The mayan healing traditions of the yucatan region are alive in the traditional systems and “curanderos” who pass the knowledge verbally from generation to generation. Although the word “shaman” is actually of asian origin, mayan healers are known as shamans, and are keepers of a great medical tradition that has its origins in the beginnings of civilization. In the social structure of traditional cultures, shamans act as healer-priests, responsible not only for the health of their people but also for their spiritual welfare. In this capacity, shamans are the keepers of both tribal traditions and rites as well as the knowledge of medicinal plants. A large number of important pharmaceuticals have been discovered from studying the traditional medicine of indigenous people, medicinal plants are just one component of traditional health systems. Ceremonies and rituals, songs and colorful dances, incense and invocations often accompany the use of medicinal plants in healing.