Banisteriopsis caapi 13/07/2020
Banisteriopsis caapi, sometimes also referred to as the vine of the soul or the wine of the dead, is a forest climbing vine growing in areas of South and Central America. It serves as one of the main ingredients of the sacred hallucinogenic drink called Ayahuasca. By the local shamans, however, is as Ayahuasca called the vine itself. It is believed that she is the mother of all plants and mediates communication with the spirits of nature. The plant grows up to several tens of meters. The Caapi trees in the surrounding area are actually crawling until they come into contact with direct sunlight. Its leaves have a spherical, compound shape. In favorable conditions, it is then decorated with pinkish flowers. The genus Banisteriopsis includes more than 100 species of creepers. They grow most abundantly in the tropical rain forests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia.
In South America, the vine has been used since time immemorial as the main ingredient of the sacred Ayahuasca drink. It was thus an essential part of traditional ceremonies and rituals. For example, it served as part of the ritual of transition to adulthood. The adolescent boy, after ingestion, was allowed to join the wisdom of his ancestors and nature. This transformation experience then made him a strong man. The older shamans then used the plant on a daily basis. It helped them convey visions, divinations and communicate with the spirits of the forest. It was also part of traditional medicine, helping to cure physical and mental illnesses of all kinds. After drinking the brew, the experienced shaman was able to look through the physical body of the patient and diagnose his health.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND EFFECTS
The main alkaloids occurring in the plant are harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine. These alkaloids are present in all parts of the plant. Alkaloids are MAO inhibitors, so they have antidepressant and sedative effects. After use, there is a pleasant state of intoxication and changed consciousness. The colors become brighter and the slightly hypnotizing effects are suitable for relaxation or meditation. The plant is also a good agent for restful sleep, causing vivid and colorful dreams.
The leaves of the plant are prepared by boiling 10-20 g of them in a pot with water of 0.5 – 1 liter for 15 minutes. We can add a base for better release of alkaloids – lemon juice or a few drops of vinegar.
Shredded vine is suitable primarily for ritual use. It is also possible to prepare a fine decoction of 10 g, which we boil in a pot with water with a volume of approx. 1 liter for min. 30 min. The active substances are released from the vine gradually, so it is advisable to cook the plant for a longer time, even an hour. To obtain the maximum amount of active ingredients, one boiled vine can be boiled 1 – 2 more times in the same way. Vinegar can be added for better release of active alkaloids.
To prepare this extract, pour one teaspoon of extract in hot water, stir and consume immediately.
Suitable for microdosing. Only 5-10 drops are enough for subtle relaxing effects. To maximize the effect, it is advisable to apply the tincture under the tongue and hold it there for a few minutes. Shake the bottle before use.
The effects appear after only a few minutes and last for 3-4 hours.
Banisteriopsis Caapi is MAOI. To avoid overvoltage of serotonin receptors, it must not be combined with SSRI-based substances – eg Kanna and almost all of today’s pharmaceutical antidepressants! When preparing for the traditional Ayahuasca ritual, it is important to follow a strict diet also due to the presence of MAOI inhibitors in the creeper. When using this plant alone in lower meditation doses, it is not necessary to follow a strict diet. However, we recommend restricting the supply of heavy and fried foods, meat and dairy products on the day of use.