Today I want to talk about 7 “diseases” that ONLY happen in Mexico. And, why between quotation marks? Because it’s not actual disease in Spanish, but slang we use to refer to… well, read this article to find out!
Mexicans are very witty, as we have discovered some diseases that ONLY Mexicans and maybe some Latinos suffer from… You could catch these too, though, next time you come to Mexico?! So, make sure to read this article to find out the cure for each one of them and guarantee that you stay healthy and clear from these peculiar Mexican diseases.
No need to worry, mis amigos!
This is an article to laugh and find out more about the Mexican culture, so next time you go to Mexico, you know what these enfermedades mean, and what el remedio (the cure) for each one of them is… straight from my abuelita’s book. I won’t teach you medicine today, but I promise a good laugh…
But before we continue with the first “enfermedad mexicana” (Mexican disease”), did you know that we publish 5 weekly Spanish lessons for free on our YouTube channel? Well, mis amigos, if you want to learn with me and the other Spring Spanish teachers —Juan, Mariana, Cory and Paulisima— then click on the subscribe button and on the bell button to get all notifications for new lessons being published.
1. El mal del ojo (“The evil eye”)
And well, my friends, believe it or not, this is a very “common” disease in Mexico! When someone gives you an evil look because they envy you, they wish you to fail in life, or just because they give you bad vibes, that is what “evil eye” means.
From the moment we’re born, mothers buy a red bracelet so babies can be protected from this “sickness”. And when you are a grown up?, then, the remedy is very simple…
According to abuelita’s book, you need to grab an egg and you have to rub it all over your body. When the egg cracks and has a thick texture, you’ve taken the bad energy or “the evil eye” out of you.
2. El patatús (“A near faint”)
This one is really dangerous, mis amigos. It could lead to loss of consciousness or maybe just “a near faint”. This one is popular with Mexican mothers and grandmothers.
El patatús is provoked by an unpleasant surprise and you are so “upset” or “surprised” that you might faint. For example, if you came back from the club at 6 am or they just found out that you got a tattoo.
Best solution: prepare her a chamomile tea or just ask for forgiveness and say the magical words:
Te amo, mamá ¡Perdóname! (I love you, mom! Forgive me!)
As we Mexicans say:
Más vale pedir perdón que pedir permiso. (It’s best to ask for forgiveness than permission.)
3. El soponcio (“Being extremely anxious”)
You just got bad news? and you are feeling extremely anxious… watch out!… you are going to have the soponcio.
This Mexican disease is suffered by people who receive extremely bad news and the reaction could lead to a headache, low blood pressure, or even fainting.. Just take some paracetamol or relaxing pills and you are saved.
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4. Empacho y mal del puerco (“Food coma”)
“Oh, my dear girl, you should stop eating or you’re going to give yourself indigestion.”
This is my grandma telling me to stop eating, otherwise, I will suffer from indigestion or, what is worse, after eating too much you will suffer el mal del puerco, which is related to the fact that you have eaten so much that you are not able to work nor be productive, unless you have taken an urgent nap.
Fun fact: in some cities in Mexico and Spain, they still have the working schedule with a 2-hour break for lunch, and why is that?
Well, el mal del puerco hits so strongly that you need to take a nap to be able to work in the afternoon and evening. —I wish I was joking, but this is a true fact!
5. El aire (“The air”)
If you got the air, you are doomed… This “disease” has indigenous roots in Mexico.
They say you can get this disease if people walk in places surrounded with bad energy, and if you get the air, you might catch a flu or your mouth can deform.
Always wear a sweater por si acaso just in case, but don’t worry! The remedy for this is, of course, an egg to remove the bad energy, remember? What if you are a vegan?
¡No hay problema! You can then use scent herbs to clean your aura!
6. Desconchabado (“Somewhat broken”)
My father used to sing to me: “No tengo manita, no tengo manita porque la tengo desconchabadita” (I have no hand, I have no hand because it is somewhat broken) and then, he would smack me with mi mano desconchabadita, which means you have either broken something or just hit yourself so hard that it’s not possible to move.
Grandma’s remedies: Dr. Bell’s medicine, Arnica tea, or if you have really broken something, please just go to a real doctor!
7. Ñañaras (“Discomfort”)
Did you just get chills? Maybe after watching a scary movie and now you are scared and with chills? Then, you are safe! This disease is very normal, especially for cowards. Well, we have two remedies:
- comer un bolillo para el susto (eat a piece of bread to overcome the fear)
- ver caricaturas (watch cartoons) —This is what I used to do as a child!
…and I swear you would eat un rico pancito (a delicious piece of bread) and enjoy una caricatura divertida (a fun cartoon).
Learn more about diseases in Spanish with FREE Spanish Training
Mis amigos, did you know about the existence of these “Mexican diseases”? Are there any other funny words that you know in Mexican Spanish or from other countries in Latin America to refer to such “ailment”? In that case, let me know in the video’s comments below.
I am very sad because this lesson is over, but I really hope that you have learned something new today and that you have enjoyed it like me doing this fun and cultural lesson for you.