Research Article on Mexican Traditional Medicine

For research paper, I will be discussing the topic of Mexican Folk Medicine within the South Texas region. My research will utilize secondary sources (such as journal articles, books, and two academic dissertations) to piece together a general overview of Mexican Folk Medicine (illnesses cured, remedies, notable healers, etc.), as a means of providing my paper with a bit of background information. Along with these secondary sources, my paper will utilize primary sources mainly in the form of local newspaper articles on curanderismo to showcase how this practice is discussed within the South Texas community.

Finally, (as I mentioned previously) my research will utilize the earlier works of Tanya Lissa Rodriguez and Maria Elena Rodriguez, both of which have completed dissertations on folk healing in South Texas. In my paper, I will argue that curanderismo, despite the major presence of formal medicine within South Texas (both from the local medical industry and UTRGV’s emphasis on medicine as a field of study), is still very much a part of the local culture.

Through my research, I hope to answer several questions including: who is keeping these folk traditions alive, how prevalent is the use of curanderismo, and how have these traditions endured the test of time within South Texas? Overall, my paper will examine how the two worlds of holistic healing (or rather “older” traditions) and formal medicine (what is “new”) coexist within this region.


There have been several historians and ethnographers who have written academic works on the subject of Mexican Folk Medicine (several of which I will be citing within my own research).

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For instance, my paper will utilize books such as Eliseo “Cheo” Torres’ Healing with Herbs and Rituals: A Mexican Tradition and Brett Hendrickson’s Border Medicine: A Transnational History of Mexican American Curanderismo as a means of gathering insight on this topic. Other academic works on this subject-matter include those written by Richard L. Currier, John M. Ingham, and Keith A. Neighbors (all of which will be incorporated within this paper). While secondary sources such as these cover a general overview, my research paper will focus specifically on this practice within South Texas.

As I mentioned within the “Topic Description”, the subject of Mexican Folk Medicine within South Texas has been researched previously by several historians. Tanya Lissa Rodriguez’s dissertation and Leslie N. Martinez’s article cover this topic specifically and act as an overview of curanderismo within this region. Maria Elena Rodriguez’s dissertation is similar in it’s emphasis on this area’s history, however, her work focuses specifically on the story of one local healer (Mary Dilley). Finally, Jennifer Seman’s article  is a bit closer to what my research hopes to uncover, as it discusses how formal medicine impacted folk medicine during these early years (although my own research hopes to discuss the later twentieth-century and early twenty-first century as well). Overall, research will simply be building upon these earlier academic works by compiling this information and incorporating newer local primary sources (namely in the form of newspaper articles).

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Research Article on Mexican Traditional Medicine. (2021, Dec 20). Retrieved from

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