Discovering a Stability Between Conventional People Cures and Western Medication

Discovering a Stability Between Conventional People Cures and Western Medication

Rising up within the Mexican tradition, I used to be launched to a number of house cures to deal with every part — coughs, colds, stomachaches, fevers, bug bites, and even “el mal de ojo,” or the “evil eye.” Mexican folks drugs was an necessary a part of my upbringing, however as an grownup with a uncommon illness, I depend on Western drugs to remain wholesome.

It’s most out of character for me to be confused when speaking about pulmonary fibrosis. I strive my finest to at all times assist others perceive this illness and the way it impacts me. Nevertheless, I’ve had a tough time instructing folks from my tradition about my illness, and I noticed how sturdy these beliefs about folks cures are. I’ve needed to look at and work to grasp just a few issues about my very own myths about folks drugs, particularly with regards to my household’s beliefs.

Therapeutic via cultural traditions

Within the Mexican tradition, we put our belief in an individual we name a “curandera” (feminine) or “curandero” (male). A curandera is a standard folks healer whose apply typically includes sage burning, exorcism with an egg, miracle teas and herbs, cleansings that rid the physique of evil spirits, and choices and prayers to a better deity. In my household, my grandmother acted as our curandera after I was younger.

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Discovering a Stability Between Conventional People Cures and Western Medication

My grandmother at all times had a treatment for any ailment. She would heal with herbs. My mom would name to seek the advice of her about what to provide us once we have been sick. I bear in mind doing the identical for my daughter when she was younger. I don’t bear in mind my household ever counting on trendy drugs. I don’t know if it was resulting from a scarcity of monetary stability or due to conventional and cultural beliefs, or each.

As a second-generation Mexican American, my mom was the primary to attempt to depend on Western drugs. I do bear in mind seeing a health care provider at the local people middle as a younger little one. I can bear in mind the smells of recent medicines, which have been completely different from what was at all times being formulated in our kitchen at house. I bear in mind after I acquired my first faculty vaccinations and the way frightened the adults in my household have been. They have been afraid of what was being injected into our our bodies.

Earlier than being identified with pulmonary fibrosis, I attempted my household’s folks cures to treatment my signs. I made a number of the teas that my grandmother taught me to make, particularly to ease the power cough I’d developed. I believed it could treatment no matter ailment was inflicting me to cough and wheeze. It appeared probably the most pure idea for me. It was what I knew. I trusted this fashion of therapeutic and by no means thought it to be odd.

When each treatment I attempted didn’t relieve my signs, I needed to analysis one thing else. I used to be getting sicker and experiencing shortness of breath, low oxygen, and wheezing, so I selected to see a health care provider. It took a number of docs to lastly give me a correct prognosis. Even with trendy drugs, uncommon sicknesses are troublesome to establish.

folk medicine | Pulmonary Fibrosis News | A collection of herbal teas used as folk remedies stored in three glass containers and a plastic bag on Ann's kitchen counter.

Ann retains quite a lot of folks treatment teas from Mexico on her kitchen counter. (Photograph by Ann Reynoso)

Fashionable drugs versus folks drugs

I’ve nothing in opposition to folks drugs. It has been a tough transition abandoning what I used to be most comfy with. I do imagine that a number of the folks drugs I’ve realized about nonetheless has price, however for my uncommon sickness, I’ve chosen to place my belief in trendy drugs.

With all of the analysis and medical recommendation from my docs, I discovered that sure medicines may assist with the soundness of pulmonary fibrosis, similar to Ofev (nintedanib) and CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil). For over a yr, my lung perform has held regular resulting from this contemporary drugs.

Right now, my household nonetheless practices folks drugs traditions. The Latino tradition is wealthy on this conventional approach of therapeutic. There are occasions when my household nonetheless asks if I need to preserve making an attempt folks cures. For some, it’s onerous to grasp the seriousness of my sickness. It’s onerous for them to grasp why there’s no treatment. Patiently and lovingly, I attempt to clarify that “on this world, unexplainable issues occur to some folks, and I occur to be a type of ‘some folks.’”

I do benefit from the custom of sipping on several types of natural teas. I nonetheless have my teas sitting on my kitchen counter, and I drink them once in a while. Whereas it has been onerous for some to see me stray away from our traditions, I nonetheless respect these beliefs.

There’ll at all times be a spot inside me that can mechanically flip to folks cures first. I suppose these cultural traditions will at all times be part of me. It took being identified with pulmonary fibrosis to persuade me that trendy drugs and expertise could be the only option to deal with an sickness, particularly one so uncommon.


Word: Pulmonary Fibrosis Information is strictly a information and data web site concerning the illness. It doesn’t present medical recommendation, prognosis, or therapy. This content material is just not meant to be an alternative to skilled medical recommendation, prognosis, or therapy. All the time search the recommendation of your doctor or different certified well being supplier with any questions you might have concerning a medical situation. By no means disregard skilled medical recommendation or delay in in search of it due to one thing you have got learn on this web site. The opinions expressed on this column will not be these of Pulmonary Fibrosis Information or its mother or father firm, BioNews, and are meant to spark dialogue about points pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.