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Cultural interpretations that ascribe illness to hexing, witchcraft or the evil influences of others. Symptoms include generalised anxiety, GI complaints (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea), weakness, dizziness and the fear of being poisoned and/or killed. In rootwork, the “root” (“spell”/“hex”) must be removed by a specialist or “root doctor”, who can, in turn, place a hex on an enemy. Rootwork is used in the US South and the Caribbean; among Latinos, it is known as mal puesto or brujeria.
A traditional form of healing and hexing in the coastal regions of the southeastern U.S., esp. among those of Caribbean or African descent.See: root (5)