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Banisteriopsis caapi - (Spruce ex Griseb.) C.V.Morton

Common Name Yage, Ayahuasca, Caapi
Family Malpighiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Habitats Rainforest[ 254 ].
Range Northern and western S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia. Ecuador, Venezuela.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Banisteriopsis caapi Yage, Ayahuasca, Caapi

Cipó Mariri
Banisteriopsis caapi Yage, Ayahuasca, Caapi
wikimedia.org User:Vojtech_Zavadil


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Yage, Banisteriopsis caapi, is a large climbing shrub with woody stems up to 30 m long. It can be grown indoors but requires consistently moist soil. A hallucinogenic beverage can be obtained from Yage's bark, leaves and twigs. The plant is emetic and purgative, and at low doses used as a mild detoxifier. It also contains an alkaloid which has a strongly stimulatory action on the nervous system.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Banisteriopsis caapi is an evergreen Climber growing to 30 m (98ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Banisteria caapi Spruce ex Griseb. Banisteria inebrians (C.V.Morton) J.F.Macbr. Banisteria quitensis


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Inner bark  Leaves  Root  Stem
Edible Uses: Drink

The bark, leaves and twigs are the source of a beverage that is hallucinogenic[ 46 ] (see medical properties below).

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Emetic  Hallucinogenic  Purgative  Stimulant

The bark, leaves and twigs are the source of a beverage that is hallucinogenic[ 46 ]. Commonly used in the Amazonian rainforest, it is used shamanically as a tool to contact the spirits and bring healing, and is also used recreationally[ 254 , 317 , 434 ]. The shoots, roots and leaves, sometimes as an admixture with other species, are used by Indians for the preparation of a hallucinogenic beverage, used for special ceremonies or the roots and stems are chewed for this purpose[ 317 ]. The dried leaves are also smoked[ 317 ]. In addition to its use as an hallucinogenic, the plant is also emetic and purgative[ 254 ]. At low doses it is used as a mild detoxifier[ 254 ]. The plant contains an alkaloid, known variously as 'telepathin', yagein' or 'banisterine', which has a strongly stimulatory action on the nervous system[ 434 ]. The bark contains beta-carboline alkaloids, including harmine, harmaline and delta-tetrahycroharmine[ 254 ]. These alkaloids stimulate hallucinations[ 254 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


Other Uses: None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from around sea level up to 1,000 metres. Suitable for growing indoors. Suitable for growing in containers.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Yage, Ayahuasca, Caapi

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Spruce ex Griseb.) C.V.Morton

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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