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When I first found out about this little known Amazonian herb, I was thrilled. What caught my interest right away was that It was yet another source of some well known MAOI constituents found in several other well known species in the ethnobotany community. It also has a history associated with different medicinal applications than those several other similar botanicals, making it a uniquely useful plant friend. Being a life-long herbalist myself, I was elated to try it in all forms, including tincture, tea, & orally (capsuled).
If you've been familiar with the most commonly discussed plants in the ethnobotany community, then you are probably more than aware of the most common ethnobotanicals which contain harmala alkaloids. They are the Ayahuasca Vine, Syrian Rue, and Passion Flower. Did you know that Tobacco and another plant called Bobinsana ( Calliandra angustifolia ) also contain harmala alkaloids? Bobinsana is rarely disuccsed in the main-stream ethnobotany community. I intend to make this mainstream knowledge.
Phytochemistry & Pharmacology
For those of you who are not familiar with harmala alkaloids and the plants that contain them, here is a brief run-down on the topic. These plants contain complex phytochemicals which act as MAOIS ( Monoamine oxidase inhibitors ). They are commonly prized for their anti-depressant properties, and the ability to aid the body in absorbing and intensifying the effects of other psychoactive plants or substances. They have sedating and mildly psychoactive properties on their own. These plants are potentially dangerous, if combined with other certain plants, drugs, chemicals, etc.
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Bobinsana ( Calliandra angustifolia ) has many other common nick-names including: yacu yutzu, and yopoyo ( not to be confused with Yopo ). Aside from the psychoactive harmala alkaloids in the plant, it has a reputation for having many medicinal qualities as well. It's yet another Amazonian gem, being used by the native Shamans to treat rheumatism and a wide range of other ailments. Often times it's added to the Shamanic Ayahuasca brew.
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Note: Despite what you've been told, if you check the citations at the bottom of Wikipedia's page, 99% of the time they are from academic journals. If you doubt this information, search your scholarly databases for "phytochemistry". Rememeber, don't just believe what you're told! Look into it for yourself!
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