Plant Teachers

Native Quechua and Botanical Names

 

Cielo Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi). Photo: F. Sammarco

 

The traditional shamanic initiation as it is practised still today in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest is embedded in the Spanish term dieta, which refers to the shamanic diet with plant teachers. Plants may also be “dieted” therapeutically, for healing from a particular condition (the healing diet). In either case different degrees of restrictions and/or a specific apprenticeship is required, under the guidance of the shaman.

Along with their use in the dieta – which has different styles and degrees of rigour – some of these plants and trees may also be employed as admixture in the preparation of the Ayahuasca brew, or find as well other more specific applications in the ceremonial and daily world of the vegetalistas of the Peruvian Amazon.

 

Vernacular Name Botanical Name


Abuta Abuta grandifolia
Acatuaua Maytanus macrocarpa
Alcanfor Moena Ocotea costulata
Allpa ayahuasca Banisteriopsis sp.
Altaruna Unidentified
Amasisa Erythrinaglauca
Anacaspi Apuleta leiocarpa
Ajos chiro Gallizia corazema
Ajos sacha Mansoa alliacea
Ayahùma Couropita guianensis
Azucar huayo Hymenaea sp.
Bellaco caspi Himantanthus sucuuba

Bobinsana Calliandra angustifolia
Camalonga Thevetia peruviana (?)
Cambio de renaco Unidentified
Campana ayahuasca Banisteriopsis sp.
Canelilla Aniba canellila
Capirona negra Capirona decorticans
Catahua Hura crepitans
Caupuri Virola surinamensis
Chacruna Psychotria viridis
Chaliponga / Chagropanga / Ojo Yajé Diplopterys cabrerana
Chambira Astrocaryum chambira
Chicuru piripiri Cyperus sp.
Chiric sanango Brunfelsia grandiflora
Chiricaspi (palo del frio) Brunfelsia chiricaspi
Chontay caspi Unidentified

Chonta quiro Diplotropis sp. (A. Brack) / Anthodiscus sp. (A. Gentry)
Cuchara caspi Malovetia Tamaquarina
Chuchuhuasi Maytenus ebenifolia
Chuchuhuasha Heisteria pallida
Chullachaqui caspi (Chullachaki caspi) Tovomita sp.
Chullachaqui caspi hembra Tovomita sp.
Cielo ayahuasca (lucero ayahuasca) Banisteriopsis caapi
Clavohuasca Tynanthas panurensis
Colita de gabilan Unidentified
Cumaceba negra Swartzia sp.
Cumala Virola sp.
Estoraque (Estorake) Myroxylon balsamum
Garabato Unidentified
Giausahuasca Unidentified
Hierba santa (Hierba de la Virgen) Cestrum hediondinum
Hiporuru Alchornea castaneifolia
Huacra renaco Unidentified
Huairacaspi Cedrelinga catanaeformis
Huayra runa Unidentified
Huacapu’ Minquartia guianensis
Huambisa chacruna Diplopterys sp.
Huiririma Astrocaryum jauari
Huicungo Astrocaryum vulgare
Lobo chupa Unidentified
Lupuna blanca Ceiba sp. / Ceiba Pentandra
Lupuna roja (puka-lupuna or lupuna bruja) Cavanillesia hylogeiton / C. umbellata
Lupuna negra Unidentified
Mapacho Nicotiana rustica / Nicotiana tabacum
Misqui panga (michiquipanga) Renealmia alpina
Motelo Sacha Unidentified
Mucura Petiveria alliacea
Murcohuasca Marcgravia williamsii
Mururé Brosimum acutifolium Huber
Nuc-nuc pichana Scoparia dulcis
Oje’ Ficus insipida
Papastrueno Dioscorea sp.
Piripiri Cyperaceous sp.
Puca chari (rojo dulce) Unidentified
Pumasacha Roucheria punctata ducke
Puro puro Unidentified
Raya balsa Montrichardia arborecens
Rajo ayahuasca Banisteriopsis sp.
Remo caspi Pithecellobium laetum
Renaco Ficus sp.
Renaquilla Clusia rosea
Renaquilla con hojas anchas Unidentified
Renaquilla con hojas minudas Unidentified
Sacha Mango Grias peruviana
Sacha runa Unidentified
Shapaca (Shapaja) Sheelea cephalotes
Shihuauacu Dipterys sp.?
Suelda con suelda Phtirusa pyrifolia
Supay-casha caspi Unidentified
Tahuari’ Tabebuia heteropoda
Tambor Huasca Unidentified
Tangarana Triplaris surinamensis var. chamissoana
Toe’ Brugmansia suavolens
Trueno ayahuasca Banisteriopsis sp.
Uchu-sanango Tabernaemontana sp.
Uña de Gato de Siete Capas Uncaria sp.
Yahuar Piripiri Eleutherine bulbosa
Yana ayahuasca (ayahuasca negra) Banisteriopsis sp.

References

Duke, J. A., Vasquez, R., Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary, CRC Press, 1994

Luna, L.E. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 11 (1984) 135-156; Luna, L.E. Vegetalismo. Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon, Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, Stockholm Studies in Comparative Religion 27, Stockholm 1986

Schultes, E.R. and Raffauf, R. F. Vine of the Soul, Medicine Men, their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia, Synergetic Press 1992

Luna, L.E. : “Icaros: Magical Melodies“, in Matteson Langdon, E.J. and Baer G. Portals of Power – Shamanism in South America, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque 1992

Dobkins De Rios, M. Amazon Healer. The Life and Times of an Urban Shaman, Prism Press, Dorset 1992

Luna, L.E. and Amaringo P. Ayahuasca Visions, The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman, Berkeley 1999; Luna, L.E. and White, S. (Editors) Ayahuasca Reader – Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Wine, Synergetic Press, Santa Fe 2000

A. Gentry A Field Guide to the families and Genera of Woody Plants of Northwest South America, 1993

A. Brack Egg Dicionario Enciclopédico de Plantas Utiles del Perù, 1999; Mejia, K. & Rengifo, E. Plantas Medicinales de Uso Popular en la Amazonia Peruana, 1995.