Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Manuel Barbieri

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-committee chair

Third Advisor's Name

Whitney A. Bauman

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Religious Studies, Indigenous People, Aztec Medicine, Aztec Healing, Traditional Medicine, Decolonize, Alternative Medicine, Mexican Plants, Science and religion, Aztec Health, History of Mexico, Indigenous peoples of Mexico

Date of Defense



Traditional Mexican medicine is not only plants and herbs but a harmonious balance between man and nature. For the Aztecs, maintaining that balance was imperative to have a sustainable diet and a good relationship with the ecology that surrounds them. Unfortunately, the duality of the "microcosm" and nature has been disappearing from Mesoamerican thought and rhetoric of inferiority to European thoughts such as the philosophy of traditional Mexican medicine. The Aztec diet was rich in nutrients, vitamins, and amino acids. One of the essential Mesoamerican medicine manuscripts is the Badiano Codex, which has more than 150 plants. Phytochemical studies have shown that secondary metabolites of the plants used by the Aztecs and now the Nahuas have biological activity that can help cure illnesses and opens new doors to the study of traditional Mexican medicine.





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