ArticlePDF Available

Osteophloeum platyspermum and Virola duckei (Myristicaceae): Newly reported as hallucinogens from Amazonian Ecuador

Authors:

Abstract

Quijos Quichua collaborators identifiedOsteophloeum platyspermum andVirola duckei (Myristicaceae) as sources of a psychoactive sap. This is the first reported hallucinogenic use of Myristicaceae from Ecuador. Species in Malpighiaceae and Solanaceae are more common sources of hallucinogens, but older Quichua still employ these myristicaceous species.Virola is used widely as a hallucinogen in other parts of Amazonia but there are no previous reports on the psychoactive use ofO. platyspermum. Field tests for the presence of alkaloids using Dragendorffs reagent were positive for both species. Like the Bora and Witoto in Peru, the Quijos Quichua consume myristicaceous hallucinogens orally. Most other indigenous peoples prepare psychoactive snuffs from the bark and sap. Quijos Quichua colaboradores identificaronOsteophloeum platyspermum yVirola duckei (Myristicaceae) como fuentes de una savia psicoáctivo. Éste es el primer reporte de uso alucinógenico de Myristicaceae en Ecuador. Especies de Malpighiaceae y Solanaceae son fuentes más comúnes de alucinógenos, pero los viejos Quichua todavía emplean especies de Myristicaceae. Virola es usado frecuentemente como un alucinógeno en otras panes de Amazonía pero no hay ningunos informes anteriores sobre el uso psicoáctivo deO. platyspermum. Pruebas de campo para la presencia de alcaloides empleando el reactivo Dragendorff eran positivas para ambos especies. Como el Bora y Witoto en Perú, los Quijos Quichua consumen alucinógenos de Myristicaceous oralmente. La mayoría de otras gentes indígenas preparan rapés psicoáctivo desde la corteza y savia.
... Hunting (Fig. 4) and fishing supplement animal sources of protein from domesticated chickens and pigs. More data on the research sites and the two cultures can be found in Bennett et al. (2002) and Bennett and Alarcón (1994). ...
... The Shuar data analyzed here was published in Bennett (1992aBennett ( , 1992bBennett ( , 1994 and Bennett et al. (2002). The Quichua data comes from Alarcón (1988), Bennett and Alarcón (1994) and our unpublished field notes. ...
... The Shuar data analyzed here was published in Bennett (1992aBennett ( , 1992bBennett ( , 1994 and Bennett et al. (2002). The Quichua data comes from Alarcón (1988), Bennett and Alarcón (1994) and our unpublished field notes. Voucher specimens are deposited in QCNE in Ecuador with duplicates in NY and MO in the U.S. We located data on ethnoveterinary medicine from other tropical cultures from ethnobotanical monographs, JEP publications, and searches using Web of Science and Google Scholar. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cultures throughout the world give plants to their dogs in order to improve hunting success. These practices are best developed in lowland Ecuador and Peru. There is no experimental evidence for the efficacy of these practices nor critical reviews that consider possible pharmacological effects on dogs based on the chemistry of the ethnoverterinary plants. This review has three specific aims: 1. Determine what plants the Ecuadorian Shuar and Quichua give to dogs to improve their hunting abilities, 2. Determine what plants other cultures give to dogs for the same purpose, and 3. Assess the possible pharmacological basis for the use of these plants, particularly the psychoactive ones? We gathered Shuar (Province of Morona-Santaigo) and Quichua (Napo and Orellano Provinces) data from our previous publications and field notes. All specimens were vouchered and deposited in QCNE with duplicates sent to NY and MO. Data presented from other cultures derived from published studies on ethnoveterinary medicine. Species names were updated, when necessary, and family assignments follow APG III (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2009). Chemical data were found using PubMed and SciFinder. The Shuar and Quichua of Ecuador use at least 22 species for ethnoveterinary purposes, including all but one of their principal hallucinogens. Literature surveys identified 43 species used in other cultures to improve hunting ability. No published studies have examined the pharmacological active of these plant species in dogs. We, thus, combined phytochemical data with the ethnobotanical reports of each plant and then classified each species into a likely pharmacological category: depuratives/deodorant, olfactory sensitizer, ophthalmic, or psychoactive. The use of psychoactive substances to improve a dog's hunting ability seems counterintuitive, yet its prevalence suggests that it is both adaptive and that it has an underlying pharmacological explanation. We hypothesize that hallucinogenic plants alter perception in hunting dogs by diminishing extraneous signals and by enhancing sensory perception (most likely olfaction) that is directly involved in the detection and capture of game. If this is true, plant substances also might enhance the ability of dogs to detect explosives, drugs, human remains, or other targets for which they are valued. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
