Different Kinds Of Peruvian Curanderos and What is a Curandero?

Perú is a big multi-diverse country where many cultures are mixed together, and at the same time, many forms of healing techniques have been developed there. A country where you can find habitats going from arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west, to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country, to the tropical rainforest in the east with the Amazon river. Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures like the one located in Norte Chico civilization in Caral, one of the oldest in the world (the first civilisation of America) to the Inca Empire, the largest spectate in Pre-Columbian America.


Curandero is the local word used in Peru for difference the people that work with plants or energy, spiritual healing from among others. This word is similar to the word healer or shaman . Curandero comes from the verb CURAR which means TO HEAL.

There are different kinds of CURANDEROS aka HEALERS like different kinds of plants exist on earth and spirits as well. In Peru can we find  :

1. The Achuma Curandero. 

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Is the curandero aka healer that works with the cactus Achuma aka Wuachuma or San Pedro ( popular name for the cactus used by the Spanish Christians after their experiences with the cactus, San Pedro is the guardian of the doors of heaven because that is where San Pedro takes a person). These curanderos are original from the north-west part of Peru ( Piura, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Cajamarca).

The San Pedro curandero also use some elements in its ritual :


LA MESA , that it´s compound by several different elements that represent the three fields (right field, left field and the centre field where pieces of san Pedro are found ), the right and left field are filled with rocks and shells, skulls and other elements the curanderos create a small map of the place where its power is coming or where its allies are to direct and navigate during the ritual. The VARAS ( columnar sticks are used to connect the three worlds as well. The way of dressing is also particular, most San Pedro shamans wear hats as symbol of protection , and the Poncho because when one is sitting with a poncho ( traditional cap ) the shaman looks like mountain, and the mountains are also some APUS special mountains where special rituals are performed, they are sacred and they are considered as divine, a mountain is strong and the curandero wants this for its ritual . In Peru, those are some of the APUS you can find:


  • Sara, Sara 5505 m
  • Coropuna, 6425 m
  • Hualca, Hualca 6025 m
  • Ampato, 6310
  • Huarancate, 5370 m
  • Chachani, 6075 m
  • Misti, 5822 m

2.  The Ayahuasquero.

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Is the curandero aka healer that works just with Ayahuasca. He knows how to conduct Ayahuasca ceremonies and direct DIETAS with other master plants. The Ayahuasca curanderos  sing IKAROS during the ceremonies and their strength comes from the plants they had being dieting and of course with the connection with Ayahuasca itself.

Unlike from the Achuma aka San Pedro curandero the Ayahuasqueros normally do not have MESAS or ALTARS they mainly work with  simple tools as their chakapas ( dry leafs of the plant CHAKAPA that makes special sounds that helps the patients to relax, enter in the trance and clear and seal energies trough the wind and sound of the chacapa) , AGUA FLORIDA ( perfume made of thousand flowers is use to clear energies or help a person to ground) and MAPACHOS (cigarettes made of pure tobacco nikotina rustica is use to clear and clear energies ,to call the spirits and to protect the ceremony space) .  Some shamans also play instruments nowadays like drums, guitarras, charangos, singing balls this has been influenced by other spiritual practices the original Ayahuasquero used to just use his-her songs icaros and his chakapa or maracas. 



3.The vegetalista

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Is the curandero that can be also an Ayahuasquero but knows and works with more than one plant or is specialize in more than one plant. You can only become a good vegetalista by keeping a diet or fasting for years, then you become one that knows the science of the muraya, of the sumiruna, and of the banco, which are the three highest levels in the traditional vegetalista medicine in the Amazon. These differentiated levels are not consistent throughout the Amazon, and are in places used interchangeably

El Sachero y  El sanangero

Is the curandero that works with the family of plants known as SACHAS , normally one can identify these plants because the name of the plant ends is SACHA, like AJOSACHA, JERGON SACHA for example. The sanangero works with plants like CHIRCISANANGO trough the DIETA the curandero has done with this plant. To become a Sachero or Sanangero is requeired to at least do a DIETA with this plants for one year minimum. 

The palero

Is the curandero that work with big threes or three that has HARD WOOD, these threes (CHUCHUWASI, LUPUNA,RENACO…) are known for posses a strong spirit or energy that the curandero use for make his or her energy stronger. These curandero knows how to prepare remedies with these plants mostly macerados ( three barks preserved in alcohol) for different purposes like fro example to heal rheumatism, sexual dysfunctions, infertility and more.  Not all the Paleros HAD TRIED Ayahuasca or had make a connection with their plants trough the DIETA but had received the knowledge from lineage or learned from another Palero. 


3. The Toe Curandero


In the shamanic tradition, this plant helps the shamans to get more CLEAR VISIONS, because the energy of TOE ( Brugmansia ) is pure light.

Toe is also one of the plants that had been put under BAD REPUTATION because of people that do not have respect or does not have an idea of the power of this sacred plant.

In Peru, few are the curanderos that can call themselves TOE CURANDERO O MAESTRO DE TOE because this plant is one of the most dangerous, during the diet you can die, get crazy or blind is very POWERFUL.

