Anadenanthera is a South American tree of the legume family, from which hallucinogenic snuffs are prepared that have been used in shamanic healing rituals in the Amazon for thousands of years.
Anadenanthera peregrina is used to make an snuff known as Yopo.
Anadenanthera colubrina makes a similar snuff known as Cebil, and is also smoked. Shamans who have converted to Christianity have come to identify A. colubrina as the biblical holy Tree of Knowledge, which teaches them how to heal.
Anadenanthera peregrina (Yopo)
The beans of Anadenanthera peregrina (also known as calcium tree or cohoba) are used to make a potent hallucinogenic snuff by tribes in the Orinoco basin, where it is called yopo or niopo.
Yopo snuff may sometimes be taken daily as a stimulant (e.g., for hunters and even their dogs), but it is more commonly employed by shamans for divination, protection, as well as to induce trances and visions and communicate with spirits
Sometimes the unprocessed ground beans are smoked, which produces a much weaker effect with stronger physical symptoms.
The bark of A. peregrina is possibly ingested orally as a kind of ayahuasca analog along with the root of Polypodium (tree fern or polypody), which may contain MAO-inhibiting beta-carbolines, or with Banisteriopsis caapi, the Ayahuasca vine, which may be chewed while the yopo is snuffed or smoked or mixed in with the snuff.
Anadenanthera colubrina (Cebil)
Anadenanthera colubrina, known as the Argentinian Cebil tree (also as vilca, huilco, curupay, curupau, and angico), is a tree whose seeds can induce a strong psychoactive effect and have been smoked in ceramic pipes and sniffed as a hallucinogen by the Indians of the southern region of the Andes (especially by shamans) for more than 4,500 years.
It has the following psychoactive uses:
- as an additive for chicha (corn beer) – the juice pressed from the fruit is added to a fermented corn beverage and taken by shamans for divination
- vino de cebil (Cebil wine) is made from it
- as a shamanic enema
Nowadays, shamans still smoke the dried or roasted seeds in a pipe or rolled in a cigarette, often with tobacco, in order to enter and influence another reality, as a gateway to Dream World.
The main active constituent of Anadenanthera is bufotenin (1.5-12%), a psychedelic tryptamine, which is concentrated in the beans and the ripe pods of the fruit.
Other constituents, which exist in very small amounts in the bark, beans, leaves, and pods, include:
Some people claim that there are Anadenanthera peregrina seeds that contain significant amount of DMT and that DMT may in fact be the main active constituent in authentic A. peregrina, while most Anadenanthera which is sold even as A. peregrina is actually A. colubrina. This, some have speculated, has contributed to misconception that both species have bufotenin as their active ingredient.
To identify which seeds you have, there are two things to look for:
- A. colubrina beans are often smaller than those of A. peregrina.
- A. colubrina beans are said to have an identifying mark (a “U” shaped etching on the seedcoat on just one side), while A. peregrina seedcoats are supposedly uniformly smooth.
The effects of Anadenanthera, which are often characterized as a psychedelic dreamlike state of mind begin within 5-10 minutes and last around 10-30 minutes (but sometimes even 1-2 hours), often consists of:
- objects appear larger than normal, causing the person to feel smaller than they actually are, may be experienced
- increased mental energy
- visions, including strong visual hallucinations when the eyes are closed (often worm or snake-like visions are seen), transformations into animals, out-of-body experiences, and multidimensional visions
- altered cognition and sensory perception
- experiences of ego dissolution, death, and rebirth
Heavy body load is common; other side effects may include:
- disturbed sleep
- A. peregrina may burn when sniffed, while with A. colubrina there may be a milder prickling sensation
- nausea and vomiting
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- flow of mucus from the nasal passages when sniffed
- heaviness, warmth, and/or a pleasant feeling in the body
- a twitching of the muscles; slight convulsions; lack of muscular coordination
How to Use
Visionary dosage is 1-5 seeds.
To prepare the snuff:
- Anadenanthera ripe seeds are dried and may be lightly roasted for about 10 minutes or until they pop (makes it easier to remove the husk).
- The inner part of the seed is then sometimes dried on low heat before its ground as fine as possible. (Use a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.)
- Mix with a natural form of calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). (Traditionally the ashes of different plants or snail shells are used.) The ratio is 1 parts seed, 0.1-0.5 part lime or shell. Add a few drops of water to form a paste. A limestone paste can also be purchased. Mix well and heat on low until the material dries, then crush it into a fine powder.
- Let age for about a week before using.
As little as 150 mg to 0.5 g of this powder is effective when ingested nasally or smoked. Because insufflation can be a painful process (traditionally very large amounts of yopo are blown into a person’s nostrils using tubes), many people prefer to smoke the resulting powder.
To that end, the snuff is mixed with tobacco or any other smokable herb; using cannabis may help with the nausea. A pipe or bong can be used, ideally along with a torch-style lighter. A vaporizer may also work.
Anecdotal evidence as well as logic indicates that adding a MAO-inhibiting herb, such as caapi leaves, Passiflora, or Syrian rue, to the smoking mix (or chewing/ingesting it orally beforehand) will potentiate the effects of the Anadenanthera.
It is possible to prepare changa by infusing a MAOI smoking mixture with bufotenin extracted from Anadenanthera.
Oral dosing Anadenanthera is usually very unpleasant. If you choose to try that, then very small doses are to be taken.
DMT, one of the chemicals contained in the plant, is illegal in most countries so a DMT extract from Anadenanthera would be illegal to possess. Moreover, importation of large amounts of DMT-containing plants may be risky.
In Louisiana, both Anadenanthera peregrina and A. colubrina are illegal when intended for human consumption.
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