Chacruna (Psychotria viridis)
Usage / Preparation
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Kawa-kui (Sharanahua), Rami-Appani (Kulina), Chacruna (Peru).
The leaves of Pychotria viridis contain N,N dimethyltryptamine and small quantities of other alkaloids. The reported concentration of N,N dimethyltryptamine varies between 1mg/g and 17mg/g of dried leaf. The time of the day when the leaves are picked seems to play a role as well. (4)
Chacrunas' use has been documented by the Sharanahua and Culina Indian tribes of the southwestern Amazon basin, the Kofan Indians of Amazonian Colombia and Ecuador, the Kashinahua of eastern Peru and western Brazil plus in Tarauaca in the Acre of Brazil amongst others. Although the sacred brew Ayahuasca can be prepared from various plants Psychotria viridis is the second most important ingredient after Banisteriopsis caapi. In 1858 Manual Villavicencio, an Ecuadorian geographer, wrote that natives using this drink were able "to foresee and answer accurately in difficult cases, be it to reply opportunely to ambassadors from other tribes in a question of war; to decipher plans of the enemy through the medium of this magic drink and take proper steps for attack and defense; to ascertain, when a relative is sick, what sorcerer has put on the hex; to carry out a friendly visit to other tribes; to welcome foreign travelers or, at least to make sure of the love of their womenfolk."(3)
Psychotria viridis grows naturally in wet lowland tropical forests in Cuba and northern Central America through western and central South America; it appears to be most common in Amazonian Peru and Bolivia. It is an evergreen shrub, that grows to a height of up to 5m with a spread of 2m. The leaves are generally 5-15 x 2-6 cm, in outline generally elliptic or often widest above the middle, usually sharply angled at base. When dry, the leaves of Psychotria viridis usually are grey or reddish brown. (6)
Legal RemarksIn France (as of May, 2005) Psychotria viridis is in the list of controlled substances. In many other countries the legal status of Psychotria viridis is abiguous, because the plant is not controlled but N,N dimethyltryptamine is. In most cases this would mean that the plant is legal to possess unless there is intent to use it as a psychoactive drug or to extract N,N dimethyltryptamine from it. (5)
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(1) Psychotria viridis, Wikipedia article
(2) "The healing forest, medicinal and toxic plants of the northwest Amazonia", by Richard Evans Schultes and Robert F. Raffauf. Discordia Press.
(3) Psychedelics Encyclopedia, 3rd expanded edition, by Peter Stafford
(4) Psychotria viridis: DMT Contents and Dosages, Erowid
(5) Psychotria legal status, Erowid
(6) Psychotria Viridis - A Botanical Source of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), DEA Microgram Journal
(7) Plants of the Gods, by Schultes, Hoffmann
Any information provided about products on this website, including any links to external websites, is purely intended for historical, scientific and educational purposes and should never be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific use of the products.
1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances
Ayahuasca to Pharmahuasca to Anahuasca - Jonathan Ott
Banisteriopsis caapi - Vine of the Soul - taken from “Plants of the gods, their sacred, healing and hallucinogenic powers”
Santo Daime - Wikipedia
Uniao do Vegetal
Uniao do Vegetal - Wikipedia
|Psychotria viridis is a shrub from the Coffee family. It is the most common admixture to the Ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America. It has many local names, including Chacruna and Chacrona (from Quechua "chaqruy", "to mix"). The Brazilian Ayahuasca church, Santo Daime, holds that Banisteriopsis caapi, the primary component of Ayahuasca, provides "force" to the tea, whereas Chacruna provides "light". Psychotria viridis contains N,N dimethyltryptamine, which is orally acitve only if taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as the beta-carbolines found in the Banisteriopsis caapi vine.|