What is Jurema?

Jurema, Jurema Preta, Black Jurema, Vinho de Jurema, Tepezcohuite, Mimosa tenuiflora and Mimosa hostilis are all names for a perrenial shrub that is native to Northeastern Brazil and various parts of Central America, found growing in the wild as far north as Southern Mexico.


Jurema trees grow as tall as 8 meters and can reach as high as 5 meters in under 5 years. The branches are fernlike, producing white fragrant flowers and brittle pod fruits which contain 4-6 light brown seeds, each, that are flat and oval in structure and about 3-4 mm in diameter. The bark is dark brown to grayish in color. Its wood is reddish brown with a yellow stalk center. It is quite vigorous and dense, surviving forest fires and other ecological impact. It drops leaves continually throughout the year, creating a layer of mulch and humus over the soil, which conditions and prepares it for other species to flourish within its region.

The dried bark of certain Jurema trees has been shown to contain as much as 1% Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, making the plant most famous for its entheogenic properties. It has been used traditionally, in northeastern Brazil, in the preparation of a psychoactive drink similar to Amazonian Ayhuasca. This drink is known as Jurema or Yurema, hence the common name. Other uses include animal forage or fodder, combating soil erosion and facilitating reforestation. It is used as a leather dye and for parasite prevention when employed as an animal bath. Jurema is an excellent source of fire wood and has a high resistance to rot, making it useful for building everything from furniture to fences and bridges.

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