The Kiss of Death: Chagas' Disease in the Americas

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Ethnomedicine

Ethnomedicine plays an important role in much of South American culture. In broad terms it is traditional medicine that is practiced by jampiris (herbalists) and yachajs (diviners) that carry on the healing traditions that have been passed on by ancestors for over a thousand years.

ethnomedicine plays an important role in many Andeans' lives

Predominant is the belief that health and sickness depends upon a correspondence of humpors in the body, blood, phlegm, yellow and black vile, which relate to hot, cold, wet, and dry, as well to the seasons, much like Hippocrates and Galen taught over 2,000 years ago. Although caused by T. cruzi, constipation is believed to be caused by an imbalance of these factors. Kallawaya Andeans believe that health and disease correspond metaphorically to the three levels of their ayllus, which have toponym corresponding to a head, trunk, and legs.

It embraces the belief that the earth plays a vital role in one's spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. These methods are proven to be as at least as effective in many cases as biomedical treatments (and often more effective). They are more often readily accepted into many cultures, particularly Andean. Find out more through the links below.

See the social and cultural issues of Chagas' Prevent being a victim of Chagas' See how its become such a menace The biology of the disease Do you have Chagas' disease