It has recently been discovered that the Ecuadoran

Quecha use a tree that they call anya huapa,

huachig caspi, huapa, llauta caspi, or machin cara

yura ("monkey bark tree") as a hallucinogen. It is

possible that this tree was already in use for this

purpose in pre-Columbian times, for the informants explained that their ancestors used this

plant to communicate with phantoms and spirits.

The red sap from the trunk, which is ingested

orallyRoute of administration in which the subject swallows a substance., must be boiled before use and is sometimes

mixed with guando (Brugmansia spp.) and tzicta

(Tabernaemontana sananho Ruiz et Pav.; see

Tabernaemontana spp.). The Quechua drip some

of the red sap into the nostrils of their dogs so that

they are better able to hunt. A chemical quick test

(Dragendorff test) has confirmed the presence of

alkaloids (Bennett and Alarcon 1994). The Maku

Indians drink the sap of the tree, which they call

tugnebanpe, to treat colds (Prance 1972a, 20*). In

the region around Manaus, the leaves are smoked

as a treatment for asthma (Schultes 1978b, 230*;


Bennett, B. C., and Rocio Alarcon. 1994.

Osteophloeum platyspermum and Virola duckei

(Myristicaceae): Newly reported as hallucinogens

from Amazonian Ecuador. Economic Botany 48

(2): 152-58.

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