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Virola elongata Illustration 1860
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Myristicaceae
Genus: Virola

About 67 species, see text.

Virola sebifera

Virola, also known as epená, patricá, or cumala, is a genus of medium-sized trees native to the South American rainforest and closely related to other Myristicaceae, such as nutmeg. It has glossy, dark green leaves with clusters of tiny yellow flowers and emits a pungent odor.

Traditional use[edit]

The dark-red resin of the tree bark contains several hallucinogenic alkaloids, most notably DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, perhaps the most powerful members of the dimethyltryptamine family; it also contains beta-carboline harmala alkaloids, MAOIs that greatly potentiate the effects of DMT. The bark resin is prepared and dried by a variety of methods, often including the addition of ash or lime, presumably as basifying agents, and a powder made from the leaves of the small Justicia bush. Ingestion is similar to that of Yopo, consisting of assisted insufflation, with the snuff being blown through a long tube into the nostrils by an assistant. According to Schultes, the use of Virola in magico-religious rituals is restricted to tribes in the Western Amazon Basin and parts of the Orinoco Basin.

Chemical constituents[edit]

The tops of Virola oleifera have been shown to produce lignan-7-ols and verrucosin that have antifungal action regarding Cladosporium sphaerospermum in doses as low as 25 micrograms. Lignan-7-ols oleiferin-B and oleiferin-G worked for Cladosporium cladosporioides starting as low as 10 micrograms.[1]


About 67 species, including:[2]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ Sartorelli, P. : Young, M.C.M. : Kato, M.J., Antifungal lignans from the arils of Virola oleifera. Phytochemistry-Oxford. Oxford : Elsevier Science Ltd. Mar 1998. v. 47 (6) p. 1003-1006.
  2. ^ "Genus Species list for John's species database". Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Virola calophylla information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  4. ^ "Virola macrocarpa A.C. Sm.". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  5. ^ "Virola megacarpa A.H. Gentry". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  6. ^ "Virola michelii Heckel". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  7. ^ "Virola multicostata Ducke". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  8. ^ "Discover Life - Myristicaceae: Virola multiflora (Standl. ) A. C. Sm. - Fruta dorada". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  9. ^ "Virola surinamensis (Rol. ex Rottb.) Warb.". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  10. ^ "Virola venosa (Benth.) Warb.". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 

General references[edit]

External links[edit]