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Shamanic healing in the Amazon
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Glossary shamanic

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Ayahuasca: (n)  A kind of liana of the Amazon region; Banisteriopsis caapi. A  brew made in part from this vine, whose active ingredient is harmine, that allows one to be guided beyond the realms of death.

Ayahuascero: (n) A shaman experienced in the ceremonial uses of ayahuasca.


Anima, animu, animus (Latin): (n) Universal energy, subtle energy of man. 





Brujeria  (Span): (n) Refers to the practice of the brujo, or to a magically induced illness.


Brujo, bruja (Span): (n) Male/female wizard, sorcerer, or witch.Generally associated to a sorcerer or witch-doctor whose practice is focused on causing harm to his/her enemies, either for personal gain (i.e., paid by a client to induce illness or kill a person) or revenge. The title is full of negative association in the Peruvian Amazon, almost without exception, although in some areas of the Andes, it may refer to a shaman who is equally capable of causing harm or to heal. The brujos know how to prepare potions to cause love, hate, pity, or to drive a man crazy. Impartial and disinterested practitioners, they administer according to the needs of their clients.





Curandera, curandero (Span): (n) Female/male healer


Curanderismo (Span): (n) The science and practice of the curandero. A holistic system of Latin American folk medicine. This type of folk medicine has characteristics specific to the area where it is practiced. Curanderismo blends religious beliefs, faith, and prayer with the use of herbs, massage, and other traditional methods of healing. It can be defined as a set of traditional beliefs, rituals, and practices that address the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of the people who use it. The Spanish verb curar means to heal. Therefore, curanderismo is translated as a system of healing. The goal of curanderismo is to create a balance between the patient and his or her environment, thereby sustaining health.



Chacruna (Amaz): (n) Psychotria viridis, the companion to ayahuasca. The tryptamine alkaloid N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and beta-carbolines are present in the leaves of this plant.

Chonta: Magical dart.

Chontero: (n) A sorcerer who uses chonta to cause harm. He takes one from his mariri and blows toward his victim. If not treated by a vegetalista, the chonta will cause great pain, even death.

Chuchuwasha, chuchuwasa, chuchuwasi: (n) A tree whose roots are chopped up and put in rum to make a medicinal drink, aphrodisiac, or tonic.


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