Magical Plant- Banisteriopsis Caapi
Banisteriopsis Caapi is another name
used for vine plant Ayahuasca. Other common names are Caapi, Yage or
Natema. The botanical classification is it belongs to Family-Malpighiaceae,
Genus is Banisteriopsis and the two know Species are Caapi and
Inebriens Its origin is South America and Amazon jungles, where it is
found as a climbing plant. Ayahuasca is a word from Quechuan language
with literal meaning of "vine of souls or spirits" producing spiritual
effects. Banisteriopsis Caapi is an alkaloid rich plant and has a very
old history of been used to treat many diseases including cancer.
People of Amazon also regard it as a
holy plant for use in religious ceremonies. Banisteriopsis Caapi
decoction is prepared by crushing the stems and boiling them in water,
the resulting fluid contains the active alkaloids. The two main types
of Banisteriopsis Caapi vine are the ones with thorny stems and the
other with soft and smooth stems. The medicine and the decoction
prepared from the plant are also named as Ayahuasca. Mostly the
medicine is prepared by combining the actives of Banisteriopsis Caapi
with other plants.
The three main alkaloids present in
Banisteriopsis Caapi stems, leaves, trunk and bark are Harmine,
Harmaline and Tetrahydroharmine. Banisteriopsis Caapi species contains
the maximum concentration of Tetrahydroharmine. These alkaloids are
very strong Mono amino oxidase inhibitors, an enzyme widely present in
human body; they decrease the levels of enzyme present in the body or
either destroys it.
Ayahuasca if taken in combination with
other anti depressants can be lethal. The bark of Banisteriopsis Caapi
also contains some percentage of other Beta-carbolines like Harmic
Acid, Harmol, Methylester harmic acid and Harmine N-oxide, along with
the three main akaloidal compounds. The decoction is used for its
healing properties, hallucinogenic effects and is a very good
purgative and cleans the bowels by excreting the parasites in waste.
It also helps maintain a health digestive tract. It also has a wide
use to treat depression, anxiety and some other psychotic disorders.
Harmine and Harmaline are purgatives and they also have tranquilizing
effects. The medicinal effects of these Mono amino oxidase inhibitors
present in Banisteriopsis Caapi can be altered very easily if mixed
with other plants of different families.
Dried Leaves of Banisteriopsis Caapi-
when mixed with any herbal compounding it further increases the
efficacy and soothing effect of the mixture.
Effect on Human Body- the actives
present in Banisteriopsis Caapi alters the Central Nervous System
activity, because they have activity similar to the Serotonin, a
neurotransmitter present in the human body. The inhibition of Mono
amino oxidase enzyme by Harmal alkaloids is a reversible process.
The use of Banisteriopsis Caapi as an
open product is restricted in many countries due to the presence of
rich alkaloids producing hallucinogenic effects, but in recent times
the United States Patent and Trademark Office has released the
restrictions on its use keeping in consideration the importance of
Banisteriopsis Caapi as a holy vine used in religious ceremonies by
the natives of Amazon, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.