By Marilyn Aleman
EL PASO— When it comes to trying to keep bodies healthy in the fit-vs-fat wars, this predominately Hispanic border city leans toward natural solutions.
Seventy percent of residents here and across the border in Cuidad Juarez say they use herbal medicines to lose weight and treat a variety of illnesses, according to a 2010 study funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are essentially one urban metropolis of some 2 million residents divided by an imaginary political line. Together they make up one of the largest population centers to regularly use medicinal herbs.
“It is definitely tied to the cultural factors especially among Hispanics,” said Armando Gonzalez-Stuart, one of the authors of the study. “There is a very rich tradition of herbal medicine use by Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics.”
He says the study showed…