... The fruits of I. grandis and I. lancifolia showed the presence of potent antioxidant tocotrienols 4 . Also, some species of Iryanthera are hallucinogenic, as I. macrophylla 5 . I. juruensis is the most studied species, among Iryanthera species and description of the occurrence of aryltetralin and ISSN Print: 0972-060X ISSN Online: 0976-5026 tetrahydrofuran lignans was observed in the fruits 6 , as well as the presence of four tocotrienols named 3-methyl-sargacromenol, sargacromenol, 3-methyl-sargaquinoic acid and sargaquinoic acid in the fruits 4 and of the lignan guaiacin, isolated from the seeds of I. juruensis 7 . ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study aimed at evaluating the antibacterial activity of essential oils (EOs) obtained from the leaves of two Iryanthera ulei individuals, popularly known as ucuubarana. The EOs were obtained by hydrodistillation made with leaves collected for 15 times from the same individual trees, resulting in two sets named 10EO and 15EO. Yields showed a seasonal variation to individual #10, although no variations between both #10 and #15 individuals have occurred. EOs were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) before evaluation against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC29213, to obtain the minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBC). Principal component and canonical correlation analyses, PCA and CCA, were applied to ordinate the EOs and to correlate compounds, MBCs and seasonality. Major compounds, spathulenol α-cadinol, globulol and 1,10-di-epi-cubenol, together with isospathulenol, torreyol, viridiflorol and (Z)-nerolidol, commonly occurred in all EOs. PCA ordinated the essential oils obtained in the DS from both 10EO and 15EO sets. The set named 10EO was significantly more active against S. aureus than the 15EO set. The set named 10EODS, obtained from the leaves collected in the DS, was more effective against the pathogen and that the occurrence and percentage variation of (Z)-nerolidol, globulol and viridiflorol were significant to the antibacterial activity, despite the importance of the other common terpenes.
... The hallucinogen is usually obtained from the exudate of the inner bark of several species, including: Virola calophylla Warb., V. calophylloidea Markgr., V. duckei A. C. Sm., V. elongata, V. sebifera, V. surinamensis and V. theiodora Warb.; it has also been documented in Iryanthera and Osteophloeum platyspermum (Spruce ex A. DC.) Warb. (Schultes 1954(Schultes , 1969(Schultes , 1979Schultes and Holmstedt 1968;Prance 1970;Soares Maia and Rodrigues 1974;Bennett and Alarcón 1994). In addition to being psychoactive, the reddish exudate of various Virola species is thought to have medicinal properties. ...
Article
Full-text available
A taxonomic synopsis of Virola (Myristicaceae) is presented for Mesoamerica. Fourteen species are recognised, amongst them six are described and published as new, based on morphology: V. allenii D.Santam. & Aguilar, sp. nov. from Costa Rica, V. otobifolia D.Santam., sp. nov. from Panama and V. amistadensis D.Santam., sp. nov. , V. chrysocarpa D.Santam. & Aguilar, sp. nov. , V. fosteri D.Santam., sp. nov. and V. montana D.Santam., sp. nov. from both Costa Rica and Panama. Additionally, a lectotype is designated for V. koschnyi , accompanied by an epitype in view of the fragmentary material. Finally, we recognise V. laevigata and V. nobilis as morphologically distinct species, though these are frequently considered synonymys of V. guatemalensis and V. surinamensis , respectively. Of the fourteen accepted species, twelve of them are endemic to Mesoamerica, while the remaining two species ( V. elongata and V. sebifera ) extend into South America. Illustrations, species diagnoses and distribution maps for each species are provided, as is an identification key to all species.
... Ucuuba-chico-de-assis has been studied previously. The plant is known for its hallucinogenic properties 13 . Previous chemical studies reported that the species contains (-)-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid, sitosterol, stigmasterol, (±)-3-demethylhomopterocarpin, and (±)-maackiain 14 , eperu-8 (20),13-dien-3α, 15-diol, glyceryl laurodimyriaste, glyceryl 1,3-lauromyristate, dihydroguaiaretic acid, hydroxyotobain, hydroxyoxootobain, guaiacin, and otobaphenol 15 . ...
