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Ayahuasca, Spirit Vine

Ayahuasca, Spirit Vine

The word “Ayahuasca” refers to a medicinal brew with the main ingredient being the ayahuasca vine (banisteriopsis caapi). The vine is cooked, usually in combination with a variety of other admixture plants, to produce a brown liquid that is consumed in healing ceremonies led by Amazon healers, called curanderos…

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Healing Plants

Healing Plants

Plants are the source of all life on earth. They provide humans and animals with everything they need, processing the energy of the sun into a form that allows us to use it. They receive minerals and vitamins from the Earth to create nutrient rich food and the most effective medicine there is. Plants have unfathomable wisdom and their spirits are always enthusiastic to make connections with us and to teach us how to regain harmony and balance, which they exemplify perfectly in every environment…

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Medicinal Plant Directory

Medicinal Plant Directory

A listing of important medicinal plants used in Amazon curanderismo with detailed descriptions of their appearance, chemical content, specific use, and preparation. There are over 60,000 species of plants in the Amazon Rainforest, so this list doesn’t even begin to touch the surface, but it is a good start…

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Making Ayahuasca

Making Ayahuasca

The process to make ayahuasca varies from curandero to curandero, and even from batch to batch.  The greatest differences are in the admixture plants used in addition to the ayahuasca.  The shipibo, for example, only use chacruna and ayahuasca in their brews.  Others use a variety of plants in addition to chacruna, like ajo sacha, [...]

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Achiote – bixa orellana

Achiote – bixa orellana

Achiote is a small tree or big bush that reaches a height of 3 to 5 meters. The leaves are alternated heart-shaped, generally 10 to 20 cm in length and 5 to 10 cm in width. They are green on both sides with discreet purple coloration on the back of the ribbings.  Sometimes known as [...]

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Ajo Sacha – mansoa alliacea

Ajo Sacha – mansoa alliacea

Ajo sacha is an evergreen tropical shrubby vine with leaves that have a strong garlic smell and flavor when crushed. Ajo sacha produces bright green leaves up to 15 cm long and beautiful deep lavender flowers with a white throat that fade to a pale lavender, then to almost white. All three flower colors can [...]

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albahaca01

Albahaca – Ocimum basilicum

Albahaca, in english basil, is a medicinal herb that grows to a height of around one meter.  It has oval or lanceolate leaves around 5 cm in length that are very aromatic. The flowers are grouped in spiral patterns formed by 6 flowers. This aromatic plant is typically know for its culinary uses, being a [...]

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anise-in-flower

Anis – pimpinela anisum

The anise is a perennial medicinal plant that grows up to 50 cm in height. This medicinal plant has small white flowers around 3 mm in diameter with five petals, joined in flower clusters having stalked flowers arranged singly along an elongated unbranched axis. The fruits of Anise are between 3-5 mm in length with [...]

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Ayahuasca – Banisteriopsis Caapi

Ayahuasca – Banisteriopsis Caapi

The brew made from this jungle liana has been used for centuries and perhaps millenia by the shamans of the Amazon Rainforest. The mashed vine is usually cooked together with the leaves of the Chacruna plant (psychotria viridis) or other plants similar in chemical composition. The brew is drunk in healing ceremonies lead by ‘curanderos’, [...]

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Ayahuma – Couroupita guianensis

Ayahuma – Couroupita guianensis

The flowers, leaves, bark and fruit flesh are used medicinally. Ayahuma possesses antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic qualities. The bark is used to cure colds and stomach aches. It is common for curanderos to diet with this powerful tree in order to strengthen their spirits and protect them from dark or negative entities.

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