Synonyms

Ocimum guatemalense Gandoger

In Amazonia, where this plant is known as albahaca,

iroro, pichana albaca, or pichana blanca, it is

said that this basil species is hallucinogenic (Duke

and Vasquez 1994*). The leaves are used as an

ayahuasca additive. The herbage has ethnomedicinal

use as an analgesic in Mexico and

Guatemala (Alcorn 1984, 715*; Ott 1993, 416*).

The plant is known as xkakaltun in the Yucatan,

where it is regarded as a honey plant (Barrera M.

et al. 1976, 263*) and is used in an abortifacient

medicine (R~itsch and Probst 1983). The Siona

Indians call the aromatic plant gana ma'nya,

"chicha perfume:' and it is sin1ilarly known as

kana na'nya among the Secoya (Vickers and

Plowman 1984, 16*). It apparently was once used

as a chicha additive. In Brazil, where the plant is

known as mangericao, it is used in the Candomble

cult as an ingredient in the initiatory drink (see

madzoka medicine). It has folk medicinal significance

in the Caribbean. The plant contains an

essential oil (Wong 1976, 137*) whose constituents

include camphene, cineol, linalool, myrcene,

cis-trans-ocimene, a-pinene, fj-pinene, a-terpineol,

aromandrene, fj-caryophyllene, fj-elemene, L\-elemene,

')'-elemene, a-humulene, neriol, and eugenol

(Argueta V. et al. 1994,89*; Maia et al. 1988).

Sacred basil (Ocimum sanctum 1. [syn. Ocimum

tenuiflorum 1.]), a relative that is better known by

the names tulasi, tulsi, and madura-tala (Knecht

1985), is not itself psychoactive,334 although it is

chewed as a substitute for betel quids (Macmillan

1991,424*).
Literature

Knecht, Sigrid. 1985. Die heilige Heilpflanze Tulasi.

In "Ethnobotanik," special issue, Curare

3/85:95-100.

Maia, J. G. S., et al. 1988. Uncommon Brazilian

essential oils of the Labiatae and Compositae.

Dev. Food Science 18:177-88.

Ratsch, Christian, and Heinz J. Probst. 1983. Krauter

zur Familienplanung. Sexualmedizin 12 (4):

173-76.

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