Books

Required textbooks for the class:

Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing book

Curandero A Life in Mexican Folk Healing

by Dr. Eliseo "Cheo" Torres with Timothy L. Sawyer, Jr.

Eliseo Torres, known as "Cheo," grew up in the Corpus Christi area of Texas and knew, firsthand, the Mexican folk healing practiced in his home and neighborhood. Later in life, he wanted to know more about the plants and rituals of curanderismo.  Torres's story begins with his experiences in the Mexican town of Espinazo, the home of the great curandero El Niño Fidencio (1899-1939), where Torres underwent life-changing spiritual experiences. He introduces us to some of the major figures in the tradition, discusses some of the pitfalls of teaching curanderismo, and concludes with an account of a class he taught in which curanderos from Cuernavaca, Mexico, shared their knowledge with students.  Part personal pilgrimage, part compendium of medical knowledge, this moving book reveals curanderismo as both a contemplative and a medical practice that can offer new approaches to ancient problems.


Healing with Herbs and Rituals book

Healing with Herbs and Rituals

by Dr. Eliseo "Cheo" Torres, edited by Timothy L. Sawyer, Jr.

Healing with Herbs and Rituals is an herbal remedy-based understanding of curanderismo and the practice of yerberas, or herbalists, as found in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.  Part One, "Folk Healers and Folk Healing," focuses on individual healers and their procedures. Part Two, "Green Medicine: Traditional Mexican-American Herbs and Remedies," details traditional Mexican-American herbs and cures. These remedies are the product of centuries of experience in Mexico, heavily influenced by the Moors, Judeo-Christians, and Aztecs, and include everyday items such as lemon, egg, fire, aromatic oil, and prepared water. Symbolic objects such as keys, candles, brooms, and Trouble Dolls are also used.  Healing with Herbs and Rituals shows us these practitioners are humble, sincere people who have given themselves to improving lives for many decades. Today's holistic health movement has rediscovered the timeless merits of the curanderos' uses of medicinal plants, rituals, and practical advice.

Joie Davidow Text bookInfusions of Healing:
A Treasury of Mexican-American Herbal Remedies

Fireside/Simon and Schuster 1999

From Mountain Valley Growers:
"Joie Davidow's telling of Aztec history is mesmerizing. When she draws her conclusion that had the Aztecs survived, their herbal medicines would rival those of the Chinese, I was totally convinced. Finding this book while looking for books on herbal tea was a stroke of luck. . . Easy to use and handy to have this book is also fascinating just to read."