Plant Spirit Shamanism – The Medicinal Crops of the Amazon Rainforest
Working with teacher vegetation is named the ‘shaman’s diet’. ayahuasca The purpose of the diet would be to prepare the human body and nervous program for your powerful understanding and growth of consciousness presented by teacher crops.
In everyday life, the intellect results in the illusion that we’re different from reality, and thus shields us, just like a veil, from encountering the vastness from the universe. Entry to the truth without preparing may be a radical shock to your process.
It offers a big obstacle with the rational Western brain to come to terms with all the trainer crops, as well as a leap of creativity is needed to incorporate the ‘other’ consciousness of the plant. The magical planet to which we’re transported by plants will not be accessible by the verbal rational head but as a result of dream language or an growth of the imagination. As a result desires & our imaginative powers act like doorways during a plant diet program and connect us with all the plant spirit.
Some in the Medicinal Vegetation with the Amazon Rainforest.
o Mocura; taken orally or used in floral baths to raise energy, or take you out of a saladera (a run of bad luck, inertia, sense of not living for the full). This plant gives mental strength and you can feel its effects as also with ajosacha, both are varieties of garlic and have a penetrating aroma. Mental strength means it may be good to counter shyness, find one’s personal value or authority. Medicinal properties include asthma, bronchitis, reduction of fat and cholesterol. Another of its properties is that it burns of excess fat.
o Piñon Colorado; this plant has short lived effect after drinking but helps dreaming later on when you go to sleep. Piñon Colorado can also be worked with as a planta maestra (trainer plant). Medicinal properties include dealing with Insect bites and stings, vaginal infections, and bronchitis. It is possible to take the resin which is much stronger but toxic if too much ingested. The resin can be applied directly towards the skin.
o Chirisanango; this plant is good for colds and arthritis and has the effect of heating up your body, so much so that the maestro advises a cold shower after each dose! This plant can be used in baths for good luck, and bring success to fishing, hunting etc. This planta maestra also makes possible for people to open up their heart to feel love for people and animals, and identify with other people as though brothers and sisters.
It grows mainly in the Upper Amazon and only a few restingas (high ground which never floods) in the Lower Amazon. The shamans say that vegetation connect us with nature because they take their nourishment directly from the earth, as well as the sun’s rays, the air. They allow us to know and recognize ourselves. A shaman must know this and must love his people to heal them. The gift of Chirisanango is self esteem i.e the ability to recognise ourselves.
The shamans say that this plant opens up the shamanic path, assuming that we’re prepared to live under the rules of shamanism, to do this we need courage and no fear of extremes or negative & challenging circumstances. We need to understand what role we will play in society and have the heart of a warrior.
o Guayusa; It is good for excessive acidity and other problems in the stomach and bile. Also it is both energizing and relaxing at the same time and develops mental strength. This also has the most interesting effect of giving lucid dreams i.e when you are dreaming you are aware that you are dreaming. The plant is also called the “watchman’s plant”, as even when sleeping you are aware in the outer physical surroundings.
On another personal note, I found the experience with this plant also to be quite incredible. I found that the usual boundary between sleeping and being awake to be more fluid than I had anticipated. Even now, sometime after taking the plant my desires are more colourful, richer, and lucid than before. For those interested in ‘dreaming’ this is certainly the plant to explore.
o Ajo Sacha; An important planta maestra in the initiation of Amazonian shamans. Mental strength, acuity of head, saladera (explained above), for ridding spells, self healing. Originally used to enhance hunting skills by covering up human smell along with the garlic smell of Ajosacha.
On another personal note, I found my senses being altered and enhanced with this plant. I could zoom in and focus on sounds emanating from the rainforest, my sense of smell became sharper, and in some ineffable way I could tune into the breathing or rhythm from the rainforest. The sound of insects and birds was no longer a random phenomenon, these sounds became a rhythmic breath, rising and falling. No wonder that it is used for hunting as one’s sense are heightened in an incredible way.
o Icoja; A bark used for malaria, fever, an astringent, disinfectant for healing septic wounds. Used against Uta – a kind of leprosy found in the Amazon. Wounds are washed directly with this plant, and it is also used for an infectious disease (Pilagra) in children.
o Chanca piedra; Used for Kidney problems especially kidney stones (hence the name ‘stone crusher’), gall bladder, disinfectant. This is recognised as a gall bladder and liver tonic. It is also used for cleansing the urinary technique and for dealing with intestinal parasites. This plant is only used for its many pharmaceutical properties, not a planta maestra per se.
o Sachamangua; This is a large single seeded fruit, which when you crush the fruit and squeeze the juice into the nose, it warms the area locally (it can sting a bit), and it is effective for curing sinusitis. It also helps the eyesight and restores visual acuity by relieving the pressure from the sinuses. You eliminate a lot of mucus and this gives relief. The fruit when ripe is normally eaten peeled or roasted, and is a little like the aguaje fruit, but for medicinal uses it must be green. It is also good for tired feet in an poultice. Taken orally it is useful for that liver when struggling along with the digestion of fat, it is also a treatment for gases. Fungal spores in the nose can cause itching, rhinitis or allergy and Sachamangua is effective for this too. Athlete’s foot can also be treated while using the dry powder, like talcum powder, prepared from this fruit.
o Cat’s Claw (una de gato); Cat’s Claw is a tropical vine that grows in rainforest. This vine gets its name from the small thorns at the base with the leaves, which looks like a cat’s claw. These claws enable the vine to attach itself around trees climbing to a heights up to 150 feet. The inner bark of this vine has been used for generations to treat inflammations, colds, viral infections, arthritis, and tumors.
Cat’s Claw can be used as tonic to boost the body’s immune technique. And is considered by many as a ‘balancer’ returning the body’s functions to a healthy equilibrium. Its has anti-inflammatory and blood cleansing properties as well as being able to clean out the entire intestinal tract and therefore helps treat a wide array of digestive problems such as gastric ulcers, parasites, and dysentery.
From a psycho-spiritual, plant spirit, or shamanic perspective in which disease and illness can be initiated by a spiritual imbalance within a person causing the person to become de-spirited, or losing heart (in the West we would call this depression), it can restore this inner sacred union of spirit and physical overall body.
The medicinal properties of this plant are officially recognized by the Peruvian government and it is a protected (for export) plant. It is available widely in the west in capsule form. In the markets in Iquitos it is available in bark form, and many indigenous communities are increasingly cultivating this plant
o Boahuasca; Used to heal Cancer on the stomach and intestines and prolapses. Also used against Uta, and cancerous, malignant wounds. The shaman’s make an ointment from the ash and apply directly.
The underlying fact that is revealed in working with the plant spirit or consciousness is that we are not independent from the natural environment. We perceive ourselves to be individual beings with our minds firmly embedded within our being (typically our head). The vegetation can show you that this way of being is an illusion and that we’ve been all connected, all of us and everything else is a discrete element in the great universal field of consciousness. This is an area where the ancient expertise of your peoples of the rainforest and modern quantum physics point in the very same direction, “Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one’ Albert Einstein.
Another way of seeing the shaman’s diet regime is that like the platitude ‘all roads lead to Rome’, all vegetation lead through different paths of experiences into the same place, i.e a deep and expanded understanding of one’s place in the world around us and also a recognition of self as an intrinsic element of this.
The indigenous people from the Amazon see existence as having enough goal just as it is. Fulfillment comes from being in tune while using the spirits so there is an abundance of fish, bananas, yucca for making masato (alcoholic beverage), and plenty of healthy children, in short, life is for being happy!