Banisteriopsis caapi yellow | Shredded Vine | Shipped from USA
Our yellow Banisteriopsis caapi, one of the main ingredients of Ayahuasca, comes from the sacred land of a Kichwa family in the Rio Napo region of Ecuador. When the founders of Waking Herbs, Wouter and Laura, met them they felt a mutual connection. The family invited them onto their land which lies just a few hours from Wouter and Laura’s home. This family forms part of a long ancestral line of keepers at a sacred ceremonial cave where a waterfall is hidden inside. On the tribal land around the cave, these stewards of the sacred sustainably cultivate and harvest the vines by replanting ten vines for each plant they harvest. The vines are then sun-dried and are given no further treatment.
Many tribes native to the Amazon region regard Banisteriopsis caapi as a plant of the gods. Known as a Master Plant Teacher, this giant woody vine grows in the lush Amazon rainforest of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.
Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as the source of Ayahuasca, has been used in ritual context throughout the Amazonian rainforest and is known as the “vine of the soul” in the Quechua language. Known most commonly for its healing power, this vine is richly steeped in cultural mythology and tradition. Although it is revered internationally it is still considered to be a very mysterious plant, arguably one of the most fascinating and culturally rich plants on earth.
Shamans of the Amazon claim that they can achieve altered states of consciousness just by using this plant alone. There are approximately 70+ tribes who have traditionally used this vine for various purposes, including healing, spiritual sight, foretelling the future and divination. This vine is responsible for the breadth of botanical knowledge held by these tribal peoples.
In the past, and in some remote areas of the jungle today, local people make tea from the vine and use it to treat a wide variety of illnesses. The decoction can also be massaged into the skin. Elders blow the powder through a bird windpipe into the lungs of young Waorani boys. It is said to give the child powerful lungs and the strength to become a great hunter.
Traditionally, the Banisteriopsis caapi vine is taken and shredded, usually done by pounding small sections with a stone. Other than drying, the vine does not go through any other treatment.
The vine grows plentifully in the Amazon rainforest in South America. B. caapi thrives in humus-rich, moist soil with partial to full sun such as is found in warm, tropical environments. The vine possesses a rather distinctive appearance, with a circular twisting shape that bears many branches and leaves. It has been recorded to grow an average of 40 ft in height!
The leaves of the caapi are broad and have little hairs on the abaxial (lower) leaf surface that gives the green leaves an etheric silvery appearance. Leaves are opposite, green, oval-shaped, smooth on top and pointed on the end.
The flowers are petite (12-14mm in diameter and 2.5-3mm long) with a white to pinkish colour when in full bloom. They are indeed a special and rare sight to see. Its small fan-like seeds are green in colour when fresh and fade to a brown when dried.
Banisteriopsis caapi is used to make Ayahuasca, a mixture used for thousands of years by various tribes of the Amazon. This brew has a long history of use as an entheogen and as a remedy. It is known for its profound and deep cleansing effect on the body as a purgative, but it also cleanses the mind, heart and energetic field of the user.
Native Amazonian peoples have identified more than 20 varieties of B.caapi. Although there is no apparent difference in species, the caapi vine is categorized by those who use it. Shamans have identified different potencies, effects, and uses for each variety.
The deep brown stems contain various chemical components such as HARrmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine. These components are classified as MAOIs, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Scientific research reports the vines to have approximately 0.11-0.83% beta-carboline, the majority of which is harmaline and tetrahydroharmine.
As the discovery and exploration of the traditional use of Ayahuasca grew, it became known for its telepathic powers. Initially the psychoactive alkaloid was called telepathine, but people now know it as harmaline. When this root is used on its own, it produces mood-enhancing and sedative effects. In stronger doses the harmaline can produce nausea, vomiting and shivering.