Phytotherapy of the Nahua of the Sierra de Zongolica (Mexico)

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Weimann, C & Heinrich, M 1996, 'Phytotherapy of the Nahua of the Sierra de Zongolica (Mexico)', Phytotherapie der Nahua der Sierra de Zongolica (Mexiko), vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 367-381.


As for all Mexican peasant cultures, plants are an essential part of life for the Nahua of the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz (Mexico). During 18 month of fieldwork in the Sierra de Zongolica medicinal plants and information about their uses were collected. The traditional medicine of today has been influenced by Spanish medicine since the conquest. As in many peasant regions of Mexico, epidemiologically important diseases are gastrointestinal disorders, skin infections and respiratorial illnesses. Gynaecology is an important part of traditional medicine and offers many possibilities for the use of phytotherapeutics. When curing a person, rituals and empirical use of plants are closely connected. Ritual cleansing ceremonies (limpias) are performed and herbal preparations are prescribed in form of teas, rectal and vaginal douches, compresses and sweat bathes (temaxcal).

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