Erika Buenaflor is a modern-day curandera who utilizes her vast experience in curanderismo, and knowledge of ancient Mesoamerican shamanism to reveal how this sacred wisdom can help people heal holistically. She’s published several books on curanderismo and is the founder of Realize Your Bliss.
If you grew up in a Latinx household, you may have experienced or heard of limpias as herbal baños (spiritual cleansing baths), or as egg, floral, or herbal barridas (energetic sweeps that transfer unwanted energies into the item used in the sweep), and were amazed at the incredible healing and clearing our ancestral limpia practices facilitated. Whether you heard about limpias, have experienced one, or never had the opportunity to experience a limpia, yet, you are interested in practical holistic self-care practices, here are some self-care limpias that are accessible and great go-tos when needed.
Limpias are cleansing rites that can clear, heal, revitalize, and strengthen the mind, body, spirit, spaces, and situations, as well as facilitate soul retrieval—recovering sacred essence energy that has left the body as a result of trauma. Limpias are the most common rites used in curanderismo and other Latinx healing practices because of their high utility. Because they strengthen us on many levels, limpias are a fabulous self-care solution. While some limpia rites can involve more time-consuming preparatory work, these five recommended limpias can be done in five minutes or less, costs less than fifteen dollars or are free, and help us to stay healthy and strong.
No more excuses. Prevent or manage stress, anxiety, insomnia, heaviness, lack of concentration, and much more. Make your emotional, mental, and spiritual self-care part of your daily routine, do your limpias!
Use Florida Water or Rose Water
Spraying yourself with Florida water or rose water when you get out of the shower, before you go to bed, or whenever else you feel you could use a cleanse is a simple and effective way to give yourself a cleanse.
Florida water and rose water are liquids that provide a cleanse and strengthen us overall and can be placed in a spray bottle. They both contain alcohol as their base, spring, or blessed water. Florida water contains aromatic cleansing flowers, herbs, and/or spices, whereas rose water is made of roses.
You can buy Florida and rose water at metaphysical stores or pharmacies that have an ethnic section, or make them from scratch—it’s fun and super easy. I have TikToks for recipes for both Florida water and rose water.
Sun Breaths, Take in Tonalli (Soul Energy in Nahuatl)
The morning sun was and is still believed in Mesoamerican Indigenous and curanderismo traditions to emit energies of rejuvenation in the morning hours. Go outside for a few minutes anytime in the morning, ideally, before 11:30 A.M. Imagine a light of love shining out from the center of your chest and send this light of love to the sun. Thank the sun for providing you with rejuvenating soul energy and keeping your energies strong throughout the day. Close your eyes, take slow deep inhalations through the nose, and exhalations out the mouth. With these breaths take in the sun’s soul energy and accept that the sun’s soul energy will keep you strong throughout the day.
Shower with Concentrated Herbal Teas
Get a handful of fresh herbs or half the amount of dry herbs, and make a concentrated herbal tea the night before your morning show. If you take evening showers, make the concentrated tea that morning, so it can cool off and you can shower with it that evening. You can wash with it before showering to wash away unwanted energies and/or you can wash off with it after you have washed off and before you get out of the shower to strengthen your energy.
All herbs have cleansing properties, and most importantly be practical, use what you have easy access to. If you have easier access to them, you are more than likely to use them on a regular basis. With that said, here are some herbs that can be found at most grocery stores and their additional gifts:
Sage: manage anxiety, insomnia, stress, and helps with concentration
Basil: aids with grounding, and managing depression, anger, anxiety, and stress
Rosemary: helps with grounding and concentration, and managing depression
Lavender: manage anxiety, insomnia, and stress
Smudging involves carefully lighting a dry herbal bundle, running it along your body, and using your hand, a feather, or a feather fan to bring the smoke from the bundle to your body. Again, all herbs have cleansing properties and you can definitely use any of the recommended herbs in the aforementioned list.
If you buy them fresh from the grocery store, dry them by tying them upside down by the stem and letting the leaves hang down, so all the good mojo dries into the leaves. Make sure you hang them in your closet, garage, or somewhere dark.
Shower with a Limpia Soap
Showering with a limpia soap is another easy and practical way to give yourself a limpia. It washes off any unwanted energies and strengthens you. You can buy limpia soaps from your local botanica, metaphysical store, or can make them.
If you decide to make them, all you need is glycerin soap, a soap mold, and your favorite oil all of which you can buy online. You can also include natural coloring in your limpia soap.
The entire process takes a couple of minutes to melt the glycerin, and include the essential oil and coloring if you want a color for your soap. Afterward, it takes a few minutes to harden. All-natural essential oils have cleansing properties, and here are a few additional oils that are very common and accessible:
Chamomile: aids with managing fatigue, depression, stress, and anxiety
Peppermint: helps with concentration, and aids in managing fatigue, stress, and anxiety
Lemon: aids with managing depression, nausea, stress, and anxiety
Eucalyptus: helps with concentration, and aids in managing fatigue, stress, and anxiety