Rosa Sisa (Tagetes erecta)
Howard G Charing, and Peter Cloudsley join Amazonian Shamans, Javier Arevalo and Artidoro in discussions about the medicinal & spirit healing plants and their use.
These are a kind of Marigold, and they are used in baths particularly
for children with ‘mal aire’. This malady occurs when a family member
dies and leaves the child unhappy and sleepless. The spirit of the
dead grandfather - or whoever it was - lingers and makes the child
sick. The spirit is sad to go and stays in the house after the person
is buried and it tries to caress and comfort people in the family.
This makes them ill.
Rosa Sisa also controls vomiting in general, as well as being used in floral baths for good luck.
Typically an envious neighbour will grab a handful of earth from the
cemetery and throw it into your house to spread boredom and heavy
Again, when something is wrong in the house - people are bored or agitated - you get a bucket of water and add crushed Rosa Sisa flowers and Camalonga and wash the floors of the house with a brush to cleanse it.
Alternatively you could have the flowers in a vase in the house for
the same purpose. Many people grow them either side of the front door
of their house to absorb the negativity of people who look in
enviously to see what possessions they have. The flowers go black but
later they recuperate themselves.
Marigolds can also be used for making wishes, blowing with the wish in mind - like we do with a dandelion - because it is yellow, the colour of the sun.
Manchare or susto (fright) are maladies commonly suffered by children, and treated with Camalonga – a tree which grows wild in the forest, but many people grow it in flower pots in the city. It smells like onions and garlic and can be macerated in alcohol to be rubbed onto the person. In cases requiring soul retrieval a prayer or chant would be used at the same time.
Typically a child gets Manchare when playing in the trees and jump
down to the ground and receive a much bigger bump than they expected.
In this case the Rosa Sisa is tied into a bunch with a white ribbon
and brushed all over the body from the head down. This is because the
spirit returns through the crown of the head. A little prayer is said
to invoke the spirit back, using the name of the child.