Bobinsana – A powerful teacher plant to clear buried trauma

Bobinsana - A powerful teacher plant to clear buried trauma

by Franziska Ditter-Ebbesen & Caya Shobo facilitators, April 2024

One of the most beloved and frequently prescribed healing plants for Dieta at Caya Shobo, whether for healing or teaching purposes, is Bobinsana (Callindra SP, Mimosaceas).

Bobinsana is a hardy bush that grows on the river banks in the Amazon rainforest where it must withstand strong, and often cold, river currents. This beautiful maestra plant is therefore known amongst the Shipibo healers for its excellent remedial benefits related to strengthening and invigorating the body – the bones, blood and veins. It is also used to fortify the female reproductive system, and for clearing all kinds of issues associated with inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatism or arthritis – what the Shipibo shamanic healers typically describe as ‘cold airs’.

When administering Icaro treatments, the Shipibo shamans will often sing to activate and harmonize the dieter’s five senses or ‘cinco sentidos’. In concert with this, the master healer will sing to wake up your lost memories, your dreams and visions, and encourage the vigorous ‘wind energy’ (nihue in Shipibo) of Bobinsana to powerfully connect you with the color of the spiritual world and your own spirituality.

In the world of Ayahuasca and the Shipibo healing tradition of master plant Dieta practice, Bobinsana is renowned as a powerful Teacher plant to help you foster a learning relationship with the master plants. The flower of this plant is so intricate, bright and beautiful that it almost seems to be from another world. A head of intricate bright pink soft spiky petals surround a beautiful small white star center which opens and closes with the sun.

There is a Shipibo legend about a golden eagle which nests inside the Bobinsana bush who is sometimes seen in Dieters’ visions or dreams. I myself had a powerful vision of these golden wings during a ceremony at Caya Shobo after just opening my 3rd Bobinsana Dieta. I have seen this plant go to work and merge with my body during Dieta dreams and infuse my being with its properties.

Most facilitators at Caya Shobo have Dieted Bobinsana at least several times and have had very strong experiences with her. It is not usually described as a “gentle” plant. Here are some short sharings from a few of our experienced retreat facilitators:

  Flor Maria



Flor describes her experience with Bobinsana as deeply transformative: “Little by little she broke an armor that I had carried throughout my life, and helped me connect more with my heart. A new perspective of the world was born in me after the Diet closed, allowing me to see the daily scene more richly. Above all, it helped me transform my vision of beauty, teaching me how to find my own beauty from the inside out. Once I learned this I became capable of finding beauty everywhere.” 

For Charlie, Bobinsana offered a similar integration and alignment between his mind and heart. “It felt like a lot of heart medicine, unfurling the walls of protection that I had created around my heart, like petals of a lotus opening. A slow, but extremely deep process of bringing heart ‘intelligence’ or the knowledge held within the heart into the forefront of my consciousness. Also, for me it offered a ton of healing of ancestral baggage: especially wounds of the heart and emotional body.

Natasha experienced a powerful and transformative Dieta: “Bobinsana helped me to see what energies in me were frozen or asleep and without hesitation began the work to reawaken those energies and remove everything that was in the way. The energy of creativity was almost too intense, but she helped me to see where to direct it in my life and so, to live more fully and in connection with that.  So many doors from the parts of my life where I was feeling stuck were immediately shut, but there was a huge teaching of trust which made letting go a more ‘matter of fact’ process without too many emotions about what was happening. Like she was just making things happen and I just had to be watchful and follow with trust. She seemed to be strict at times and required a lot of sacrifice with little rewards of joy in dreams as if to say that we’re going in a good direction. Towards the end of the Diet I saw new doors were opening and my life changed so much that I feel like I’m still integrating some of that Dieta almost 2 years later. I am still painting actively today due to the creativity unlocked during that diet, whereas before I really felt uninspired for years and unable to finish what I started.”

