Chacruna is an evergreen shrub or plant. Its botanical name is Psychotria viridis and it belongs to the Rubiaceae family.

Psychotria viridis (Chacruna) goes by many other common names including Sami Ruca, Yage, and Kawa among several others.

Chacruna is native to the Amazon forest and also grows as far north as Central America, including Cuba. Psychotria viridis has a woody trunk and grows up to 10 feet tall.

Chacruna trees produce long, narrow, elliptical-shaped leaves with a shiny top that range from bright to dark green. It also has red berries that contain several small, round seeds. Charuna flowers are small and greenish-white in color.

Chacruna Health Uses and Health Benefits

Psychotria viridis (Chacruna) health benefits come from its natural content of plant compounds.

One of the most well-known ingredients in chacruna leaves is an indole alkaloid called dimethyltryptamine (DMT). DMT is a natural entheogenic, which is a natural psychoactive compound that induces a spiritual experience.

Traditional chacruna medicinal uses have been as an addition of the dried leaves to Ayahuasca, a natural medicinal remedy used for spiritual healing in many South American cultures and tribes.

As a psychoactive, Psychotria viridis uses include being able to expand awareness and elevate consciousness by heightening the senses.

Different tribes and cultures use different parts of the chacruna plant in different ways. Commonly, the leaves are used. However, many cultures also used the roots, berries, and flowers for several medicinal purposes and other functions.

There are many traditional chacruna medicinal uses, including eye drops, which allowed for tribespeople to have a heightened sense of vision to improve their hunting abilities.

Chacruna can also be used as an effective remedy to relieve headaches and migraines, which can affect vision and other senses.

Other Psychotria viridis health benefits come as a result of it being an additive to various traditional medicinal concoctions.

These other chacruna health benefits include:

  • Treating insect bites, especially from fire ants
  • Improving breathing as a rub-on expectorant
  • Alleviating congestion caused by lung infections or colds
  • Inducing vomiting in order to expel infectious parasites or bacteria
  • Curing dysentery of a chacruna root-based remedy

Chacruna Side Effects and Precautions

Because of its natural psychoactive effects, Chacruna’s side effects can cause hallucinations, dizziness, and emotional aggressiveness.

When consumed as part of ayahuasca, Chacruna side effects may cause nausea and vomiting. Consult a certified herbalist before taking Chacruna to treat any condition.


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