mal de ojo


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A culture-bound symptom complex described in certain Mediterranean countries—e.g., Italy, where it is called malocchio—more common in children and adult women. Malocchio may stem from something as simple as a gesture of spite by a person looking another in the eye, cursing him/her

mal de ojo

(mol' da o'ho) [Sp., evil eye]
In many Hispanic cultures early childhood diarrhea, vomiting, colic, and dehydration. Many cultures, other than Hispanic cultures, include a concept of the “evil eye.” These include, but are not limited to, certain sects of Arabic, gypsy, and Jewish cultures, and many widely dispersed native tribes. Synonym: evil eye

mal de ojo (mäl dā ō·hō),

n “evil eye,” an ethnomedical condition common to Latin America (with roots in the Mediterranean), is a childhood illness characterized by fever, headache, and irritability. An envious gaze, typically from a nonrelative and often accompanied with compliments, is considered to be the cause of this malady, and the immediate cure is for a family member or care giver to touch the child being complimented. Also called
ojo.