Photos: Venezuelans turn to alternative medicine amid shortages

With Venezuela's chronic medicine shortages and hyperinflation, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat common ailments in the crisis-wracked South American country. The healer performs 200 interventions a week in a dim, candle-lit room that features two camp beds and an array of plaster statues that Rosales says represent "spiritual entities".

Updated On Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST 7 Photos
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A woman is seen at the clinic of Venezuelan spiritual healer “Guayanese Brother” in Petare neighborhood, Caracas. Venezuelans have turn to alternative treatments and the use of herbs to alleviate the disease conditions due to the lack or high cost of medicines. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

A woman is seen at the clinic of Venezuelan spiritual healer “Guayanese Brother” in Petare neighborhood, Caracas. Venezuelans have turn to alternative treatments and the use of herbs to alleviate the disease conditions due to the lack or high cost of medicines. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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Venezuelan Rosa Saez, 77, is treated at the clinic of “Guayanese Brother”. With Venezuela’s chronic medicine shortages and hyperinflation, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat common ailments in the crisis-wracked South American country. “We go to the hospital and there’s nothing there. They don’t have medicines, or they’re too expensive, what are we to do?” said Saez, who has come to get treatment for a painful arm. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Venezuelan Rosa Saez, 77, is treated at the clinic of “Guayanese Brother”. With Venezuela’s chronic medicine shortages and hyperinflation, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat common ailments in the crisis-wracked South American country. “We go to the hospital and there’s nothing there. They don’t have medicines, or they’re too expensive, what are we to do?” said Saez, who has come to get treatment for a painful arm. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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Carlos Rosales uses the more ceremonious “Brother Guayanes” for his business. He is finishing up a “spiritual intervention” on a patient. The patient lies, eyes closed, on a cot as, in a series of swishes and clicks, the healer waves five pairs of scissors one after another over his prone body. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Carlos Rosales uses the more ceremonious “Brother Guayanes” for his business. He is finishing up a “spiritual intervention” on a patient. The patient lies, eyes closed, on a cot as, in a series of swishes and clicks, the healer waves five pairs of scissors one after another over his prone body. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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A person smokes at the clinic of Venezuelan spiritual healer “Guayanese Brother”. Rosales’ clinic is muggy with the smell of tobacco. A crucifix suspended from a chain around his neck, he practices a seeming mixture of smoke-blowing shamanism, plant-based medicine and mainstream religion. Posters hung near the entrance remind clients to arrive with a candle and tobacco and “Don’t forget that payment is in cash”. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

A person smokes at the clinic of Venezuelan spiritual healer “Guayanese Brother”. Rosales’ clinic is muggy with the smell of tobacco. A crucifix suspended from a chain around his neck, he practices a seeming mixture of smoke-blowing shamanism, plant-based medicine and mainstream religion. Posters hung near the entrance remind clients to arrive with a candle and tobacco and “Don’t forget that payment is in cash”. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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“I can’t keep up with the demand,” Lilia Reyes said at her stall, bathed in the aroma of camomile, one of the 150 plants she sells. Careless consumption of some herbs can be deadly, warns Grismery Morillo. A doctor at a Caracas public hospital, she says she has seen many cases of acute liver failure in people who have eaten certain roots. (Yuri CORTEZ / AFP)

“I can’t keep up with the demand,” Lilia Reyes said at her stall, bathed in the aroma of camomile, one of the 150 plants she sells. Careless consumption of some herbs can be deadly, warns Grismery Morillo. A doctor at a Caracas public hospital, she says she has seen many cases of acute liver failure in people who have eaten certain roots. (Yuri CORTEZ / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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Colombian Carmen Teresa, a Venezuelan resident, explains how she prepares a fig leaf tea as an alternative medicine for diabetes. (Yuri CORTEZ / AFP)

Colombian Carmen Teresa, a Venezuelan resident, explains how she prepares a fig leaf tea as an alternative medicine for diabetes. (Yuri CORTEZ / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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Venezuelan Esperanza Castillo (C), 74, is teated at the clinic of “Guayanese Brother”. With Venezuela’s chronic medicine shortages and hyperinflation, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat common ailments in the crisis-wracked South American country. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Venezuelan Esperanza Castillo (C), 74, is teated at the clinic of “Guayanese Brother”. With Venezuela’s chronic medicine shortages and hyperinflation, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat common ailments in the crisis-wracked South American country. (Matias Delacroix / AFP)

Updated on Oct 09, 2019 05:24 PM IST
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