Article
Thirteen samples of essential oils were obtained from the leaves of ucuuba-chico-de-assis (Osteophloeum platyspermum, Myristicaceae), a long-lived pioneer tree from the Amazon rain forest. The leaves were 13 times collected from the same individual during a 2 year period. The essential oils were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Fifty terpenes were identified and the amount corresponded to 97.67 % of the total terpene amount, composed by 44.00 % of monoterpenes and 56.00 % of sesquiterpenes. Major compounds were β-pinene, limonene and α-pinene in all 13 oils. The presence of three major compounds together with α-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, β-elemene, γ-elemene, myrcene, linalool, neo-intermedeol, elemol, α-cadinol, 1-epi-cubenol, spathulenol, isospathulenol, viridiflorol, and ledol were common to the 13 essential oils. Multivariate analyses of the 17 terpenes were done considering some environmental changes as seasons and occurrence of El Niño and La Niña, and climate variables as max daily temperature, total daily irradiation, relative humidity, and total daily precipitation. Results showed that the 13 essential oils could be subgrouped into those in which the expression of the volatile composition was closely related to the dry season and to the rainy season. The results also showed that the presence of α-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, myrcene, and limonene was related to daily maximum irradiation, and neo-intermedeol, spathulenol, and elemol were more related to relative humidity. This is the first report on how the volatiles of ucuuba-chico-de-assis are influenced by climate changes in the Amazon rain forest. The present study suggests that wild plants are susceptible to climate changes in order to express specific volatile compounds.
Article
V. surinamensis (Rol.) (Myristicaceae) é uma árvore com forma piramidal, com 25 a 35m de altura, que possui tronco cilíndrico, folhas simples e pequenas flores amarelas. É nativa das florestas alagádicas da região amazônica. O óleo extraído das sementes é rico em trimististina e pode ser usado na fabricação de velas, sabonetes, cosméticos e perfumes. Além do uso em cosméticos e perfumaria, a planta também possui propriedades terapêuticas e farmacológicas. Entre as propriedades farmacológicas estão as atividades antimicrobiana, larvicida, antitumoral, antinociceptiva e anti-inflamatória, antioxidante, leishmanicida, antimalárica, cercaricida, tripanocida, gastroprotetora e antiulcerogênica. Os metabólitos encontrados, relacionados às atividades mencionadas, foram compostos fenólicos, compostos lignanos e neolignanos e α e β-pineno no extrato hidrofílico, e sementes de ucuúba para atividade antimicrobiana. Nas folhas de V. surinamensis foram encontradas lignina grandsina para atividade larvicida. Para atividade antitumoral foi encontrada a lignana tetraidrofurnica grandisina em folhas de V. surinamensis. O composto grandsina foi relacionado à propriedade antinociceptiva e anti-inflamatória. Já os compostos α tocoferol e β caroteno isolados do extrato metanólico dos rizomas foram relacionados à atividade antioxidante. Compostos como neolignanos, surinamensina, virolina, mistura de hidrocarbonetos em cadeia, glicéridos, ésteres, esteróides e arilpropanóides encontrados no extrato hexânico demonstraram atividade antileishmanicida. O sesquiterpeno nerolidol isolado do óleo essencial de V. surinamensis estava diretamente relacionado à propriedade antimalárica. Os compostos neolignanas virolina sirinamensina isolados das folhas de V. surinamensis estavam relacionados à atividade cercaricida. Para a atividade tripanocida, os compostos veraguensina e grandisina lignanas também isolados das folhas da planta demonstraram tal atividade. Compostos como flavonóides e epicatequina isolados do extrato etanólico de V. surinamensis demonstraram atividade gastroprotetora. Já a epicatequina proveniente da resina de V. surinamensis apontou atividade antiulcerogênica. O presente trabalho revisou as propriedades médicas, terapêuticas e farmacológicas de Virola surinamensis.
Article
Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by parasites belonging to the Leishmania genus. This disease has a prevalence that exceeds 12 million, and approximately 350 million individuals are currently residing in areas at risk for contracting the infection. The standard drugs employed in the treatment pose serious side effects for patients. Moreover, some reports suggested that the Leishmania species present different degrees of resistance to conventional drugs, which justifies the ongoing search for novel leishmanicidal molecules. In only a few decades, the available research pertaining to plant-derived leishmanicidal compounds has increased considerably; however, the majority of bioguided studies have only shown antileishmanial activity in vitro, thus ignoring the potential in vivo effects of different classes of plant-derived compounds on Leishmania species. This chapter will discuss the main findings of works published from 2002 to 2012 on purified plant compounds and their leishmanicidal effects in vivo.