The toe spirit is a very pure, honest and strong in the sense.The diet with toe it’s very strong diet, you don’t take toe for visual experience because there is not, you will not remember most of it but just small parts. What you achieve is the clarity and focus for the ayahuasca ceremonies. But you don’t take toe for the visions itself because is so strong that you can not remember. So always when a person has decided to start a toe diet ,is somebody taking care. Weird things can happen with Toe.

“Toé is the name given in the Upper Amazon to various species of Brugmansia, primarily B. suaveolens and a wide variety of cultivars. Poet César Calvo calls toé “that other powerful and disconcerting hallucinogen.” Toécontains the primary tropane alkaloids hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine; it may be mixed into the ayahuasca drink, ingested in the form of raw plant materials, or smoked in a cachimbo pipe. Toé is considered one of the most powerful plants, a strong but dangerous ally. Toé, mapacho, and ayahuasca — scopolamine, nicotine, and dimethyltryptamine — are the three primary psychoactive plants of the Upper Amazon. This psychoactive triad provides, respectively, powerprotection, and teaching.”


The Toe curandero is an expert in finding stuff and people . If you want to know who still from you or where you forgot something the Toe curandero is the one you need. Toe will come and show the curandero where hiding or lost the thing or person you are looking for.

Just like the hunter following an animal’s trail, a curandero must learn to track, not only in space/time, but in the higher dimensional realms, including past, present and future, and the three worlds. Because all terminals stay connected by luminous fibers (cekes), and each fiber has its own individual vibration or note, once the shaman has calibrated her senses to this vibration, she can follow the thread to its end. Her prey may be a traumatic past incident, a lost soul part or a belief, a future probability, or even a person. As in following an animal, the shaman must have a starting point in order to calibrate. It then becomes a matter of focusing on her prey. This calibration is done according to the shaman’s internal senses. Some will see a color, some a sound or odor, some a sensation in a particular part of her body, or any other ways that she receives intuitive information.


4. The Tobacco Curandero



Tobacco it is an essential plant in many shamanic cultures, but not many had the privilege to have among them, the people know as Tobacco Masters or curanderos.

The tobacco is a mediator of the invisible world and the visible world.

Is use to protection. The tobacco juice helps to extract and  with expulsion the physical, emotional or psychological parasites. The tobacco plant is activated through prayers or icaros. The tobacco shamans can also read the cigar, the spirit whispers information into the ear of the tabaquero ( tobacco healer or master)  about the patient. 

What about the singado? (inhalation of tobacco juice through the nostrils) The tobacco leaf is left for two to three months in contact with honey, and when required for the singado it is macerated with aguardiente, or alcohol. How it functions depends on which nostril is used; when taken in by the left side it is for liberating us of negative energy, including psychosomatic ills, pains in the body, bad influences of other people – or ‘envy’ as we call it here. As you take it in you must concentrate on the situation which is going badly, or the person which is giving out a negative energy.

When taken through the right nostril it is for rehabilitating and energizing, so that your projects go well. It’s not for getting high on. Afterwards you can spit the tobacco out or swallow it, it doesn’t matter. It has an interrelation with the san Pedro in the body, and intensifies the visionary effects.

Tobacco Cleansing

Is very powerful way of clear the body, energies, emotions and mind. It also helps to get rid of tobacco addictions . This practice is also dangerous since the tobacco also contains nicotine which is technically a poison , the curandero knows how much to administer to each patient and is not recommendable for people with  heart problems and high blood pressure also pregnant women.


5. The Perfumeros

The Perfumeros are curanderos that knows how to use the power of certain plants to create magical potions with different uses such clear energie, reppel envy, call love, money or good luck . In Peru is very popular the word PUZANGA, is magic spell that be put in perfumes for example or made of perfume with different purposes being the principal to make another person to fall inlove. 



6. The Hueseros


The huesero AKA sobador is the name that is given to the physiotherapist who is dedicated to the care of dislocations, fractures, tears, stretching tendons and muscular problems.
In order to heal, the sobador, first have to determine if it is a searing, fracture or a muscular concussion. The first thing he does is to determine the position of the bone by squeezing, grasping, and pulling tightly until the bone is reunified or wedged.

Its therapeutic resource is the plants, with which they make tea, ointments, plasters, poultices and vapors that it recommends after the massage and the pressures to take the bone to the place where it should be. It also uses animal fat as the basis for some types of ointment in which it also uses plants as well.

The faces of the moon serve to organize the attention to their patients because the influences they have on the patient and the bone will determine the results in the treatment and even help to manage the levels of pain.

The sobadores had started to disappear lately, the knowledge of the sobador is transmitted from generation to generation within families and because of moderns days influences the new generations had start to lost interest in this ancient practice.

7. Limpiadores

  • Egg cleansing , this technique is very popular for clear and clean energies from childrens. In Peru there is a believe that adult people can carry strong energies that affect children’s, they call it MAL DE OJO, or EVIL EYE. Common symptoms are that the children cries for nothing and present fever episodes but doctors cannot find any problem then the family know is the evil eye and bring the children to be healed by the curanderos that knows how to the egg cleansing. The curandero also can read exactly from where the children got the evil eye can be caused by fear or for another person the negative energy then is transmitted to the egg.

