Video: Brewing Up a Cure

I grew up in a Jamaican family where there was a tea for every physical complaint, a tradition of “bush medicine” passed down through generations. It’s not surprising, that years later, when I began working at a health and wellness magazine serving people of color, I got interested in ethnomedicine. That’s the study of natural substances that various cultures use in healing. A branch of that study, ethnobotany, focuses on the medicinal use of plants by folk healers.


A Yagua elder near Iquitos, Peru. Photo by Louisa Salazar.

Today, I came across a video in CNN’s “Great Big Story” series, on a Peruvian medicine man named Rosendo. At age 86, this curandero is racing against time to pass on a lifetime of traditional knowledge to his son, Mauro. Click here to view his story in a video produced by Jungles of Paris


A curandero performs a cleansing ritual in Ecuador

By calliopejen [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons