In the Amazon region, B. grandiflora is an ingredient for the “ayahuasca.” This is a hallucinogenic drink that shamans of Amazonian tribes consume. According to Bradely C. Bennett, from the Institute of Economic Botany, the Shuar tribe makes the hallucinogenic drink by boiling the stems and leaves. After drinking the “tea,” the shaman receives “strong feelings” and can then diagnose whatever it is that is ailing his “patient.”  Another organism used for beverages is the American Wormseed.


The Quichua also use the plant as a hallucinogen. Their name for the plant is Chiricaspi, as was listed on the home page. The word “chiri” means fever and “caspi” means tree. The plant got this name, Fever Tree, by the effects experienced by the drinker. After consuming the tonic, common symptoms were nausea and a fever or chills. Also, this plant is used in curing fevers, which is another reason that Fever Tree seems a fitting title.  To view other hallucinogens, go to the Ergot or Magic Mushroom.



Some fever trees produce a toxin called quinine, such as Cinchona pubescens. Interestingly, these plants are not the only thing to produce said toxin. According to Dr. William C. Agosta, a professor at Rockefeller University, the bombardier beetle actually shoots out quinine, produced within its own body, when it is attacked (1995).


Though it seems that fever trees are toxic and harmful, they play a hand in saving lives.

Dr. P. Egwaikhide, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Benin, performed an experiment that had results showing that E. globules could be used to manage infectious diseases (2010).


The toxins form these trees can be used to cure ailments and because of this fact, they are quite valuable. They are so sought after that Mark Honigsbaum followed after Richard Spruce in searching for the quinine bearing trees. Quinine can be used to cure malaria and as Honigsbaum wrote, he journeyed to Ecuador and risked being arrested in order to bring his prized cure for malaria back (2001).



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