Nahua remedies to relieve a broken heart

 

Nahua remedies to relieve a broken heart

During the history of Nahua medicine, there were several herbal remedies for different ills. One of them was madness or what, modernly, is conceived as mental illness. That is why many of his methods sought to heal physical and, curiously, emotional ailments. Among those who stand out, perhaps because it is an evil that even today’s person has, is the ailment of a broken heart.

The Nahuas were so aware of this malaise that they used plants such as yolloxochitl, cacahuaxochitl, and neyoltzayanalizpatli. All these herbs were called: heartbreak medicine.

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The broken heart, a condition that also invades the physical body

The fact that the Nahuas have associated emotional ailments with the heart is not arbitrary. It has been proven that when a person is heartbroken, he or she does experience real pain in the chest area. Among other things, this is because, when one suffers a disappointment in love, the brain sends a catastrophic signal to the heart and stomach. This causes the airways to close and the famous “stomach knot” is made, which accentuates a feeling of emptiness. The fact that these three organs are involved when dealing with a condition as sad as a broken heart is not arbitrary. For the Nahuas, these viscera are what they called organs of thought: brain, heart, and liver.

According to the Nahuas, these three organs were conceived as the places where the vital fluids or “animistic entities” resided. Because of this, the heart was one of the main parts of the body to treat when someone considered himself sick or insane. So much so, that the Nahuas already knew the causes of a disease. For example, when it was considered that a member of Nahua society was sick of the head, it was believed that this was caused by an excess of phlegm in the heart, which caused this organ to turn in the chest.

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Natural remedies for the broken heart (according to prehispanic medicine)
Having a great sadness was also a cause of excess phlegm for the Nahuas. Due to this, the yolloxochitl, cacahuaxochitl and neyoltzayanalizpatli were used, which had a real impact on the body of those who ingested them. In the words of Francisco Hernández, these plants had a high amount of glucose and, presumably, the Nahuas thought that their sticky latex would reunite the heart:

Yolloxochitl (Talauma mexicana)
Nowadays, the use of the Yolloxochitl continues in force. Only now it is more common to find it with the name of Heart Flower or Magnolia.

Currently it has been confirmed that they can cure different cardiac ailments. Another of its particularities, is to cure the headache.

How to prepare it for heart pain?
To mitigate heart pain, the plant is used together with lemon balm, rue, orange, lime and lemon cojoyos, all these components are rested in brandy and the resulting liquid is smeared on the patient’s body, a ribbon is wrapped and tied in the head; or, prepare a macerated with the crust in a liter of refining and a quarter of wine, take a spoonful on an empty stomach until the patient improves.

The cacahuaxochitl (Rose of cocoa)

Known to be one of the main ingredients of chocolate, this cocoa flower was widely used as a medicine or to perfume beverages. Today it is known as Rosita del Cacao and its properties continue to be primarily aromatic.

How to prepare it for heart pain?
An infusion is made with the bark of the tree where the flower comes from. This is used for internal injuries, in this case, the pain of a broken heart. There was a belief that the large amount of latex that came from the bark, from the tree where the flower came from, had the quality to reattach the heart.

The neyoltzayanalizpatli

Only known as the herb of the rupture of the heart, this plant was described by Francisco Hernández, a Spanish scientist of the New Spain era, like a flower that took roots similar to hair and whose flower was rounded and white with purple. It lacks flavor and noticeable odors. Currently there is no photograph of the flower, but by its description, this is the most similar.

How to prepare it for heart pain?
The way to administer it to people suffering from a broken heart or a fright, is through placing the leaves of this flower dissolved in water.

 

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