Friday, April 06, 2007


Chacrona, of the genus Psychotria, is an hallucinogenic plant traditionally used by some of the indigenous populations for making ceremonial tea. In recent times it has also been adopted by non-Indian religious groups, which also use the plant for ceremonial tea. I understand that chacrona is classified as a hard-drug by Brazilian law but an exception to the rule is made for these specified religious groups. In this region we have two of these groups, one in Alter do Chao and another here in Santarem, called UDV. My Swiss friend, Pierre Schwartz, gave me this plant three years ago when it no more than five inches high. Although it requires a lot of water during the dry season, it seems to be doing well in this semi-shaded spot. I'm not totally certain but I think this plant is Psychotria viridis.

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