In the Chaco region of northern Argentina, a

number of species of the genus Trichocline are

utilized as psychoactive substances. Locals call

them coro or contrayerba.337 Jesuit reports from the

eighteenth century describe how the Calchaqui

Indians used the ground roots to strengthen their

chicha (beer made from maize or other plants).

The Mocovies, Toba, and Matac0338 smoke the

powdered root alone or mixed with tobacco (cf.

smoking blends). The smoke is said to have

medicinal effects upon stomachaches. Today, the

root is also burned alone or with tobacco as an

incense. The most commonly used species are

Trichocline reptans (Webb.) Rob., Trichocline

exscapa Griseb., and Trichocline dealbata (Hook. et

Arn.) Griseb. (Zardini 1975, 649 f.; 1977).

Unfortunately, no chemical studies of the root

have been conducted to date. The roots supposedly

are sold at herb stands in Argentinian

markets in the Chaco region. In Salta, a seller from

Germany offered imported calamus roots (Acorus

calamus) as coro.

Zardini, Elsa M. 1975. Revision del genero

Trichocline (Compositae). Darwiniana


---. 1977. The identification of an Argentinian

narcotic. Botanical Museum Leaflets 25 (3):


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