My skin has been really terrible lately. My hormones seem determined to make me unattractive and continue to screw up my face. (“Sorry, nena, no men for you,” they seem to say…) Since I’ve tried everything and there are too many reflective surfaces in the world to avoid, I’ve turned to Peruvian folk medicine, or what my uncle likes to call, “voo-doo.” My aunt is Peruvian, and her father is into “that kind of stuff.” One day he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He sat down next to me at a family gathering and said (in Spanish) in a terribly sketchy manner, “I have something for your…problem…”
I paused for a second to wonder which one he was talking about. “Oh, my skin?”
“Yes. I can get something for you that will help. You drink it twice a day. It’s not sweet, it’s bitter.”
“Well, what is it?”
“Don’t worry about it. I have something. If you want to try it, I can order it.”
I paused again for a silent, “Wtf,” and said, “Sure, why not? I’m desperate enough. As long as it doesn’t kill me.”
He shook his head seriously and assured me it wouldn’t. And then everyone else at the party thought it was appropriate to talk about my skin problems and refer to their experiences and give me a bunch of suggestions. Exactly the kind of attention a 20-year-old girl wants. Not.
Anyway, the “something” finally arrived, and it turned out to be less “voo-doo” than I expected. My aunt had told me stuff about cracking eggs on people and blessing crap, or something like that, but what I received wasn’t nearly as intriguing and glamorous.
He basically gave me a bag of an herb that is supposed to clean your system and regulate the liver, stomach, and intestines. I sent a picture of it to a friend and the response I got was, “Dude, it’s got twigs and shit.” It is quite twiggy. I basically have to put a tablespoon in some boiling water for a couple of minutes, strain, and drink two cups a day (one morning, and one night). The herb is called Chanca Piedra, and it’s used to cure pretty much everything in Peru. You can find out more details here if you’re curious.
He also gave me a cream to put on my face at night called Baba de Caracol, which has helix aspersa extract…also known as snail. Yes. I know. It’s supposed to be good for acne, wrinkles, scars, the works.
I’m going to give it a try, and see what happens. I would like to be in photos someday, you know. ;p