Cebil (Anadenanthera colubrina)
Usage / Preparation
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Curupau, Curupay, Cebil, Yopi, Yopo, Cohoba, Yupa, Vilca, Huilca, Angico Preto, Curupay-atá, Niopo, Hisioma, Angico, Vilica, Sebil.
Twelve indole alkaloids have been detected in the genus Anadenanthera. The discribution of these compounds in the various organs and vegetable parts of the plants is not uniform and no species has been found to contain all 12 alkaloids. The primary active constituent of the seeds is bufotenin, a tryptamine related to serotonin and DMT. The seeds contain small amounts of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and 5-hydroxy-N-monomethyltryptamine. (1)
The genus Anadenanthera was, together with tobacco, one of the most widely used shamanic inebriants. It is primarily South American in distribution and includes two species with two varieties each. The earliest evidence for the use of psychoactive plants in South America is provided by remains of seeds and pods recovered from archaeological sites four millennia old. Seeds are roasted, pulverized and inhaled through the nose, or smoked in pipes or as cigars. Anadenanthera also serves as an ingredient for chicha (a fermented drink) or similar preparations. The archaeological and ethnographical record have provided a wealth of information concerning the use of Anadenanthera. This is particularly true for regions of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina where the climate has favored preservation of ancient artifacts and human remains. Study of these materials has provided evidence of the continuous association of Anadenanthera with emerging Andean cultures. Such findings are indicative of its central role in the cultural development of indigenous New World societies.
Throughout Orinocia and Amazonia Yopo snuff is seen as an intermediary, and it is the element that allows access to the extra-human. The ceremonies were all-night sessions involving continuous use of the snuff. The use of snail shell as a snuff container is widespread, as is association with feline imagery. (1)
The snuff made of Anadenanthera seeds is taken for such purposes as magic or religious ceremonies and the diagnosis of illness by means of divination. At present, in some areas of northwestern Argentina the seeds of cebil are used to prepare an infusion taken mostly for disorders said to be of supernatural origin. (2)
Anadenanthera is a beautiful delicate fern-leaved tree with spreading branches, white puff-ball flowers and dark leather brown pods with 10-15mm diameter black pip seeds. It resembles the Lead Tree, the Albizia and many other legume trees, but it has the most delicate doubly pinnately-compound mimosa leaves.
Plants need full sunlight and prefer well-drained soil. Let the soil dry completely between watering. A. colubrina can handle some short term freezing conditions.
Anadenanthera peregrina is a species that occurs naturally and cultivated in the open plains or llanos region of the Orinoco basin of Colombia and Venezuela, in savannahs and light forests in British Guiana and in Brazil in the open grasslands.
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(1) Anadenanthera: Visionary Plant of Ancient South America by Constantino Manual Torres, David B. Repke
(2) Hallucinogenic Snuff from Northwestern Argentina by M. L. Pochettino, A. R. Cortella, and M. Ruiz
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.
Anadenanthera, a rare species that has been held as entheogenic for many centuries. Archaeological remains of Anadenanthera colubrina have been found all throughout South America and the West Indies.
The two species of trees in the Anadenanthera genus (A. peregrina and A. colubrina) both have hallucinogenic properties and have been widely used to make powerful psychoactive snuffs in American Indian cultures.
Anadenanthera is one of the four most widely used types of psychoactive substance in traditional South American Indian cultures, along with Tobacco, Ayahuasca and Virola species. The antiquity of Anadenanthera use has been confirmed by important archaeological discoveries.