Article
Full-text available
The Myristicaceae, or nutmeg family, consists of 21 genera and about 500 species of dioecious canopy to sub canopy trees that are distributed worldwide in tropical rainforests. The Myristicaceae are of considerable ecological and ethnobotanical significance as they are important food for many animals and are harvested by humans for timber, spices, dart/arrow poison, medicine, and a hallucinogenic snuff employed in medico-religious ceremonies. Despite the importance of the Myristicaceae throughout the wet tropics, our taxonomic knowledge of these trees is primarily based on the last revision of the five neotropical genera completed in 1937. The objective of this thesis was to perform a molecular and morphological study of the neotropical genera Compsoneura and Virola. To this end, I generated phylogenetic hypotheses, surveyed morphological and genetic diversity of focal species, and tested the ability of DNA barcodes to distinguish species of wild nutmegs. Morphological and molecular analyses of Compsoneura indicate a deep divergence between two monophyletic clades corresponding to informal sections Hadrocarpa and Compsoneura. Although 23 loci were tested for DNA variability, only the trnH-psbA intergenic spacer contained enough variation to delimit 11 of 13 species sequenced. A morphological and molecular investigation of Compsoneura capitellata showed little discrete morphological variation among populations but significant genetic structure among populations. Phylogenetic analysis of Virola also revealed a deep molecular divergence between two clades having numerous contrasting morphologies. In contrast to Compsoneura, the trnH-psbA intergenic spacer failed to differentiate the majority of Virola species tested. An infraspecific morphological and molecular study of V. sebifera and V. loretensis showed that each of these species contains morphologically and ecologically discrete sympatric morphotypes that likely represent new species. In total, this investigation found 5 provisional new species from fewer than 600 collections at biological stations in Ecuador and Peru where these new species were among the most abundant trees in the forest. This suggests that much diversity likely remains to be described in the Myristicaceae and other tropical plant families.
Article
Full-text available
Chromatographic separation of Acridocarpus chloropterus extract led to the isolation and identification of five triterpenes: β-sitosterol (1), stigmasterol (2), friedelin (3), oleanolic acid (4), ursolic acid (5); and five flavonoids: apigenin (6), luteolin (7), vitexin (8), kaempferol (9) and quercetin (10). Quercetin (10) exhibited moderate in vitro anti-plasmodial activity (IC50 2.6+0.05 μg/ml) while the rest of compounds were inactive. Mild to weak in vitro anti-trypanosomal activity was observed in quercetin (10) (IC50 3.60+0.1 μg/ml), ursolic acid (5) (IC50 7.80+0.1 μg/ml) and apigenin (6) (IC50 9.0+0.1 μg/ml). Ursolic acid (5) exhibited strong in vitro anti-leishmanial activity (IC50 0.80+0.001 μg/ml) while oleanolic acid (4), apigenin (6), kaempferol (9) and quercetin (10) showed moderate to mild activity (2.10+0.1, 2.20+0.1, 5.90+ 0.1 and 3.5+0.2 μg/ml, respectively) whereas favorable selectivity was observed with all flavonoids. Structure-activity-relationship (SAR) comparison of the isolated triterpenoids confirmed that the hydroxyl group at C-3 together with C-23, C-25, C-26 and C-30 methyl groups, C-12/C-13 double bond, the C-28 carboxylic acid group, and H-20 in ursolic acid (5) and related compounds are all responsible for the strong anti-leishmanial activity. The 3-OH and 3′-OH in the apigenin (6) and related compounds are responsible for the strong anti-protozoal activity observed in the isolated flavonoids. The strong to moderate anti-leishmanial activity of the isolated triterpenes and flavonoids make them good candidates or templates for new anti-protozoal drug development.
Article
Full-text available
Banisteriopsis caapi, Brugmansia suaveolens, andNicotiana tabacum are the principal hallucinogens used by the Shuar and related ethnic groups in Amazonian Ecuador and Peru. These three species are common hallucinogens throughout northwestern Amazonia.Banisteriopsis caapi (natem) is the hallucinogen most frequently employed by the Shuar. The Shuar drink the juice ofN. tabacum duringnatem healing ceremonies. They also believe that smoke fromN. tabacum cigarettes repel evil spirits.Brugmansia suaveolens is the strongest Shuar hallucinogen. Considered very dangerous, it sometimes is added tonatem mixtures or it may be taken alone. Other plants used in hallucinogens or in narcotic beverages includeBrunfelsia grandiflora, Cyperus spp.,Diplopterys cabrerana, Heliconia stricta, Herrania spp., andIlex guayusa.
Article
Describes a method of preparing a hallucinogenic resin from the cambial sap of trees of the genus Virola, as practiced by Indian tribes of the Colombia-Peru region. Pellets of the resin are ingested immediately or coated with an ash filtrate and stored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)