Did the Catholic Church Heal Me?

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Since I started traveling the one thing that has plagued me the entire time is dry skin in hot weather.

As a kid I had ezcema when the seasons changed yet like most people I grew out of it as an adult.

At least I thought I had grown out of it. Perhaps it’s the humidity or the hard water or the changes in altitude. Whatever it is, my skin doesn’t like it.

The cold in Bogota didn’t help but in Cuenca a scaley mass slowly invaded my body.

I will save you from any gross photos to illustrate the point, simply trust it was disgusting (aren’t you glad you read this post!)

ALSO READ:  Cuy in Ecuador
agua de pitimas

So yesterday when an Ecuadorian friend asked if I wanted to try a drink that cures all ailments I jumped at the opportunity.

Outside the Carmen de la AsunciΓ³n Monastery, tucked in beside a flower market there was a mass of people waiting to buy agua de pitimas, a drink made by the cloistered nuns inside to pay for their expenses.


The Carmelites started making the drink over 300 years ago with the creation of the monastery and it’s become so popular that doctors often recommend it to settle nerves and ease headaches.

But more famously, it was quoted in Don Quixote when he needed to heal his broken heart.

The drink, which literally means ‘a bit more,’ is most often purchased by those coming out of mass. 

I’m not a church goer but I am technically Catholic so I decided to give it a go.

agua de pitimas in Cuenca, Ecuador

Agua de pitimas isn’t great, made from herbs such as chamomile, lemon verbena, lemon balm and other secrets specific to the monastery.

It tastes a little bit like dandelion water. I drank the whole thing hoping that the curative properties were not only for god fearing Catholics.

Today, my skin is 75% better and most of the eczema is gone.

A modern day miracle?

Join the Conversation

  1. It’s a miracle! Do all the locals live to be 150 years old if they drink it every week?

  2. I’m not catholic and I think I would still give it a go! Lets hope for the best!

  3. ann wellwood says:

    Hey, glad that the NUNS were able to help!!

  4. Maybe it really does cure everything πŸ˜‰ Whatever it is that did it, I’m glad it’s getting better!

  5. Oh ye of little faith…..sometimes there is just no explaination so just go with it….it is like finding $20 in a pocket when you are dead broke!

  6. A lot of those are Chinese Herbs and are used for skin conditions. I’m not surprised at all. You should actually drink a couple of more glasses!!!

  7. The NVR Guys says:

    I think that special blend of herbs and spicesβ„’ probably did have some healing effects. Does credit go to the catholic church? Probably not.

    In all likelihood, these are herbal remedies created by indigenous people (pagans!! heathens!!!) and then appropriated by the church. Or is that Christmas? Whatever.

    BTW – when the hell did you drink Dandelion Water? =)

  8. Hah I also find it funny that you reference dandelion water like it’s a common drink. That said, I’m addicted to dandelion tea… I love that some crazy nuns in Ecuadar are making herbal tea to pay the bills!!

  9. Interesting – could be a coincidence; could it be something about the climate? My skin breaks out every time the weather changes – here in Melbourne, that’s a LOT. I’m so sick of it at the moment and can’t wait to get out of here because the weather has been so erratic. I don’t think what I have is as bad as what you’re talking about, though. Will be curious to see how you’re doing in a week or so. If so – can that stuff be bottled and exported? =)

  10. I’m pretty sure it was the herbs. I’ve had pretty good luck with natural/herbal cures for things.

  11. Hey girl, maybe it does cure everything. Back in the old days, Chinese people uses herbs as medicine to heal people. πŸ™‚ Anyways, that picture looks like it’s a tasty drink even though it’s not.

  12. I always beliveve there are natural cures for everything….but who knows, maybe it really is a modern day miracle!!

  13. turkey's for life says:

    Well, we’re not superstitious or religious but if a ‘cure’ works, who cares? Maybe it was the camomile and other ingredients that helped. Glad you;re feeling better though.

  14. Maybe the nuns tipped something alcoholic in it and that’s their secret!Glad you are feeling better though. Better than any medicine described by the doctor.

  15. Migrationology says:

    Very nice! Someone handed me a similar beverage that tasted more like dirt, in Thailand (a curing beverage of all ailments as well), and the next day I felt a lot better too! There must be quite a few beverages from around the world that do the trick!

  16. Can a placebo work for a visible ailment? If this stuff does heal skins issues I have to believe it takes more than one serving. Regardless, congrats on your recovery!

  17. i think you should start bottling this stuff and give it a funky name then ship it to the states as the latest miracle drink. maybe a tv info commercial featuring a D-grade celebrity with a minor health ailment and the world is your oyster.

  18. I once got cursed for teasing Jehovas, missed three flights that day…

  19. Ayngelina,
    Glad to hear that you are better, regardless of how it happened. From my limited understanding of an obscure Ecuadorian indigenous dialect, agua de pitimas means “placebo.”

  20. Cool! Want to ship some my way? Maybe it will cure my asthma!

  21. That’s great! How much was that drink? Glad that you’re feeling better:)

  22. Kirsten Alana says:

    Religion & I don’t mix so well. God and I are a different story. But holistic cures … always a good idea IMO.

  23. hum… agua de pimitas might truly be a healing water. Good that your eczema is getting better!

  24. Cathy Sweeney says:

    Glad you found a remedy – whether it was coincidence, healing herbs or a miracle. I’d give some credit to the good nuns in any case.

  25. Amazing! I really think there is something to old healing potions.

  26. Hmm, I suffer from eczema as well. I guess a trip to Ecuador should be in my future?

  27. You’d think by now someone would have invented a healing draught that tastes good! Haha. Glad that it seems to have helped, though.

  28. It works! Be happy….some good things don’t need an explanation πŸ™‚

  29. Zablon Mukuba says:

    that is one drink i will have to try

  30. looks and sounds delicious…seems to work though.

  31. Obviously, it did the trick. Miracle or not, if you believe strongly enough you get results.

  32. adventureswithben says:

    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. It worked!

  33. Michael Hodson says:

    I knew I needed to take organized religion more seriously!! Or use moisturizing lotion…

  34. As a recovering Catholic I always try what’s offered. At the very least it’s a great story. Let us know when you see the virgin Mary appear on your toast, that’s a good story.

  35. Holy crap, bring back some for me? I’m having the same skin issues.

  36. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ says:

    Send me some! My hives get so bad during season changes!

  37. Ha! That’s brilliant! πŸ™‚ Love quirky, natural remedies that work for no known reason. πŸ™‚ SO glad you’re feeling better!!

  38. Caz Makepeace says:

    I need some of that. I suffer from eczema too!

  39. the destination india says:

    it may seem odd to westerns but in india such miracles are common in all parts of the country.the saints are known to heal by touch only.some saints heal from great distances.visit india for seeing more miracles.welcome to spiritual india.

  40. Brooke vs. the World says:

    Love this post πŸ˜‰ I would totally give it a go if I were there!

  41. joshywashington says:

    holy cure-all kool aid batman! There must be a market for this kind of thing!

  42. I should start drinking the stuff as a preventative measure πŸ™‚ Off to goole the recipe…

  43. Andrew Murray says:

    Maybe you should have had the other 25%, go back and test it out πŸ™‚

  44. I need to come here too, I have my dermatitis flares up every time i’m not using dove soap faithfully πŸ™

    Dandelion water… do you actually drink dandelion water?? Ekkh

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