Peruvian Mastic

(Schinus molle) An evergreen tree that yields a resin, known as American Mastic, as well as the more common name Peruvian Mastic. It features in the widely used technique in Mexico of spiritualist healing, borrowed from traditional folk medicine known as the 'limpia', or cleansing. Flowers, and especially whisks made from twigs of this tree (called Pirul in Mexico) serve in the ceremony. It is a semi-sacred tree anyway, probably because of the pungency of its foliage (M Kearney). It is used, too, as an ingredient of the ritual baths for Brazilian healing ceremonies. In fact, it seems to be the essential ingredient, as it is the only herb that appears in all the recipes quoted (P V A Williams).

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