The mother plant, Vine of the Soul
|Young B. caapi|
Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as ayahuasca, jagube, caapi or yagé, is a South American liana of the family Malpighiaceae. It is one half of ayahuasca, a decoction with a long history of its entheogenic (connecting to spirit) use and its status as a "plant teacher" among the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest.
According to The CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names by Umberto Quattrocchi, the naming of the genus Banisteriopsis was dedicated to John Banister, a 17th-century English clergyman and naturalist. An earlier name for the genus was Banisteria and the plant is sometimes referred to as Banisteria caapi. Other names include Banisteria quitensis, Banisteriopsis inebrians, and Banisteriopsis quitensis.
From Spanish ayahuasca, from Quechua ayawaska, from aya (“spirit, ancestor”) + waska (“vine”).
- A giant vine native to South America (especially Banisteriopsis caapi), noted for its psychotropic properties.
- 2005, the Amazon forest people would take ayahuasca and enter into that place of Group Mind where they would make decisions for the tribe — Martin Torgoff, Can’t Find My Way Home (Simon & Schuster 2005, p. 414)
- Any of various psychoactive infusions or decoctions prepared from this vine.