Thevetia peruviana | Cabalonga Blanca | Camalonga | Seeds | Perú
Thevetia Peruviana seeds from the Peruvian rattle tree. Thevetia peruviana, sometimes known as ‘cabalonga blanca’ or ‘yellow oleander’. Sold in pairs for collection and ornamental purposes. Wild harvested in the Peruvian Amazon.
This type of Cabalonga is not to be confused with the Colombian Cabalonga seeds, or cabalonga Negra, which Colombian shamans prefer to use.
Peruvian shamans incorporate yellow oleander seeds into a drink with the same name ‘camalonga’, along with aguardiente, camphor, white onion, and garlic. The drink generally contains two seeds; one male and one female. Although it is sometimes said that cabalonga seeds may be added to the ceremonial ayahuasca blend, we have not found evidence that this is common practice in Peru. Camalongueros are shamanic practitioners who specialize in the use of this ‘camalonga’ drink.
Thevetia peruviana is among the subtropicals. Probably native to Mexico, it has naturalized in much of the neotropics. It is also widely cultivated throughout all tropical regions, where it tends to bloom year-round. This shrub’s flowers range from the lovely apricot color to coral, yellow, white, and even tan.
The tree is often planted in chakra’s, or family gardens, for the amazing yellow flowers it produces. Its seeds are also often used to make rattles which are often used in music, or during shamanistic rituals.
A glance at the leaves may remind you of oleander (Nerium oleander). Both are evergreen shrubs and have five petals arranged in an attractive whorl.
Cabalonga Blanca, contains the powerful cardiac glycosides thevetin, thevetoxin, peruvoside, ruvoside, and nerifolin. These compounds are found throughout the plant but are more concentrated in the seeds. Ingesting the seeds can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, dizziness, diuretic over-activity, and a variety of arrhythmias, which can be fatal. Chewing the seed causes a drying, numbing, or burning sensation in the mouth and throat. The sap of the plant can cause skin irritation, sometimes blistering.
None of the constituents found in the plant have been reported to be psychoactive. It also doesn’t look like they have widespread medicinal use.
Despite the high toxicity of the plant, there is scientific evidence that Thevetia peruviana could be established as a potential source of effective wound healing compounds, and as a ‘natural anti-cancer product’.
Rahman, Nazneen et al. “Wound healing potentials of Thevetia peruviana: Antioxidants and inflammatory markers criteria.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine vol. 7,4 519-525. 14 Feb. 2017, doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.01.005