be defined as a set of traditional beliefs, rituals, and practices that address the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of the people who use it.The Spanish verb curar means to heal. Therefore, curanderismo is translated as a system of healing. The goal of curanderismo is to create a balance between the patient and his or her environment, thereby sustaining health.The healer who practices curanderismo is referred to as a curandero (male healer) or curandera (female healer). Healing terms vary with the language and culture of the area in which the system is practiced. For example, a female healer in Argentina is called a remedieras.OriginsCuranderismo in Mexico is based on Aztec, Mayan, and Spanish influences. The ancient native cultures believed that a delicate balance existed between health, nature, and religion. Illness occurred when one of these areas was out of balance.The use of nature's resources was very important to the native cultures. In the fifteenth century, the Huaxtepec garden was developed by the Aztec leader Montezuma I. This garden was a collection of several thousand medicinal plants. The Aztec priests used this garden to perform research on the medicinal properties of the plants.When the Spanish conquistadors came to Mexico in the sixteenth century, they destroyed the garden and all of the priests' research because the Catholic Church considered these "sciences" to be blasphemous. Although the written knowledge was destroyed, the plant wisdom was remembered, passed down by the native peoples, and became an integral part of curanderismo.The Spanish missionaries who were sent to the New World introduced the native peoples to the Catholic religion and European healing philosophies. Prayers to Catholic saints were soon integrated into healing rituals. Another doctrine that was passed on to the native peoples by the Europeans was their belief in witchcraft, sorcery, and other superstitions, and the philosophy that illness is often caused by supernatural forces.As the native and Spanish cultures intermingled over the centuries, a new culture was formed, as was the folk medicine of curanderismo.BenefitsCuranderismo is used to treat ailments arising from physical, psychological, spiritual, or social conditions. Illness is said to be caused by either natural or supernatural forces.Naturally caused illness is treated with herbal medicine, massage, and prayer. Much of this illness is thought to be brought about by intense emotions caused by trauma or a specific event. Susto, for example, is an illness that is caused by fright. A startling event such as a fire, earthquake, dog attack, car accident, or death may cause the patient to become ill. Symptoms of susto are insomnia, diarrhea, extreme nervousness, sadness, depression, loss of appetite, loss of brilliance in the eyes, and lack of dreams. The events are thought to dislodge a person's spirit from the body...Supernaturally caused illnesses or conditions are initiated by witchcraft, sorcery, or hexes. Physical symptoms might manifest as nervous breakdowns, paranoia, schizophrenia, depression, or excessive worrying. Supernatural forces can also create social problems. A person who has a streak of continued bad luck, or who suffers from marital problems, the loss of a job, or car troubles will deem the problem to be caused by a supernatural force. To heal these ailments and remove the hex or problem, the curandera uses rituals, spiritual cleansings, herbs, and prayer. DescriptionPrayer is the foundation of curanderismo. Curanderas have strong religious faith and believe that they were given the ability to heal as a gift from God. Curanderas pray to spirits and/or Catholic saints for help in healing their patients, often praying to specific saints for particular conditions.A traditional healing session may include one or more of the following: spiritual cleansing (limpia), ritual, massage, and/or herbal therapy. Curanderas use a variety of objects in their healing sessions, including herbs and spices, eggs, lemons, flowers, fruits, holy water, pictures of saints, crucifixes, candles, incense, and oils. Each object has a specific purpose.Holy water is used for protection from negativity or evil spirits. Eggs and lemons are patted on the patient's body to absorb negative energies. Rosemary, basil, and rue branches are brushed on the body to remove negativity.Candles are burned to absorb negative energy and create a healing environment. Different colored candles are burned for different reasons: red for strength, blue for harmony, pink for good will. Incense is used to purify the room, while garlic and oils are used as protection from negativity and bad spirits.

