Plant Therapies At Caya Shobo

The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s most important rainforest, making up over half of the remaining forest on Earth.  It is home to an estimated 80,000 plant species, many of which are yet to be classified, and many of which have powerful Amazon medicinal plants properties. For instance over 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from Rainforest medicinal plants ingredients.  Much of the knowledge that exists today regarding the medicinal power of Amazonian plants is held by the tribal peoples of the Amazon. Within the wealth of ancestral knowledge of the Shipibo tribe alone, there are literally hundreds of Rainforest medicinal plants known and used for their unique Amazon medicinal plants powers. 

Shipibo Plant Medicine Healing

  • the biology and chemistry of the body and brain; 

  • the thoughts and patterns of the mind; and,

  • the realm of the spirit, or spiritual consciousness.  

Healing with the plants takes longer but offers opportunity for a more complete and sustained transformation within the cellular and energetic foundations of the patient.  

In the Shipibo Tradition the recommended treatment to heal disease usually involves the administration of medicinal plants. Whereas Western medication aims to quickly restore or defend the body's basic functions without addressing underlying root causes of disease, healing with plants is a slower, more integral and more complete approach that works at discovering root causes and cleansing, restoring and rejuvenating the three essential dimensions of health, including:

DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: In order to obtain the maximum possible benefit of this integral treatment, it is necessary to follow certain food and activity restrictions during the time you are participating in Ayahuasca Ceremony and while taking prescribed plants. This includes certain restrictions regarding social behaviour and private relationships.

Read here for more information about Preparing to Receive Treatment at Caya Shobo.

Supplementary Plant Treatments

In addition to Plant Dieta, at Caya Shobo you may be prescribed one or more of the following supplementary Amazonian plant treatments as part of your healing program: 

  • Purgative made with Azucena - given as an initial treatment to cleanse toxins from the stomach and intestines. It assists in preparing the body for Ayahuasca ceremony and other healing treatments and helps to open the world of the visions.

  • Repote sinus flush made with Tobacco and Mucura, Ajo Sacha or other pungent invigorating plants - administered in the early morning, repote involves the inhalation through the nostrils of a small amount of plant juice.  This treatment brings an alertness and clarity to the mind and gives strength and energy for the day.

  • Eye drops from freshly squeezed Albaquilla leaves applied directly to the eyes. Relieves tiredness of the eyes, clarifies eyesight and assists in opening the visions in ceremony. 

  • Flower and/or steam baths - are made from leaves and flowers of a variety of medicinal plants that are minced and steeped and sometimes boiled in water.  Flower baths and steam baths are a very effective treatment for cleansing negative energies and tension from the body and mind and penetrating the body with the healing energies of the plants.  They may be used to invoke a deep state of relaxation and are an important component of many healing programs for treating a wide spectrum of conditions.

 Massage and Yoga 

Massage is a beneficial complement to plant treatments that helps to free the body from tensions and opens the energy channels of the body and mind. It can also be helpful in treating internal problems such as digestive disorders or menstrual problems.

Treatments from experienced practitioners of massage and other styles of body-work are available at Caya Shobo.   

From time-to-time Yoga classes are offered by Volunteers on a donations basis. 

Some of the Amazonian Medicine Plants Used at Caya Shobo

Albaquilla (Hyptis mutabilis): A type of Basil, the leaves are used as a herbal medicine tea to treat stomach pain and digestive disorders.  The juice of the leaves are used externally to treat tiredness of the eyes, cloudy vision, and to open the visions for Ceremony. 

Ayapana (Ayapana triplinervis, Water Hemp): A herbal medicine with astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorous properties. The leaves and stem are made into a tea to treat colic and stomach pain, and into a poultice to stop bleeding or hemorrhage. Also used in Plant Dieta to attract the medicine spirits, and to help heal the mind. Also used in flower baths.

Azucena (Lilium Candidum):  An infusion of the bulb and flowers is used as a purgative and to cleanse toxins from the stomach before Ceremony or Plant Dieta. It is anti-bacterial, astringent, highly demulcent, expectorant and can also be used to regulate menstruation. It stimulates and dilates the arteries and helps to open the visions in Ceremony.

