Anadenanthera peregrina

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Acacia microphyllaWilld.
Acacia peregrina(L.) Willd.
Inga niopoWilld.
Mimosa acacioidesBenth.
Mimosa niopo(Willd.) Poiret
Mimosa parvifoliaPoiret
Mimosa peregrinaL.
Niopa peregrina(L.) Britton & Rose
Piptadenia niopo(Willd.) Spruce
Piptadenia peregrina(L.) Benth.
[1]" Acacia microphyllaWilld.
Acacia peregrina(L.) Willd.
Inga niopoWilld.
Mimosa acacioidesBenth.
Mimosa niopo(Willd.) Poiret
Mimosa parvifoliaPoiret
Mimosa peregrinaL.
Niopa peregrina(L.) Britton & Rose
Piptadenia niopo(Willd.) Spruce
Piptadenia peregrina(L.) Benth.
Anadenanthera peregrina
Fossil range: {{{fossil_range}}}
Anadenanthera peregrina.jpg
Plant Info
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Fabales
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Superfamily: {{{superfamilia}}}
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Supertribe: {{{supertribus}}}
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Genus: Anadenanthera
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Species: A. peregrina
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Binomial name
Anadenanthera peregrina
Trinomial name
Type Species
Range of Anadenanthera peregrina
Range of Anadenanthera peregrina
Acacia angustiloba DC.

Acacia microphylla Willd.
Acacia peregrina (L.) Willd.
Inga niopo Willd.
Mimosa acacioides Benth.
Mimosa niopo (Willd.) Poiret
Mimosa parvifolia Poiret
Mimosa peregrina L.
Niopa peregrina (L.) Britton & Rose
Piptadenia niopo (Willd.) Spruce
Piptadenia peregrina (L.) Benth.

Anadenanthera peregrina (known as Yopo, Cohoba, Mopo, Nopo or Parica), is a perennial tree native to the Carribean and South America.[1] It grows up to 20m tall, having a thorny bark. Its flowers are pale yellow to white and spherical. It is not listed as being a threatened species. It is an entheogen used in healing ceremonies and rituals.


Related species

The usage complex of yopo is almost identical to that of a related tree, Anadenanthera colubrina, commonly known as Cebíl or Vilca. The beans of A. colubrina have a similar chemical makeup as Anadenanthera peregrina, with their primary constituent being 5-OH-DMT (bufotenin). The traditional use of the leaves of these two trees has been discussed in detail by Jonathan Ott.

Botanical varieties



The gum contains angicose, a sugar.[2]

Traditional medicine


The bark is used to treat allergies, asthma, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence, hemorrhage and pneumonia.[2]


The gum is used to treat asthma, bruises, cough, gonorrhea, pneumonia and ulcers.[2]


The tree's bark contains a high-quality tannin. It is said to be better than that of quebracho and mangrove.[3]


The wood from A. peregrina is very hard and it is good for making furniture.[4] It has a Janka rating of 3700 lb.[5] and a density of around 0.86 g/cm3.[6]


Medicine from the tree definitely should not be used internally for pregnant women or infants. The seeds and falling leaves are hallucinogenic and are toxic to cattle.[2]

Chemical compounds

Chemical compounds contained in A. peregrina include:

The bark and leaves contain tannin and the seeds contain saponin.[2]

Entheogenic uses

To make a psychedelic snuff called Yopo, the black beans from the seed pods of these trees are first toasted until the beans pop like popcorn breaking the bean's husk. The roasting process facilitates removal of the husk and makes the beans easier to grind into a powder. The bean's husk is usually removed because it is difficult to powderise. The bean is then ground with a mortar and pestle into a powder and mixed with a natural form of calcium hydroxide (lime) or calcium oxide (from certain types of ashes, calcined shells, etc.). This mix is then moistened to a consistency similar to bread dough, using a small amount of water. If calcium oxide is used, the water will react with it to form calcium hydroxide. Once moistened, it is kneaded into a ball for several minutes so that all the bufotenin comes into contact with the calcium hydroxide and reacts with it to form calcium bufotenate (5-CaO-DMT). The calcium hydroxide also reacts with any DMT and 5-MeO-DMT present to form free-base DMT and free-base 5-MeO-DMT. After kneading, it is then left to sit for several hours to several days, depending on the local customs. During this period most of the excess calcium hydroxide reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air to form calcium carbonate. Calcium hydroxide is caustic in the presence of water, and is very irritating to the nasal passages, so it is desirable to allow any left over calcium hydroxide to convert to calcium carbonate. It is then thoroughly dried and ready for use. The more modern non-traditional use of baking soda or ammonia as a substitute for calcium hydroxide has been used with limited success. Some indigenous peoples of the Orinoco basin in Colombia, Venezuela and possibly in the southern part of the Brazilian Amazon make use of Yopo snuff for spiritual healing. Yopo snuff was also widely used in ceremonial contexts by the aborigines of the Caribbean area, including Cuba and La Española, up to the Spanish Conquest. Yopo snuff is blown into the nostrils through bamboo tubes or snuffed by bird bone tubes. In some areas the unprocessed ground beans are smoked producing a much weaker effect with stronger physical symptoms. Some tribes use Yopo along with banisteriopsis caapi to increase and prolong the visionary effects, creating an experience similar to that of ayahuasca. A nearly identical, more potent snuff called Vilca, can be prepared from the related Anadenanthera colubrina).

