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Indigenous Women and Traditional Medicine in Oaxaca (Mexico)

Women and Traditional Medicine in Oaxaca (Mexico)
- Case Study
Traditional medicine and healing are an emergent area of
concern. In this region, women form the majority of traditional healers.
Medicine people have formed 17 groups in Oaxaca and are now practicing
their art in their communities. They are evolving various skills from
indigenous mid-wives to specialized healers. Therapies based on herbs,
massages, sweats, chiropractic, and other forms are sued for many
physical and mental diseases.

After bitter struggles with official associations of physicians, traditional medicine people finally were able to organize joint meetings in which they shared their experiences and set up plans for collaboration. As a direct result, two reports on traditional medicine have been issued, and the indigenous women have benefited immensely. Their involvement has been a key factor in cataloging the plants, herbs, and practices, and in
promoting the conservation and availability of curative products and
practices. With the support of the National Indigenous Institute,
UNICEF, and NGOs, an overall health program has been established.
Recognized medicine people and healers train interested indigenous
villagers as health promoters through courses and workshops, focusing
on the recovery of communal knowledge about medicinal plants and
traditional healing practices. The status of indigenous women has been
enhanced through the creation of a council of traditional medicine where
their knowledge is recognized, and through the opening of community
clinics. Not only can they make wide use of their traditional knowledge
in medicine, but also the exercise of their practice has been greatly

Additional info:

Learning to Heal Body and Mind From Mexico's Shamans
Students in occupational therapy traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, for the U. of New Mexico's summer course, "Introduction to Mexican Traditional Medicine." They took Spanish-language cla**** and learned healing methods using local plants and herbs and traditional procedures for spiritual cleansings.

Women Protect Traditional Medicine: Shamans Meet In Colombia

Women shamans from around the Americas met in Colombia in late August to try to outline how best to integrate ancient teachings and wisdom with Western practices to improve the lot of their communities. The shamans, from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela met in the southwestern Colombian city of Pasto Aug. 25-30 in the first ever International Meeting on Andean Cultures.


COMPITCH’s first priority is health for all communities – to the point that they will sacrifice their own salaries if it meant the money will help cure someone’s sickness. COMPITCH is continually working and mobilizing to protect the indigenous culture, local biodiversity and the practice of traditional medicine in Chiapas. COMPITCH exists because the Mexican government is not encouraging these crucial elements to
survive. Someone has to defend every citizen’s right to healthcare, whether it is in the hospital or in nature.

Grandmothers' Projects (not updated recently)
The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers has group projects that represent the wh*** Council, and they also have projects
as individuals. As women of tremendous energy and resources, the
Grandmothers generate a great deal of energy and enthusiasm around
projects that they sponsor themselves, as well as outside projects that
they endorse.

Homeopathic Medicine in the City of Oaxaca, Mexico: Patients' Perspectives and Observation
Michael B. Whiteford
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
, New Series, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar., 1999), pp. 69-78

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