They are often respected members of the community, being highly religious and spiritual. Literally translated as "healer" from Spanish, curanderos often use herbs and other natural remedies to cure illnesses, but their primary method of healing is the supernatural. This is because they believe that the cause of many illnesses are lost malevolent spirits, a lesson from God, or a curse.There are different types of curanderos / curanderas. “Yerberos” are primarily herbalists. “Hueseros and Sabaderos” are bone/muscle therapists who emphasize physical ailments. "Parteras" are midwives.Curanderos treat ailments like espanto (Spanish for "shock"), empacho (Spanish for "surfeit"), susto ("fright"), mal aire (literally, "bad air"), and mal de ojo ("evil eye") with religious rituals, ceremonial cleansing, and prayers. While curanderos are capable of treating these ailments (and do), in reality they seldom do, for many ailments, such as empacho, can be treated by family members. Often Curanderos employ the use of sung Icaros to contact certain spirits to aid them in their healing work.The remedies of the curanderos are often helpful, but sometimes have negative effects on the health of their patients. For example, a common method of healing mollera caída, a condition in which an infant's fontanelle has sunken, is to hold the infant's feet with its head down and perform a ceremonial ritual. Other remedies are harmless – a common method of treating mal de ojo is to rub an egg over the body of the sick to draw out the evil spirit causing the disease.Remedies also vary between regions, in Andean countries the guinea pig is often used as a ceremonial medium.These methods of treating health problems often lead to conflict with modern medicine, because doctors reject the curandero's healing as superstitious and worthless. As a result, curanderos have often experienced discrimination and been likened to witches, both by the medical profession and non-hispanic communities. However, because of the importance of the supernatural in traditional Mexican culture, these insults generally lead only to disagreement and rejection of modern medicine by traditionally-minded Mexicans. Other medical doctors, recognizing the benefits of the spiritual and emotional healing offered by curanderos, have begun to work in conjunction with them, supporting their use of rituals and ceremonies in the healing of the sick while insisting that patients receive modern medical attention as well.The Moche people of ancient Peru often depicted curanderos in their ceramics. [1][edit] Curanderos in FictionCuranderos, probably because of the mystery and intrigue that surrounds them, are frequently included in fictional works:"Bless Me, Ultima", by the Chicano author Rudolfo Anaya. The life and writing of Miguel Ruiz was also influenced by curanderismo, since his mother was a curandera. The original screenplay for the film Viva Zapata! involved a curandera predicting the birth and death of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The original played much more heavily on the supernatural than the chosen script. "Eduardo The Healer", is a documentary that follows the life of a Peruvian curandero. "Forests of the Heart", by Charles de Lint features a curandera protagonist. "So Far From God", by Chicana author Ana Castillo, features the curandera character Doña Felicia.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eduardo Calderon

Curandero Photo

Curanderismo Practices.

Curanderismo stems from the Spanish word curar, which means to heal, and is practiced throughout Mexico, Latin America, and the southwestern United States. Specific procedures may vary depending on regional influence. For example, what is emphasized in Texas will differ from practices in northern New Mexico with its unique Native American influences.According to curanderismo, disease is caused by social, psychological, physical, and spiritual factors. A mix of healing traditions, the practice is grounded in ancient Aztec medicine. When the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in the early 1500s, they rejected the healing practices that evolved into curanderismo, partly because they emphasized non-Christian spirituality. As a result, many spiritual components changed to forms more palatable for the conqueror's Catholic faith. For example, anthropologists suggest that that the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose image is a ubiquitous presence in curanderismo rituals, is a Christianized version of the Aztec lunar mother goddess Tonantzin.
Over time, Aztec healing traditions were influenced by Spanish medicine, which itself was shaped by Arabic medicine practiced by the Moors, who, at the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, had been only recently expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. Considered the most advanced at the time, Arabic medicine's influences dated back to Ancient Greece and Egypt and, given the extent of the Arabic contact into Asia, reflected oriental healing principles. Finally, African slaves and Native American cultures wove their insights into this culturally rich healing tapestry we now call curanderismo.


So we can see with this peice of writing that the curanderismo practices have all evolved from an older tradition, which in turn took over from a previously older tradition. The adaption of curanderismo traditions are no new concept, the curanderismo way of working is one that is flexible to spirit, flexible to land and flexible to curandero. The relationships the curandero has with the teachers plants like san pedro and ayahuasca, tobacco and yopo and other plant teachers native and non native to ones bioregion. In addition, the curandero has a respectful relationship with their surroundings, with the spirits and elemental forces of the bioregion where the curandero conducts their rituals. It makes sense to work with the energies and spirits of ones country, to develop respectful relations with the other than human people of the land. There are thousands of bioregions spread across the earth, the possiblities for adaption are enormous.