Jurema preta (black jurema. Latin name: Mimosa tenuiflora or Mimosa hostilis) is a tree used for medicinal and psychoactive purposes in Central and South America since pre-Columbian times.
There is even, among the American Indian caboclos (spirits), a cabocla known as Jurema, who is the goddess of the forest and the daughter of Oxalá. Listen to members of the Santo Daime church calling Mother Jurema while you’re reading this article:
In the Santo Daime tradition, jurema is not consumed; they drink ayahuasca proper, made from Banisteriopsis caapi vine and Chacruna leaves, Psychotria viridis.
However, Mimosa tenuiflora is an excellent source of DMT and the most important one for ayahuasca analogs.
Medicinal Uses of Mimosa
- hair loss
- internal problems such as stomach acidity, gastritis, peptic and duodenal ulcers, colitis, and hemorrhoids
- parasite-related diseases
In mexico, the tree (known as tepezcohuite) is used medicinally
- as part of a conception-promoting potion
- for treating burns (it shortens the regeneration period of the skin), inflammation, and wounds (it provides pain relief) – when used topically, its analgesic effect can last for 2-3 hours.
- and as a general tonic and a remedy for exhaustion and debility
In African-Brazilian cults, M. tenuiflora is used to treat infections and inflammation. It is said that the bark can also cure fatigue and strengthen the uterus.
Other medicinal uses:
- A tea made of the leaves and stem for tooth pain.
- A water extract for cough and bronchitis
In animals it may cause birth defects and developmental abnormalities
Compounds in Mimosa tenuiflora are said to have hemolytic, antiinflammatory, antispasmolytic, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, antitumor, chemopreventive, antifungal, analgesic, regenerative, and cicatrizing activity.
Topically, it is effective for eczema and in the treatment of venous leg ulceration disease. It may also be an effective treatment for skin lesions.
Psychoactive Uses of Mimosa
The constituents responsible for jurema’s psychoactive effects are alkaloids, such as:
- N,N-DMT (up to 2% in the root bark and 0.57% in the stem bark),
- serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine),
- and possibly β-carboline and NMT.
A different Mimosa species, Mimosa pudica (sensitive mimosa), is used for making a sleep potion in the Caribbean and as an aphrodisiac in the Amazon and in the Philippines.
However, its constituents are different than jurema’s and it may contain norepinephrine and a narcotic alkaloid known as mimosine.
In Brazil Mimosa pudica is used as an initiatory drink of the Candomblé cult.
Other Psychoactive Uses of Mimosa spp.
Mimosa spp. root is used as a pulque (fermented Agave juice) additive.
The herbage is smoked in San Salvador as a marijuana substitute (dormilona; “sleeping plant”).
In Africa Mimosa pigra may be used as an ingredient in psychoactive eyedrops.
In Brazil the fresh root cortex is used as an aphrodisiac in love magic.
Other psychoactive mimosas include:
- Mimosa scabrella – the bark contains DMT as well as β-carbolines.
- Mimosa verrucosa (jurema branca; white jurema) – may be psychoactive
Mimosa ophthalmocentra is also popularly known as jurema preta in Brazil, and sometimes as jurema embira or jurema vermelha (red jurema).
Vinho de Jurema – Is Jurema Psychoactive on its own?
For hundreds of years, shamans have been consuming jurema to induce fantastic, enchanted state of consciousness, with meaningful dreams, visions, and a sense of visiting spiritual realms.
Specifically, the the dried cortex of the root and trunk of Mimosa tenuiflora are used. (Though there are claims the leaves may be psychoactive as well.)
This practice may continue to this day by the jurema cult (O Culto da Jurema) in Brazil.
The plant is used in making a hallucinogen drink that is called “jurema wine” (vinho da jurema).
The root of M. tenuiflora is shaved and cooked in water for a long period of time until it becomes a thick and dark liquid.
Is it psychoactive on its own though, or does one need to add a plant containing ß-carboline alkaloids to the brew to render DMT orally-active by inhibiting MAO?
It is uncertain if there are ß-carboline alkaloids in jurema. Even if there, there may not be enough of them.
Perhaps that is why maracuja juice from Passiflora spp., which contains ß-carbolines, is added.
Moreover, tobacco is often smoked during jurema ingestion. Tobacco contains low levels of ß-carbolines.
