Tuesday, June 28, 2011

brown bottles and jars

brown bottles and jars
of homemade oils and ointments
fill his portable shop

When I first spot this man, he is standing at the entrance to the Pisac market, holding open his wooden case filled with little bottles and jars. I am not about to buy anything out of a hand-labeled container. Later he shows up at our restaurant and our medicine man guide Amaru introduces him as a friend. Our yachac tells us that this man's family makes these incredible essential oils and ointments on their farm and urges us to give him some business. Now I'm curious. My mother was an accomplished herbalist and I want to know more about the medicinal plants of the Andes. The man speaks some English and the labels are in Spanish. On the label it says: Insituto de Ecologia Y Plantas Medicinales, Comite Productores Ecologicos Del Valle Sagrado De Los Incas. Sounds good. He opens some bottles and jars, and I sniff the contents. Heavenly! I'm particularly drawn to Pomada de Chiri-Chiri. The label says it's good for dolores musculares artriticos, golpes y contusiones. I figure that means arthritic muscles and bruises. Great. Since I usually have sore muscles somewhere and bruise easily, I end up buying seven jars. And it works!

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