The strictness with which Bobinsana can often show herself during a plant diet was an experience that Andy recalls as a “Beautiful, though very severe Dieta in imparting the necessity of discipline I had not yet attained. I am grateful to her, despite the intensity of all that. I actually thought I might be killed. I have come to respect the effectiveness of that degree of what I now consider to be ‘tough love’. It’s the ultimate expression… transform or die.

Mariano & Julie



Kevin says “Bobinsana for me was a very, very strong plant that offered a lot and also asked for a lot. A high risk to reward ratio if you will. I found it to be very intolerant of falling into anger or acting on it. About 6 months in I started feeling angry and irritated all the time, but if I acted on it the punishment was heavy. So I would say my biggest advice with Bobinsana would be to watch the anger. Or whatever negative emotions surface. Because, after talking to a lot of people it seems to be a plant that really makes you feel whatever negative emotion you struggle with and then punishes hard when you fail. But cleans heavily if you succeed. When I didn’t react and stayed calm even though I was feeling angry I felt it cleaned a lot of that energy. I feel far less angry and frustrated in my life than before the Dieta and that was some years ago now… it never really came back. I love that plant. So beautiful.

Similarly for Wesley, “She definitely has a strong and assertive ‘no bullshit’ way of offering teachings, but for me this is even more of an illumination of what true loving care is all about. Cutting through the layers of distraction and offering an authentic and truthful expression of what it means to love. Ourselves… and others! Bridging the connection between the heart and mind with a strong and embodied voice, that speaks truth and isn’t afraid of what it ‘looks like’ to be REAL. Expressed in her structure, you see the incredible strength and sturdiness of her leaves in combination with the delicacy and full, unhindered expression of her flower.

The maestros also often prescribe Bobinsana Dieta to help address the roots of childhood trauma which Kevin, Julie and Becky all attest to.

Julie who has dieted Bobinsana multiple times and who feels her relationship with this plant teacher has deepened every time, says, “Her energy is about deeply clearing blockages, especially ancestral and childhood blockages, in service of restoring the energetic movement of our lives. She is… hardcore. I sometimes see her as an industrial tractor, turning all the soil of my mind and spirit over until it is cleared, fresh and ready to be planted anew. Her greatest gift to me was reconnecting me to the divine, especially the divine feminine. I was surprised to see this appear in a deep longing to reconnect with the church rituals of my childhood, with a newfound innocence, curiosity and pleasure. This has grown into a profound relationship with prayer and with care for others, which I believe are both gifts of Bobinsana. She has also helped me work through the ancestral burdens from my female line. And she has taught me about beauty: the healing power of beauty and the need for beauty to make us whole.

Becky shares, “The first time I opened a Bobinsana diet I experienced a vision of her powerful branches delving deeply into the pockets of my mind, scooping out and clearing buried darkness from memories of fear, stress and sadness, and then returning with her brilliant white torch-like flowers to blast light into all those forgotten spaces. The ongoing year of learning with her was one of the most disciplinary challenging and yet also most rewarding times of my life. I failed more than once to uphold her strict demands on sexual abstinence, dietary purity, anger management, integrity in dreams, etc, and each time she retreated a little further, insisting that I do better. Towards the 10-month mark I wondered if I hadn’t entirely messed up that Dieta and there would be no more reward, but then she pressed me to confront and address some major dynamics in my life that were just so unhealthy for me. I felt her walk me to the edge of the cliff and say ‘Jump. It’ll be ok, but you have to trust.’ Thankfully I did find that faith, made the transformational changes I needed to, and have never looked back. Thank you Bobinsana.


In summary, it seems that Bobinsana is a strong and strict teacher, but if you are open to embrace her teachings and immerse yourself in the process with a firm commitment to be disciplined and willingness to grow, then it has a lot to offer and will definitely have an impact in your life, letting you emerge stronger, more authentic, less stuck, more courageous and with a lot of appreciation for beauty and love in all your relations.

We welcome you to talk with our Shipibo master healers during your next plant medicine retreat at Caya Shobo to learn whether Bobinsana might be a good recommendation for you at this time in your healing journey. See our upcoming available retreat dates here.