Psychotria viridis | Chacruna | Yagé | Amiruca Panga | Ecuador
We offer you dried Psychotria viridis leaves grown in a kichwa home garden (family chagra) in Ecuador. We made friends with this family some years ago and we are honored and grateful that we are allowed to sell their sacred plants. When you purchase this plant from us, you are also supporting this family and helping them maintain the land they care for. The direct relationship and fair trade agreement we maintain with the family ensures we always have fresh stock.
The leaves are dried slowly in order to keep as many plant properties intact as possible.
This Chacruna is planted, harvested, and blessed by a Kichwa shaman. Together with his family, he lives on his ancestral lands in the Rio Napo Province in Ecuador. Working together in a ‘minga’ (traditional communal team work in kichwa language) we have planted around 700 Chacruna plants. These plants are to be used for both their ceremonies and for us to spread around the world and share with you. On the community’s land, there is an amazing cave with a waterfall where rituals are held in complete silence and peace.
Only a part of the leaves is harvested so the plant remains strong. The Kichwa family owns many Psychotria viridis plants growing in their ‘chagra’ together with a wide variety of staple food plants for everyday use, medicinal herbs, construction materials, and spiritual plants. No harmful fertilizers or pesticides are used.
In Perú, Psychotria viridis has been traditionally used by applying drops of its fresh juice directly into the eyes for the treatment of migraines. The ‘Machiguenga’ indigenous people also use fresh leaf juice to assist in hunting. It causes a burning sensation, which will eventually subside resulting in heightened alertness. The ‘Andoke’ people will also crush up the leaves and infuse them with water that is then applied to the eyes to promote sharp vision and to see with greater understanding.
Psychotria viridis is a common perennial tree or shrub of the Rubiaceae family. It grows to a height of approximately five meters. The leaves are opposite and are typically 5-15cm, elliptic in shape, and are papery in texture. The leaves tend to become grayish to reddish-brown when dried. It also produces many open, inflorescent flowers, which turn into a red fruit, 4-5mm in diameter.
Psychotria viridis is native to the Amazonian lowlands but is also cultivated throughout northern South America and much of Central America. It is an evergreen, tropical tree or large shrub growing in full sun to half shade. It grows naturally in wet, tropical forests and is most common in Amazonian Perú, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Psychotria viridis can be confused with other plants of similar genus, including Psychotria alba and Psychotria carthagenesis. They do look similar to Psychotria viridis and they are all commonly used among shamans.