Friday, September 11, 2020

Peru’s Indigenous turn to ancestral remedies to fight virus

Family members look in the coffin that contains the remains of Manuela Chavez who died from symptoms related to the new coronavirus at the age of 88, during a burial service in the Shipibo Indigenous community of Pucallpa, in Peru's Ucayali region, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. The Shipibo have tried to prevent COVID-19's entrance by blocking off roads and isolating themselves. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

By Rodrigo Abd

PUCALLPA, Peru (AP) — As COVID-19 spread quickly through Peru’s Amazon, the Indigenous Shipibo community decided to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors.

Hospitals were far away, short on doctors and running out of beds. Even if they could get in, many of the ill were too fearful to go, convinced that stepping foot in a hospital would only lead to death.

So Mery Fasabi gathered herbs, steeped them in boiling water and instructed her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also made syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher said. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”  Read more >>