Banisteriopsis caapi, a vine, is...
Banisteriopsis caapi, a vine, is the foremost ingredient of ayahuasca, a traditional medicinal tea from the Amazon region. This plant is one of the most discussed items in ethnobotany and ethnomedicine.
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Indigenous shamans and others say they can reach altered states of mind by using an infusion from B. caapi alone. This requires a lot of practice. Furthermore there are 72 tribes that we know of who drink ayahuasca and say the vine itself is their "teacher plant", giving detailed information about other plants. They claim B. caapi is responsible for their excellent botanical knowledge.
In most cases people add a second plant to the brew, which contains the visionary compound DMT. This compound is inactive when taken orally by itself. The B. caapi, however, temporarily disables the enzymes of the body that break down DMT. This is called monoamine oxydase inhibition, which is the primary psychopharmacological effect of B. caapi in most cases.
If you order the whole vine, you need to pound it with something heavy like a hammer, until it has become like soft threads. We also sell it shredded, which saves you the pounding, but might be a little less potent than the whole vine.
The shredded vine goes in a pan with water and is brought to boil. Once boiling, it sits on a low fire anywhere between 4 and 12 hours, depending on the person who makes the infusion. Usually water is added throughout the process, to make sure there is enough water to dissolve all the active ingredients. Once the process has finished, the plant material is filtered out with a t-shirt or something similar and the infusion is boiled down to a drinkable volume.
Some recipes add various quantities of lemonjuice or vinegar to speed up the extraction process. Sometimes the plant material is used for 2 or 3 separate extracts of 60 - 120 minutes each, which are later combined in a pan and boiled down to a drinkable size.
Typical doses when used by itself are in the range of 25 to 150 grams, depending on the variety, the quality, the purpose and of course the sensitivity of the drinker. When used in an ayahuasca like brew that also contains DMT, common dosages are 50 to 100 grams in the lower dose range and 100 to 150 grams in the higher dose range.
Some people use B. caapi prior to ingestion of other psychedelics, typically psilocybin mushrooms. According to some this prolongs and intensifies the effects of the mushrooms, and alters the general direction of the experience. Depending on many factors, usually quantities of 25 grams or more are used.
B. caapi contains MAO-inhibiting substances. This means it can be very dangerous when combined with certain foods or other psychoactives that are totally harmless when taken by themselves.