Boahuasca (Gouania lupuloides): Used only for herbal medicinal purposes, it is helpful in the treatment of a range of physical illnesses, including to help combat cancer of the stomach, intestines and ovaries, to improve liver function, purify the blood, and treat anaemia.

Bobinsana (Calliandra SP, Mimosaceas): a powerful Master teaching plant used to open the mind, enhance dreaming and to help foster a learning relationship with the plants.  The flower, leaves and bark are all used as herbal medicine to regulate and purify the blood, treat postpartum anomalies such as prolapse or water retention, and alleviate rheumatism and arthritis.  A tea prepared from the flower is used to soothe stress.

Hierba Luisa (Cymbopogon Citratus, Lemon Grass): a herbal medicine plant, the leaves are used to relieve stomach ache, colic, gases, intestinal infection, vomiting and menstrual cramps. Also given as a tea to calm the mind and nervous system.

Pinon Blanco (Jatropha Curcas L.): A Master plant that opens connection with the cosmic world, universe and light, and teaches the energies of the plants, and clarity of the medicine.The leaves, resins and bark are medicinal and contain many chemical compounds that can be used to treat a wide range of ailments and diseases including wounds, burns, abscess, fever, headache, coughs, bronchitis, internal hemmorhage, tumors, rheumatism, arthritis and others.

Pinon Colorado (Jatropha Gossypifolia): A Master Plant almost identical to Pinon Blanco but brings particular protection from negative energies, and requires more stringent discipline in holding thoughts in a positive way. As herbal medicine, the leaves, resin and bark are used as described above with Pinon Blanco.

Marosa (water world): This Master plant will open the mind, heart and spirit. It brings more light and clarity into the consciousness and teaches a deeper understanding of the world of the plants, and of love. The root has medicinal properties and is used to treat tumors, abscesses and colic.

Oje Blanco (Ficus Insipida, White Latex): Used to clean impurities from the blood, intestines and uterus, and to treat all types of intestinal parasites. Also useful in the treatment of all kinds of contamination including from chemical medicines such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Warning: Latex is toxic, and Oje must be used with care. It is not taken with Ayahuasca.

Rosa Sisa (Tagetes Erecta, Flor de Muerto, Mexican Marigold): A herbal medicine plant, the flowers and leaves are used to purify the stomach and treat cramps, colic, gases, poor appetite, gastritis, vomiting and diarrhea.  Also used to clean and protect from negative energies.  It is not taken concomitantly with Ayahuasca. 

Verbena (Verbena Litoralis): A herbal medicine plant high in Vitamins A, B and C, used to treat fever, typhoid, malaria, bronchitis, dermatitis, ulcers, wounds and diabetes. It is also an effective expectorant, laxative, cough suppressant and anti-parasitic. It is used to relax the mind and alleviate stomach pain,  colic and intestinal infection.

Yahuar Piri Piri (Eleutherine Bulbosa, Tears of the Virgin): An astringent herbal medicine plant - the crushed bulbs are used to stem bleeding (especially in women), heal open wounds and help form scar tissue. Also used to treat dysentery (bloody diarrhea) and infection of the eyes.

Guests are welcome to wander through the gardens at Caya Shobo where many of the medicine plants are identified.  In addition, the Program Retreats at Caya Shobo often include special educational classes regarding the various healing and learning properties of the plants.

At Caya Shobo many of the most powerful and commonly utilized Amazonian medicine plants are cultivated, including Ayahuasca, Ajo Sacha, Oje, Bobinsana, Marosa, Pinon Blanco, Pinon Colorado, and others. Below is a list of some of the plants commonly used in medicine treatments at Caya Shobo, and this list is by no means exhaustive.

Aire sacha (Hoja del Aire,  Flor del Aire): A general herbal medicine plant, the macerated leaves are used to make a tea to treat headache, vomiting, and colic gases.  A poultice of the leaves can also be applied externally to reduce swelling. It is also used in flower baths.

Coshikox Shipibo Konibo Xetebo Council Logo

Caya Shobo is one of the only Ayahuasca Healing Centers in Peru to have received endorsement from the Shipibo Konibo Tribal Council as to the authenticity of our maestros and medicine offering in accordance with the true Shipibo plant medicine tradition.

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