Aw, love. Sweet, sweet love; it’s universal amongst all cultures. Yet, unfortunately, sometimes love really sucks. Love can turn sour and take you from Brangelina to Bradifer real quick. Universally, every culture must experience heartbreak, and every culture continues to construct remedies and rituals to cure a broken heart. Here are a few unconventional ways of dealing with heartbreak across cultures.
There is a Mexican folk cure for grief and heartbreak known as “limpia” (Spanish for “clean”). This remedy uses a raw egg, fresh herbs, a vase for burning copal, and aromatic tree resin from Central Mexico (Wait, what? More info here). This remedy is said to provide a comfort, like a snuggly blanket or warm sip of tea for your heart.
In Africa, there’s a ritual for dealing with broken heartedness and all other forms of grief, known as The African Grief Ritual (quite suitably). This one requires that you bring personal items that symbolize grief, strength, and forgiveness, and build shrines to represent these. Once the shrine is complete, you release all your grief there through whatever means suits you: crying, shouting, dancing, staying still… Afterwards, you bury the item that symbolized grief and take a shower due to handling the toxic material.
One way Chinese deal with their heartbreak is through special herbs that target specific sensations that arise from grief. The Chinese medical theory believes that grief and heartbreak can impede the flow of our “qi” or body’s energy. Certain herbs (a complete list found here) help by stimulating our qi and opening our chest, helping us feel relief from the burdens of grief.
Last, but definitely not the least crazy, there’s this unconventional heartbreak ritual posted by an anonymous European author: