Banisteriopsis caapi | Tigre | Colombia | Shredded Vine
Banisteriopsis caapi Tigre is one of twenty varieties of the B. Caapi species that are known to shamans and Ethnobotanists. Shamans assign different potencies, effects and uses to each variety.
According to colombian locals in the upper Amazon, Banisteriopsis caapi Tigre got its name after special powers were given to the old wise man or “Taita” when preparing and using the sacred brew. The oral story goes that he was actually able to transform physically into a black and yellow tiger butterfly. To keep this tradition alive, Siona people from the Putumayo region plant the vine deep inside the jungle until its time to harvest. The indigenous believe this great shaman still walks at night close to the rivers. He eats from this liana, is the guardian of the territory, and is the liaison who connects different worlds.
Banisteriopsis caapi is a variety legendary vine which is also known as the “vine of the souls”. It is the main ingredient in the entheogenic bark beverage called “ayahuasca” or “yagé” which is prepared, drank and shared by Amazon shamans during special ceremonies. Many indigenous cultures believe that the drink opens up the user to extraordinary perceptions and potentially healing powers.
Banisteriopsis caapi is richly steeped in cultural mythology and indigenous traditional practices. This explains why it is considered worldwide as a unique entheogen that produces a sense of wholesome connection within the user, engendering mystical experiences.
For millennia, this plant has been considered a gift from the gods throughout the Amazon basin. To this day it is still regarded as sacred by many indigenous communities. It is often referred to as a “Master Plant Teacher” by which one could enter a spiritual healing doorway. Many cultures also believe that it facilitates self awareness, dream-like visions and that it helps overcome existential challenges.
This Malpighiaceae jungle liana is native to the Amazon rainforests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. The plant thrives in humus rich soils, climbing and embracing other amazonian trees in search of sunlight. It can grow up to 40 feet in height! Its leaves are oval shaped and dark green with a slight silvery appearance. B.caapi prefers to grow on strong trees and the vine itself becomes thick and woody with age. The flowers are tiny of a white to pinkish color yet are seldom seen in bloom.
The bark of B. Caapi contains 0.11-0.83% B-carboline alkaloids such as harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine. These components are potent monoamine oxidase-A inhibitors (MAOI) that have been reported to support neurogenesis in the brain.
Many ongoing pharmacology and clinical studies have provided evidence that B. Caapi may have therapeutic applications as an immune modulator, as well as in the treatment of some psychological disorders like alcoholism, substance abuse and serotonergic deficits. .