Personal adventures with Andean medicine

Within the context of a formal academic study, there has been little scope for offering a more informal, even humorous perspective on Traditional Medicine. But readers might be interested to learn more about how I came to be involved with this fascinating topic, as part of my overall lifelong interest in Andean archaeology, anthropology and shamanism.

Medicinal plants for sale

In earlier years I have spent several blocks of time living with indigenous Andean communities, to experience their traditional way of life, which began my personal journey into a subject which has in many ways taken over my life and work. I most certainly have personal experiences of many of the treatments I describe in the website. In the blogs "Ritual at Hanging Rock" ( and 'Cleaning out the old and preparing for the new' ( I described my personal experiences with Andean yachaks and curanderas.

Volcan Imbabura

So, in the manner of 'light relief' as it were, I am attaching here a document "Random Trials and Affected Areas. Adventures with Andean medicine" which describes some of my own personal adventures in this fascinating world. You will read about the use of tadpole tails for conjunctivitis, and stinging nettles for several purposes: to reduce bruising and swelling after localised trauma, and in direct application to the skin in combination with icy showers to flush away 'negative energies'. The document is in no way written as an 'academic' article or report, which in many ways adds to its charm; but most certainly it is an astute observation and discussion nonetheless of the kinds of practices and the beliefs that underpin them, that eventually gave rise to the present study MEDICINE. Happy reading ....

* Random Trials and Affected Areas. Adventures with Andean medicine. (PDF file)

About this blog entry

This blog entry was posted on Friday 8th March 2019.'s picture
Dr Elizabeth Currie

Dr Elizabeth Currie is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Experienced Researcher and Global Fellow at the Department of Archaeology, and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Health Sciences, University of York.

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