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Malpighia Family

The 800 species in 60 genera of this family are shrubs or small trees, more often vines or lianas. They are tropical, mainly South American. The family has been divided into two groups based on the structure of the torus and the form of the fruits.

Several species are local medicinals; others are well-known South American hallucinogens; the fruits of some are edible.

The chemistry of the family is known primarily through the study of the hallucinogenic drinks prepared from a few South American genera and species containing a variety of beta-carboline and tryptamine alkaloids. Hiptagen, poylphenols and saponins are also found.

Diplopterys A. Jussieu

The 20 species of Diplopterys are tropical American lianas. Only D. cabrerana (q.v.) appears to have been chemically investigated: tryptamines have been reported from this species, the first indication of this kind of alkaloid in the Malpighiaceae (Der Marderosian, 1968; Schultes, 1970).

Diplopterys cabrerana (Cuatr.) Gates, Brittonia 31 (1979) 109.

Banisteriopsis rusbyana (Ndz.) Morton, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 21 (1931) 487. SC 17297, 15588; G-B 4652a, 14321a; C 10597; MV 18

yajb-oko (Koffán); oco-yajé (Taiwano); chagropanga (Inga); yajé-oco (Siona)

In the westernmost Colombian Amazonia the leaves are often used as additives in the preparation of caapi from the bark of a species of Banisteriopsis (q.v.); the hallucinogenic drink then contains tryptamines and beta-carbolines (McKenna, 1984).

The Sionas use this species to "enhance the visions" to "bring them into focus and bring about longer duration" The Tikuna-Tetete of Ecuador use B. caapi (Kvist, 1987) as do the Jivaro (Naranjo, 1953). The Shuar Indians use it mixed with the leaves of B. longialata (MV 18).

The term oko in all Tukanoan languages means "water;' This plant was formerly known as Banisteriopsis rusbyana.

Taken from:

"The healing forest, medicinal and toxic plants of the northwest Amazonia", by Richard Evans Schultes and Robert F. Raffauf.

Discordia Press. Historical, Ethno- & Ecoonomic Botany Series Volume 2.

ISBN 0-931146-14-3




























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