Chacruna Chacruna Bush Cahua


Psychotria viridis Ruíz et Pavón

Used tor ages in the Amazor region as a significant ingredient of Ayahuasca.

Hallucinogenic intoxication

The bark and leaves of this tree are boiled with a species of Homalomena to prepare a tea

Although 28 alkaloids have been isolated, a psycnoac-tive principle has not yet been found.

Visions of men and animals to be killed are experienced.

The Indians of Slbundoy use Brugmansia for magico-rnedicinal purposes, the Mapuche as medicine for recalcitrant children.

The Chibcha formerly gave fermented Chicha with Brugmansia seeds to wives and slaves of dead chieftains to induce a stupor before they were buried alive #ith their husbands or masters.

Indians in Peru still believe that Brugmansia permits :hem to communicate with ancestors and that it can reveal treasures preserved in graves.

The drug is usually taken in the form of powdered seeds added to fermented drinks, or as a tea made of the leaves.

All species of Brugmansiaare chemically similar, with scopolamine as their principal psychoactive constituent. Content of lesser alkaloids is also similar.

A dangerous hallucinogen, Brugmansia brings on an intoxication often so violent that physical restraint Is necessary before the onset of a deep stupor, during which visions are experienced.

Usually drunk in religious ceremonies.

In the famous Tukanoan Yurupari ceremony in Colombia—an adolescent initiation ritual for boys. The Jívaro believe that Ayahuasca makes possible com' munication with ancestors and that, under its influence, a man's soul may leave the body and wander free.

The bark, prepared in cold or boiling water, may be taken alone or with additives—especially the leaves of B. rusbyana (Dipiopterys cabrerana) and of Psychotria viridis—which alter the effects.

The bark can also be chewed. Recent evidence from the northwestern Amazon suggests that the plants are also used in the form of a snuff.

The hallucinogenic activity is primarily due to harmine, the major ß-carboline alkaloid in the plants:

Effects of taking the bitter and nauseating drink ränge from pleasant intoxication with no hangover to violent reactions with sickening aftereffects. Usually, visual hallucinations in color occur. The intoxication ends with a deep sleep and dreams.

n southern Mexico, this vine is respected as one of the principal hallucinogens for use in divination, magico-religious, and curing rituals

A drink is prepared from about a thimbleful of the crushed seeds.

The alkaloid content is five times that of Turbina corymbosa; accordingly natives use fewer seeds. The same alkaloids are found in other Morning Glories but usage is restricted to Mexico. (See Ololiuqui.)

Medicinal purposes.

Taken by shamans as a potent medicine and greatly feared and respected fcy the Indians.

The aboveground Teuile ("meat" of the cactus) is eaten fresh or dried. Eight to twelve cactus "tops" are an adequate dose-

Various alkaloids, including ohenylethylamines, have been isolated from Coryphantha, a promising genus for ruture studies.

Scirpus plays an important role in folk medicine and as a hallucinogen; it must be treated with great everence.

The tuberous roots of Scirpus are cften collccted from faraway places.

Alkaloids have been reported from Scirpus and relatet: sedges. The Indians believe that they can travel to distant places, talk with their ancestors, and have colored visions.

There exist numerous interesting parallels between the ritualistic (shamanic) significance of Nymphaea in the Old and the New Worlds, suggesting that Nymphaea may have been used as a narcotic, possibly a hallucinogen.

N. ampia has recently been reported to be used in Mexico as a recreational drug with "powerful hallucinatory effects."

Dried flowers and buds of Nymphaea ampia are smoked. The rhizomes are eaten raw or cooked. The buds of N. caerula are used to make a tea.

The alkaloids apomorphine, nucifcrine, and nornuci-ferine, isolated from the rhizomes of N. ampia, may be responsible for the psychotropic activity.

Hallucinogenic intoxication.

A drink is prepared from the bark of T. methystica in cold water. The infusion is yellowish, unlike the brown ish color of the beverage prepared from Banisteriopsis.

It has not been possible as yet to carry out chemical examination of T. methystica, but reports of the effects of the drug would suggest that the same or similar |3-carboline alkaloids are present as in Banisteriopsis.

There are several purely medicinal uses of this cactus.

Now smoked as a hallucinogenic intoxicant by Indians n northern Argentina.

A hallucinogenic drink is prepared from the juice of the young branches of P. pecten-aboriginum.

The snuff is prepared from the beans, which are usually moistened, rolled into a paste, and dried by toasting.

When pulverized to a gray-green powder, it is mixed with an alkaline plant ash or snail shell lime.

4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethylamine and fourtetra-hydroisoquinoline alkaloids have been isolated. It causes dizziness and visual hallucinations.

Tryptamine derivatives and |3-carbolines.

A twitching of the muscles, slight convulsions, and -ick of muscular coordination followed by nausea visual hallucinations, and disturbed sleep. Macropsia.

Reportedly used as a hallucinogen, O. cebolleta is employed as a temporary surrogate for Peyote.

This bush has great cultural significance as a DMT-Drovlding ingredient of the hallucinogen Ayahuasca which has a central place in the shamanic tradition of ;he Amazon.


Fresh or dried leaves are mixed with vines or the husk of Banisteriopsis caapianC cooked. The preparation is drunk as Ayahuasca (Caapi, Yage).

An alkaloid has been reported from O. cebolleta

The leaves contain 0.1 % to 0.61 % ft/,A/,-DMT, as well as traces of other alkaloids.

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