Bobisana is purported to be used for arthritis and rheumatism, as a blood cleanser, for uterine cancer, as a stimulating tonic and for colds/flu  BOBINSANA POWDER

Family: Mimosaeae

Taxon: Calliandra angustifolia Spruce ex Benth.

Synonyms: Calliandra sodiroi Harms, Calliandra stricta Rusby, Calliandra subnervosa Benth., Feuilleea angustifolia

Common names: bobinsana, bobinzana, balata, bobensana, bubinianal, bubinsana, bushiglla, capabo, chipero, cigana, koprupi, kori-sacha, kuanti, neweí, quinilla blanca, semein, sháwi, yacu yutzu, yopoyo

Price: £22.50 – 1lb / 454 gm Bag

Parts Used: Bark, root

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • anti-inflammatory
  • contraceptive
Bark or Root
  • anti-arthritic

  • diuretic










Tincture: 2-5 ml twice daily
  • anti-rheumatic
Decoction: 1 cup twice daily
  • tonic
  • depurative
  • stimulant
  • anticancerous

Bobinsana is a shrubby tree that grows 4 to 6 meters high that is usually found alongside rivers and streams in the Amazon Basin. It is native to South America and can be found in the Amazon regions of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia. This water-loving tree is especially abundant on the banks of the Huallaga and Mayo rivers in Eastern Peru. Bobinsana can also be found alongside streams in the cloud forests and warmer valleys of the Eastern Andean slopes up to 1500 meters in elevation. Bobinsana produces pretty pink to reddish powderpuff-like flowers typical of the Mimosa family to which it belongs. The tree produces a usable resinous gum that is sometimes extracted and sold commercially.


In the Amazon, the Indians of the Rio Pastaza consider bobinsana to be a stimulant. They prepare a decoction of the roots to take for strength and energy. The Shipibo-Conibo Indians in the Ucayali area of Peru call the tree semein and prepare a bark tincture for rheumatism, arthritis, colds, uterine disorders, and edema (or water retention). The indigenous people and tribes in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon prepare a bark tincture (with aguardiente) for bone pain, arthritis, rheumatism, and colds. They also grate the bark into baths to increase resistance to sickness and to resist the cold and chills.

Bobinsana is also used by the Indians as an adjunctive ingredient in various ayahuasca recipes in the Amazon. Ayahuasca is a phytochemically-rich combination of plants brewed by Indian shamans to connect to the spirit world. Through a series of reactions among chemicals from several plants working together, a hallucinogenic plant extract is created. While bobinsana is not itself a hallucinogen, it is considered a “plant teacher” and is sometimes added to ayahuasca recipes to help the shamans connect to and learn from the plants on a spiritual level.

In Peruvian herbal medicine systems a decoction of the bark is prepared and it is considered to be anti-rheumatic, contraceptive, tonic, stimulant, and depurative. A bark decoction is also used for dyspnea (shortness of breath). A decoction of the roots is recommended for uterine cancer and as a depurative (blood cleanser) as well. A decoction of the entire plant (leaves, stem, twigs, flowers) is prepared as a decoction as a general energizing tonic.


The chemical constituents in bobinsana are not well documented. It is believed to contain harmala alkaloids, amino acids, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and sterols. Two studies reports the presence of several pipecolic acids.


Thus far, only one laboratory study has been published on bobinsana. Researchers in Sweden evaluated the anti-inflammatory action of a ethanol extract of the tree’s bark. While they reported that it was inactive with a topical application on rat’s ears, they did report that the extract inhibited COX-1 prostaglandin biosynthesis. COX-inhibitors are a class of pharmaceutical drugs for arthritis and this documented action may help explain why bobinsana has such a long-standing reputation for arthritis and rheumatism in South American herbal medicine.


Bobinsana is not very well known as an herbal remedy in the United States. There are only a handful of bobinsana products to choose from in the U.S. natural products market. In Peru today, bobinsana is a well respected remedy for joint, bone, and muscle pain in arthritis and rheumatism. It is also a popular local remedy for uterine cancer.

Main Preparation Method: tincture or decoctionMain Actions (in order):
anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, depurative, anti-cancerous, tonic  
Main Uses:

  1. for arthritis and rheumatism
  2. as a blood cleanser
  3. for uterine cancer
  4. as a stimulating tonic
  5. for colds/flu

Properties/Actions Documented by Research: COX-1 inhibitorProperties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
anti-arthritic, anticancerous, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, contraceptive, depurative, stimulant, tonic

Cautions: Avoid if seeking pregnancy.






Traditional Preparation: If using it for arthritis and rheumatism, the bark is the preferred part of the plant and it is best prepared in a tincture or a decoction. For blood cleansing and cancer, the root is generally prepared as a decoction. See Traditional Herbal Remedies Preparation Methods page if necessary for definitions.

Contraindications: Bobinsana is traditionally used as a contraceptive in Peru. While there is no research to confirm this possible action, those seeking to get pregnant should probably avoid this plant.

Drug Interactions: None known.

Peru as an anti-inflammatory, contraceptive, and tonic; for arthritis, bone pain, colds, edema, fatigue, rheumatism, uterine cancer, uterine disorders (prolapse), and water retention

The above text has been authored by Leslie Taylor, ND and copyrighted © 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

† The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.

Published Third-Party Research on Bobinsana

All available third-party research on bobinsana can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on bobinsana is shown below: Anti-inflammatory Actions:

Dunstan, C. A., et al. “Evaluation of some Samoan and Peruvian medicinal plants by prostaglandin biosynthesis and rat ear oedema assays.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997; 57: 35-56.

Insecticidal Actions:

Romero, J. T. “Insecticidal imino acids in leaves of Calliandra.” Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 1984; 12(3): 293-297.

Chemicals Identitified:

Romero, J. T., et al. “Cis-4-hydroxypipecolic acid and 2,4-cis-4,5-trans-4,5-dihydroxypipecolic acid from Calliandra.” Phytochemistry. 1983; 22(7): 1615-1617.

Referenced Quotes on Bobinsana

10. “Calliandra angustifolia Spruce. Fabaceae. “Bobinsana”, “Bubinsana”. “Quinilla blanca”. Cultivated ornamental (RVM). Around Pucallpa, bark decoction taken internally for dyspnea and rheumatism (VDF).”

21. “Calliandra angustifolia Spruce ex Bentham

sin-sin-no, poi-fa’-ko (Kofan); yacu-yutzu (Ecuad.)

Amongst the Indians of the Rio Pastaza this plant is considered to be a stimulant. The roots are covered with water and heated until the liquid slightly boils down; the resulting tea is “taken for strength when [a man] must swim a river or fight.” The Kofans cultivate this tree onlv as an ornamental.”

Ingredients: 100% pure bobinsana bark (Calliandra angustifolia). No binders, fillers or additives are used. This is a wild harvested plant—grown naturally in the Peruvian Amazon without any pesticides or fertilizers.

Suggested Use: Bobinsana is best prepared as an alcohol tincture. Combine 1 part bark powder with 4 parts 90 proof alcohol (everclear or vodka). Allow to macerate for 2 weeks while agitating solution daily. Strain into a clean bottle and seal. It is traditionally taken in dosages of 2-5 ml (60-180 drops) twice daily or as needed. Can also be used externally by applying to the skin twice daily and letting dry completely. For more complete instrutions on preparing tinctures see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications: Bobinsana is traditionally used as a contraceptive in Peru. While there is no research to confirm this possible action, those seeking to get pregnant should probably avoid this plant.

Drug Interactions: None reported.

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