The ‘bad boy‘, like the ‘fright’ or ‘evil eye’, is an example of the various illnesses of magical origin that are considered by doctors as ‘cultural syndromes’.
The first mentioned is a well-known evil in the provinces and is perceived by the inhabitants as the most lethal. In this sense, the Peruvian Journal of Experimental Medicine and Public Health published an article that compiles more information on this condition. Said research can be found in the Scielo virtual library.
What is the ‘mal del chacho’ and how is it contracted?
The disease has been reported in different provinces for several years and is characterized by causing the patient presents fever, malaise, lack of appetite, especially with rejection of some dairy products and pork meat.
According to the medical article mentioned above, evil of magical origin is acquired when a person falls, sits or sleeps on the ground of a hill. After that, the emanations of the hill reach him (what is presumably the spirit of the apu).
When the hill is female (pure earth), it has men as victims, while if the hill is male (pure stone), it affects women, the article points out.
What is the treatment for ‘mal del chacho’?
Research shows that the treatment for this disease consists of making a payment to the earth by the healer or taking substances such as kerosene, gasoline or cooking oil, in small doses (a teaspoon) to reduce symptoms.
In addition, according to the reports collected through interviews with residents and healers, drug use aggravates the patient’s condition. Of the patients studied, 11 died, of which eight received medication.
It is in this sense that doctors recommend keeping this disease in mind in order to diagnose it correctly with the help of a healer, even though, as they indicate, it is difficult for them to understand its mythical origin.