How its works ? Usually the really Egg cleansing curanderos use fresh eggs from their own wild chickens and the best are the ones picked up on full moon. He or she start we a praying and then he or she rolls the egg from the top to the bottom of the body, back and front finally he breaks the egg in a glass with water to do the reading the next morning. 



  • Guinea pigs cleansing This is practice that comes from the Peruvian Andes and consist in rub an alive guinea pig on the body, the point is that the guinea pig will later (after killed and open) what are the problems in the patient, the curandero will read the inner organs of the guinea pig. In other words this practice consist in transfer the energy from one body to another. 

In this clean the cuy should be selected according to the person who is going to be treated. If it is a man it will be a female and if it is a woman, it must be male; It is also important to take care of the color of the guinea pig, generally used white and black. The guinea pig must be a maximum of one week old.

The guinea pig before being scrubbed in the patient’s body is also previously sahumerized and blown, here the prayers are generally used in conjunction with the songs, while cleaning with the guinea pig, it is very important to know exactly the sites in the That the guinea pig must be stopped, because of all this depends the accuracy of the diagnosis, in most cases the guinea pig dies because it absorbs the patient’s illness. Subsequently the cuy (guinea pig) should be skinned and opened, and according to how the interior is found the diagnosis is presented to the patient.

For example, if the liver of the guinea pig is extremely black and with a hole in the interior is synonymous that this person was caught by the hill.



limpia con cuy


  • Alum Cleansing, 

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The stone of alum has multiple magical applications, because it is the light before the darkness of the unknown. According to the legends, it was the source of energy of the lost continent of Lemuria (in the Pacific Ocean).

This stone has been used since time immemorial by indigenous cultures in rituals to honor the Gods, on the northern coast of Africa is used to ward off evil. It has a dual power, symbolizing purification as destruction. They are designed to cleanse, empower, reap benefits from the positive virtues of so much appreciated good.

A piece of alum placed in the home serves to protect it from subtle energies.

It was also used to ask for rain and good harvests.

They provoke the increase of the clientele.

It serves to help the souls of the dead to reach the light.

It serves as a protective amulet of our etheric body against attacks of magic and discovers who sent us.

It is used to clean the house, the business, our pets, our loved ones and ourselves of all kinds of bad energies.

It relaxes, reassures and favors recovery, eliminates negative charges that sensitive people absorb.

It favors the possibility of getting the job you want, employment, driving license, competitions, exams.

It serves against insomnia and nightmares, to remove spirits of the low astral that annoy us.

In Reiki is used to remove pain, to recover and/or not to continue to lose memory.

Irresistible sexual attractor, increases the pleasure, power the voluptuousness and the desire, for a magical encounter taking a bath together in the bathtub.

In rituals of love to make the loved one return if he continues to love us, but would go against the laws of magic and the Universe to do this kind of spell.

In rituals related to work, money, and success.

It serves to protect children from bad energies by placing a small amount of this mineral by sewing it inside the child’s cap …

Magic Rituals with Alum

For cleaning the home

Dissolve in a bucket with water a handful of stone alum, clean house spoil, rosemary leaves and tilapia bark. Wash doors and windows to the outside, with the help of a new mop, clean the corners of your home or business to neutralize the negative energies. Light a yellow and red candle to conclude the ritual.

Amulet cleaning and guards

Dissolve some stones of alum in a glass of water, put your amulets and resguardos inside it and let it rest all night, dry them in the morning with a clean towel and place them somewhere to receive the rays of the sun. Ask what you want to the amulets.

To ward off nightmares

Dissolve in a glass with water an alum stones Place this glass under your bed so that it is at the height of your head, while you are sleeping try to connect with the water and try to filter all your negative thoughts through that glass, In the morning throw the water to the sink.

Against Envy


A fresh lemon stone alum (with the yerberas or in the pharmacies)7 drops of your favorite lotion

Spread the lotion to the lemon and the stone alum and store them in your bag or in the drawer of your desk. As soon as the lemon hardens, throw it over your left shoulder at a crossroads and say,

I have removed the bad energy caused by envy, this lemon takes everything. “

As for the stone alum, change it once a month and burn it on a lid, comal or frying pan.


8. The Candle Curandero


This curandero knows how to see through the flame of the candle, he or she get in contact with spirits that will reveal information about the patient. Different kind of information like infidelities diseases, witchcraft , past , future and present.  There are not many of them I got the opportunity to meet one in my natal city in Tarapoto.


09. The Qeros



The Q’eros are known as the keepers of the ancient knowledge and at the same time they are one of the most highly respected mystics in the southern and central Andes. They are indigenous priest, healers, shamans, and simple farmers who have, as one of only a very few indigenous people of South America, preserved the knowledge of the spiritual tradition of the Inkas in a very pure form. http://www.inka-world.com/en/qeros.html



– Love and gratitude-

Naysha Silva 2017 ©®






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