Olmedioperebea sclerophylla

In the central Amazonian region (Xingu) of Brazil,

the bark and perhaps the seeds of this tree, which can grow as tall as 30 meters and is known locally

as rape dos indios, are made into a snuff that is

purported to have hallucinogenic effects and is

consumed at religious festivals (Schultes and

Raffauf 1990, 318*). This practice has apparently

died out (D. McKenna 1995, 101 *). The powder is

said to stimulate the central nervous system and

cause euphoria and visual hallucinations. Unfortunately,

pharmacological studies of these effects

using human subjects have not yet been conducted

(Carlini and Gagliarid 1970; D. McKenna 1995,

101*). One experiment with rats and guinea pigs

revealed-as is typical-little but amphetaminelike

reactions (Carvalho and Lapa 1990). Earlier

studies demonstrated the presence of coumarins.

Later investigations revealed the presence of

cardiac glycosides as well (Ott 1993,412*).

Carlini, E. A., and R. J. Gagliarid. 1970. Compara<;:ao

das ac5es farmacol6gicas de estratos brutos de

Olmedioperebea calophyllum e Cannabis sativa.

Anais do Academia Brasileira dos Ciencies


Carvalho, Joao Ernesto de, and Antonio Jose Lapa.

1990. Pharmacology of an Indian-snuff obtained

from Amazonian Maquira sclerophylla. Journal of

Ethnopharmacology 30:43-54.

Top Contributors