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Cubans turn to natural remedies in midst of prescription drugs shortage

Article Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/cubans-turn-to-natural-remedies-in-midst-of-prescription-drugs-shortage

Accessed from the world wide web at 13:00 hrs 07.01.22.

Early each morning, Jesús Villalonga heads out to the woods near his home in Cuba’s Matanzas province, east of Havana, to gather medicinal plants and collect his horse from the nearby fields.

Villalonga, 77, is a curandero, a traditional healer. The horse is for his morning job, ferrying people around in a cart that serves as a taxi. Around midday, he returns to his home in the Naranjal neighborhood for daily consultations with neighbors. Their ailments determine which plants he’ll be foraging the next day.

Cuba has a long folk history of using medicinal plants in both Afro-Cuban religious ceremonies and for the treatment of common ailments. Today, with many prescription drugs in short supply—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic—plant-based medications and alternative treatments such as acupuncture, cupping, and therapeutic massages have become increasingly important.