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Form: Powder in 120 capsules (30 day supply at 4 per day)

Origin: Peru


In the Amazon, the Indians of the Rio Pastaza consider bobinsana to be a stimulant. They prepare a decoction of the roots to take for strength and energy. The Shipibo-Conibo Indians in the Ucayali area of Peru call the tree semein and prepare a bark tincture for rheumatism, arthritis, colds, uterine disorders, and edema (or water retention). The indigenous people and tribes in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon prepare a bark tincture (with aguardiente) for bone pain, arthritis, rheumatism, and colds. They also grate the bark into baths to increase resistance to sickness and to resist the cold and chills.

Bobinsana is also used by the Indians as an adjunctive ingredient in various ayahuasca recipes in the Amazon. Ayahuasca is a phytochemically-rich combination of plants brewed by Indian shamans to connect to the spirit world. Through a series of reactions among chemicals from several plants working together, a hallucinogenic plant extract is created. While bobinsana is not itself a hallucinogen, it is considered a "plant teacher" and is sometimes added to ayahuasca recipes to help the shamans connect to and learn from the plants on a spiritual level.

In Peruvian herbal medicine systems a decoction of the bark is prepared and it is considered to be anti-rheumatic, contraceptive, tonic, stimulant, and depurative. A bark decoction is also used for dyspnea (shortness of breath). A decoction of the roots is recommended for uterine cancer and as a depurative (blood cleanser) as well. A decoction of the entire plant (leaves, stem, twigs, flowers) is prepared as a decoction as a general energizing tonic.


The chemical constituents in bobinsana are not well documented. It is believed to contain harmala alkaloids, amino acids, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and sterols. Two studies reports the presence of several pipecolic acids.


Thus far, only one laboratory study has been published on bobinsana. Researchers in Sweden evaluated the anti-inflammatory action of a ethanol extract of the tree's bark. While they reported that it was inactive with a topical application on rat's ears, they did report that the extract inhibited COX-1 prostaglandin biosynthesis. COX-inhibitors are a class of pharmaceutical drugs for arthritis and this documented action may help explain why bobinsana has such a long-standing reputation for arthritis and rheumatism in South American herbal medicine.


Bobinsana is not very well known as an herbal remedy in the United States. There are only a handful of bobinsana products to choose from in the U.S. natural products market. In Peru today, bobinsana is a well-respected remedy for joint, bone, and muscle pain in arthritis and rheumatism. It is also a popular local remedy for uterine cancer.

Traditional Preparation: If using it for arthritis and rheumatism, the bark is the preferred part of the plant and it is best prepared in a tincture or a decoction. For blood cleansing and cancer, the root is generally prepared as a decoction.

Contraindications: Bobinsana is traditionally used as a contraceptive in Peru. While there is no research to confirm this possible action, those seeking to get pregnant should probably avoid this plant.

** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **

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