I had been ailing since Sunday with a stomach bug; by Wednesday I had reached my limit drinking teas and eating toast. I thought about stopping at the pharmacy for a chemical solution. At the last minute I shared my predicament with a couple of native friends; they suggested looking for the plant ‘Paica’ at the mercado.
When I arrived at the ‘mercado’ – market day, the town had swelled with locals from the highlands bringing their produce to sell. After surveying the crowded area I zeroed onto the first vendor at the entry. Her name was Guillermina; she had a tarp on the ground covered with many different plants that looked like common typical weeds. I asked for the Paica, and to my surprise she had it on hand. She proceeded to educate me about its properties, how to prepare it as a tea, as well as other options. She had additional herbs for muscle pain, kidneys stones, liver problems, urinary track infections, etc, etc.
I took the potion for a couple of days; feeling much much better even after the first day. Muchas gracias Guillermina, for not just providing healing; but for dispensing ‘Pachamamas’ (Mother Earth) wisdom … earning a much deserved respect from this ‘modern’ Peruvian…It opened my heart and eyes to its wisdom.