Hoy quiero hablarles sobre 7 “enfermedades” que sólo pasan en México (Today I want to talk about 7 diseases that ONLY happen in Mexico). Y ¿por qué entre comillas (“”)? (And, why between quotation marks?) Well, because they are not actual diseases, but slang we use to refer to… well, read this article to find out!
Los mexicanos somos muy ocurrentes (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.
Just kidding! 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
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, las mamás (mothers) buy a red bracelet so los bebés puedan estar protegidos (babies can be protected) from this “sickness”. ¿Y cuándo estás grande? (And when you are a grown up?), then, the remedy is very simple…
According to abuelita’s book, you need to grab an egg y tienes que pasártelo por todo el cuerpo (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
This one is really dangerous, mis amigos. It could lead to una pérdida de conocimiento (loss of consciousness) or maybe just “a near faint”. This one is popular with las mamás y las abuelitas mexicanas (Mexican mothers and grandmothers).
El patatús is provoked by an unpleasant surprise and you are so “upset” or “surprised” that you might faint. Por ejemplo (for example), if you came back from el antro (the club) at 6 am or they just found out que te hiciste un tatuaje (that you got a tattoo).
Best solution: prepare her un té de manzanilla (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
¿Acabas de recibir malas noticias? (You just got bad news?) and you are feeling extremely anxious… watch out!… porque te va a dar el soponcio (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 un dolor de cabeza (a headache), baja presión (low blood pressure), or even desmayo (fainting). Just take some paracetamol or relaxing pills and you are saved.
By the way, do you need a cure for translating in your head and feeling clumsy while speaking Spanish? Check out the free Spanish training we have on our website, where we explain a 4-step method to have fluent Spanish sentences roll off the tongue by learning something we call “chunks” instead of word lists and grammar rules. Immediate relief promised!
# 4 Empacho y mal del puerco
“¡Ay, mijita, ya deja de comer que te vas a empachar!” (“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 una siesta urgente (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
Si te dio el aire, ya valiste (if you got the air, you are doomed)… This “disease” has indigenous roots in Mexico.
They say you can get this disease if las personas caminan en lugares llenos de mala energía (people walk in places surrounded with bad energy), and si te da el aire (if you get the air), you might catch a flu or your mouth can deform.
¡Ay, ay! Siempre usa suéter (Always wear a sweater) por si acaso (just in case), but don’t worry! The remedy for this is, of course, un huevo (an egg) to remove the bad energy, remember? What if you are a vegan? ¡No hay problema! You can then use hierbas de olor (scent herbs) to clean your aura!
# 6 Desconchabado
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: pomada de la campana (Dr. Bell’s medicine), té de arnica (Arnica tea), or if you have really broken something, please just go to a real doctor!
Did you just get chills? Maybe after watching una película de miedo (a scary movie) and now you are espantado y con ñañaras (scared and with chills)? Then, you are safe! This disease is very normal, especially for coyones (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).
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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 comments below.
Estoy agüitada porque este video se terminó (I am very sad because this video 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.
Just one last thing before I go: remember the Free Spanish training I talked about earlier in this video? If you sign up, you also get a sample lesson straight from our Spring Spanish Academy! Feel free to sign up by following this link.