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Freaky Remedies

Photo: Abraham Mata seeks a remedy to his health problems at the house of an Andean shaman.

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In the West, medicine is based on science, research and technology. But in cultures around the world, many still trust their health to monks, mystics and magic potions. Some are willing to go to the ultimate limits for a cure. Heroin addicts literally purge their habit in a brutal detox. Half a million faithful swallow a whole, live animal in a bid to treat asthma. Shamans practice animal sacrifice for pain relief. A couple desperate to conceive drink the undrinkable.