In Latino culture when someone suffers certain symptoms such as indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting or lack of apetite, he or she may be thought to be suffering from empacho. The perception is that a bolus of undigested food has become "stuck" somewhere in the digestive tract. The imagined causes of empacho are myriad:
- eating too much of a certain food
- poorly prepared food
- spoiled food
- being forced to eat
- eating particular foods at the wrong time
- swallowing a lot of saliva
- swallowing gum
Traditional "cures" range from the innocuous such as drinking herbal teas or rolling an egg on the stomach, to uncomfortably rough massage, to the truly dangerous, such as administering Azarcon or Greta, both of which are dangerously high in lead.
- Empacho in Four Latino Groups: A Study of Intra- and Inter-Culutral Variation in Beliefs.
- Hispanic Folk Illnesses