How does traditional medicine work in Zongolica? The life of a healer - Diario de Xalapa

From the age of 16, Gertrudis Alejandra Delgado Garcia began "playing" with the traditional medicine; now that she has become one of the most recognizable women in Zongolica for that knowledge, considers that over the years the traditional medical are less valued.

“It became a reality for me and now I work on it. I am enthusiastic about my work, my knowledge, and I thank God that with studies or without studies I get ahead because plants attract a lot of attention”.

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The first thing he learned, he says, was to "carve the children of the brokenness, the mollera and the empacho". First with lard with bicarbonate and now with other plants.

“They were carved, thundered and rolled on the bed and I saw that it was useful, and from the breakage I used the sheet they call the huesera; she would grind it up, throw the ground egg shell with rosemary and put it on the waistband and with that they would fix themselves”.

When She turned 26 and started delivering babies for what he used the grass, corn or whatever was in the locality; however, currently they no longer allow her to develop as a midwife. She acknowledges that those who were dedicated to attending births they did not use "injections or anything like that" but everything was natural.

Gertudis even assures that the first birth she attended was hers and before a year she attended to her sister-in-law, "from then on I started attending births."

At 66, he remembers that her grandmother was a healer and midwife, while his dad was a bonesetter, so she inherited those skills and now retains those knowledge. “I feel grateful because, as they say, you don't have to pay attention to material things, but you also have to work to earn things, it's the best inheritance I have”.

Currently, Gertrudis makes ointments, shampoos, preparations and infusions, for when a patient requires some attention. “We have for stomach pain, colic, indigestion and each plant has its properties for each thing, basil when there is stomach pain, clown leaf when there is a stomach cold and it is prepared with dry plant of the sweet herb to stomach cold, both in children and adults, but you can't give it to someone who is pregnant."

Remember that in the year In 1992 there were 48 traditional doctors in the group they formed in Zongolica, but now there are only 10 left, some have died and others have lost interest.

“Some died and others because they left, they didn't like it anymore because they wanted to be paid for their trip, their day, because they weren't interested. But I am interested, whether they give me or not, here I am because I live on that or whatever they bring me, a chicken, corn, beans, a pantry and with that and if they give me a little money I save to buy the material to make my products.”

Now, she points out that of her five children, only one of them has shown interest in learning about traditional medicine despite the fact that she is willing to share her knowledge, since it is something that is being lost. “I like to share with them, teach them, that they value plants, that they value because they are natural, they do not harm the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, the kidneys because it is a liquid that cleanses”.

Gertrude regrets that currently the “doctors in white coats” no longer allow her to deliver and that, if he does, he is at risk of receiving a fine and even going to jail. “Because I am violating the law of it, but how sad when we know that we bring a pregnant woman, the baby may die or the mother dies, then it is sadder; As I have told the doctors, we are no longer going to attend, but among you you defend yourself because you have a study and we, because we do not have a study, can go to jail. They do not respect the clothing they wear, because white clothing is wisdom, but if a woman in labor dies here, they are staining that dress and it is sad”.