Acacia confusa belongs to the Leguminosae (Pea family). Acacia confusa is a perennial tree native to South-East Asia. Some common names for it are Acacia Petit Feuille, Small Philippine Acacia, Formosa Acacia (Taiwan Acacia) and Formosan Koa. Acacia confusa grows to a height of 15 meters. The tree has become very common in many tropical Pacific areas, including Hawaii, where the species is considered invasive. Acacia confusa wood has a density of about 0.75 g/cm³. In Taiwan, its wood is used to make support beams for underground mines. The wood is also converted to charcoal for family use. Acacia confusa is used in traditional medicine and is available from herbal medicine shops (草藥店) in Taiwan.
Acacia confusa contains high concentrations of interesting alkaloids in its root and trunk bark. It appears attractive for use in ayahuasca analogs, though at this point, experience with such preparations remains limited. Little research has been done, successful ayahuasca preparations and direct oral activity using the root bark and trunk bark have been reported.
Ayahuasca analogs prepared with Acacia confusa bark are known as Formosahuasca (after Formosa acacia, i.e., the beautiful acacia, presumably after Ilha Formosa, i.e., the beautiful island, the original Portuguese name for Taiwan), or alternatively as Chinahuasca or Asian Ayahuasca.
The wood and bark are very rich in tannins. Tannins, obtained from many species including Acacia, are used to dye and stain things. Animal hides (leather) are tanned with tannins. The stem bark of Acacia confusa contains roughly 23-35% tannins. A rough estimate for an average sized tree of about 30cm diameter at chest height may bring in about 10-20kg of raw dried bark suitable for tannin extraction.
Acacia confusa root can not only be worked with in conjunction with Syrian rue or caapi, but it can be used alone as has been discovered recently. There are also reports that Confusa may have a traditional history of use as an entheogen by the original peoples of Taiwan. Today it is currently used in Chinese medicine with whispers that the old herbalists know that it can take one to another world.