It may be possible that the ß-carboline alkaloids in jurema together with those in passionflower and tobacco are what it takes to make sure the DMT exerts its effects.
Others claim that jurema contains not just free DMT, but also DMT which is bound to larger molecules, protecting the DMT from deactivation by MAO.
Still others speculate with beta-carbolines are produced endogenously in the body from the serotonin present in black jurema.
It has also been suggested that the indole yuremamine might act as a MAOI.
Whatever the reason, it is likely that with high enough dosages, jurema is psychoactive on its own.
Jonathan Ott asserts that Mimosa tenuiflora is active without MAOI added based on “having felt it in my own body in the only valid scientific analysis I know: the psychonautic bioassay.”
How to Prepare Vinho da Jurema?
Squeeze 25-50 grams of the root-bark twice in 125 ml cold water.
Alternatively, stir 25-50 grams of the powdered root-bark in cold water and let sit for one hour. Strain, and repeat.
Other recipes call for boiling the jurema.
Optional: add Passiflora (and honey for better taste). Enjoy the resulting drink with a cigarette.
Onset of effects: 15-20 minutes.
Duration of effects: less than 2 hours.
Effects: A state of daydreaming, altered perception, hallucinations, delirium.
Side effects may include anxiety, dizziness, dilation of the pupil of the eye, and high blood pressure.
In some Afro-Brazilian cults, the bark is soaked in sugar cane alcohol (Cachaça), obtaining a preparation called cauim.
The effects of the alcohol are intensified by the jurema and may include:
- happiness and peace
- visual and auditory changes
- drowsiness and heavy sleeping, dreams, and nightmares.
- facial redness
It may not be safe to combine alcohol with a MAOI.
Use in Ayahuasca Preparations
Making a tea from Mimosa tenuiflora alone may not be enough to feel any psychoactive effects because DMT is deactivated within our body by an enzyme known as monoamine oxidase (MAO). Even if Mimosa has β-carbolines as some claim, which inhibit MAO, there may not be enough of it, which is why passionfruit juice is added by the jurema cult in Brazil for additional MAOI (MAO inhibiting) effect.
An even stronger MAOI is Syrian rue, the seeds of Peganum harmala, from which an ayahuasca analog can be made, which is called Juremahuasca or Mimohuasca and is said to be the most easily tolerated and the most psychoactive ayahuasca analog preparation.
Use 3-12 grams powdered or shredded dried Mimosa tenuiflora root cortex. (Some recommend adding juice of one lime or lemon or vinegar.)
- Some people claim steeping it overnight or stirring the powder in in room-temperature water is better than making a tea.
- Others suggest boiling for 30 minutes 3 times is the way to go, then reducing to a drinkable amount.
- Still another approach would be to simmer it lightly 3 times for 1-3 hours each time.
Strain the liquid using a cheesecloth.
For a MAOI, use 1-6 grams of Syrian rue seeds. Some people recommend ingesting the seeds 15-45 minutes before drinking the mimosa.
Visionary effects should be felt within 20-60 minutes and last up to two hours.
Side effects may include nausea or vomiting.
Experience reports may be read on Erowid.org.
Inhaling Mimosa tenuiflora
Smoking Mimosa tenuiflora could produce mild effects. However, you would need to smoke a lot. For a light experience, 10 mg of DMT are needed, which would require smoking at least 1 gram of Mimosa tenuiflora. A more common dose of 30 mg DMT would require smoking a minimum of 3 grams of root bark.
It may be more effective, though illegal, to use Mimosa tenuiflora for extraction of crystalline DMT. In this form, it is psychoactive by itself when vaporized and inhaled.
A smoking mixture can be made by combining Mimosa with:
- 5-8 Anadenanthera colubrina seeds
- 1 cigarette
- 1 pinch of Amaranthus
How to Procure Mimosa tenuiflora?
Mimosa is not a specifically controlled species in most countries. However, DMT is. Therefore, the resulting extract would be illegal to possess.
In some countries the Mimosa plant itself is illegal, including but not limited to France. In other countries, importation of DMT containing Mimosa species could result in problems with customs.
See if jurema is available on eBay.com, or get in touch with me to procure this magical herb.
Rätsch, C. (1998). The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications. (Translator: Baker, J. R.). Park Street Press: Rochester, Vermont.