The effects of properly made insufflated Yopo are nearly identical to the effects of vaporized DMT with little physical side effects. However, Yopo has a slower onset (20-30 minutes), and a much longer duration (up to 2 hours), and the insufflation process can be painful. Poorly made Yopo will contain large amounts of bufotenin and little or no calcium bufotenate, producing strong unpleasant physical side effects (nausea, increased blood pressure, sweating, tingling sensations, heaviness in the limbs, headache, muscle tension, etc.) and much less impressive visionary effects.

Calcium bufotenate is the main active constituent of properly prepared Yopo. Bufotenin (often spelled bufotenine) is the main active constituent of the unprocessed beans. Bufotenin is often incorrectly attributed to the effects of Yopo. Although calcium bufotenate is made from bufotenin, these two chemicals vary dramatically in their effects. In the past researchers believed that DMT must have been the main active constituent of Yopo do to the fact that the effects of Yopo were more similar to DMT than bufotenin. Modern tests, prepared by the DEA and others, have shown that only bufotenin is present in active amounts in the beans (Microgram Bulletin, VOL. XXXVII, NO. 4, DEA, April 2004; Microgram Bulletin 32(2):83-89, DEA, 1999; Torres & Repke 1996; de Smet & Rivier 1987; Sdvio Nunes et al. 1987; Rend6n 1984; Schultes et al. 1977; Yamasato 1972; Chagnon, Le Quesne & Cook 1971; Fellows & Bell 1971; Holmstedt & Lindgren 1967; Paris, Saint-Firmin & Etchepare 1967; lacobucci & Rdveda 1964; Giesbrecht 1960; Pachter, Zacharias & Ribeiro 1959; Alvares Pereira 1957; Fish, Johnson & Horning 1955; Stromberg 1954). The leaves, bark and seeds also contain small amounts of DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and related compounds (Schultes 1976,1977; Pachter et al. 1959). Bufotenin (5-OH-DMT) is a positional isomer of psilocin (4-OH-DMT), the more popular entheogen found in psilocybin mushrooms. Bufotenin is an amphoteric phenolic compound. It has a hydroxyl (OH) group on the 5 position similar to serotonin. As with other phenolic compounds (phenol, morphine, etc.) its hydroxyl (OH) group is unstable at high pH levels, and can react with a base forming a salt. For example the base calcium hydroxide used in the preparation of Yopo causes the hydroxyl group's oxygen hydrogen bond to break, replacing the hydrogen with calcium, effectively forming calcium bufotenate (5-CaO-DMT), the calcium salt of bufotenin. Its amine side chain is able to react with acids, such as hydrochloric acid forming bufotenin hydrochloride, the hydrochloric salt of bufotenin. Because bufotenin is weakly acetic, preparations made with baking soda or dilute ammonia are not very effective at breaking the hydroxyl (OH) group and will simply create free-base bufotenin.

In general, the physical side effects of bufotenine based compounds increase dramatically as their water solubility increases. The more water soluble compounds are also less effective at penetrating the blood brain barrier and produce less psychoactive effects. For example, highly water soluble bufotenin hydrochloride produces strong physical side effects (nausea, increased blood pressure, sweating, tingling sensations, heaviness in the limbs, headache, muscle tension, etc.) and is only weakly psychoactive. The less water soluble free-base bufotenin produces stronger psychoactive effects and less physical side effects. While the very weakly water soluble calcium bufotenate, found in Yopo, produces the strongest psychoactive effects with very little physical side effects. Of the three compounds, only calcium bufotenate is capable of producing psychoactive effects that rival those of DMT.

Yopo is never ingested orally because the hydrochloric acid in the stomach reacts with calcium bufotenate producing the very water soluble bufotenin hydrochloride, a compound producing dangerous physical side effects when taken orally. The side effects of bufotenin hydrochloride increase dramatically and may me fatal if taken orally with an MAOI.

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 ILDIS LegumeWeb
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 PlantaMed (Portuguese)
  3. Anadenanthera: Visionary Plant of Ancient South America By Constantino Manuel Torres, David B. Repke, p. 97
  4. PDF Caracterização da Madeira de Angico-Vermelho
  5. J.G. Architectural
  6. FAO
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 UNO
  9. Psychedelics Encyclopedia By Peter G. Stafford, p. 313.

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General references

External links

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