Banisteriopsis Caapi


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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.