Complete Guide to Bobinsana (Calliandra angustifolia)

Bobinsana is a famous plant among Amazonian shamanic enthusiasts for its prevalence in use in Master Plant Dietas. The Bobinsana plant is a tree that is covered in beautiful fluffy flowers that look like hearts. She grows along riverbeds in the jungle. The plant is known to fill you with love and is called the “heart opener”. She has a feminine mermaid spirit that is referred to as “Sirenita Bobinsana”. She is personified and adored by people worldwide, and has a cult following. 

Buy Bobinsana Bark Powder in Canada.

Many people travel all the way to Peru just to drink Bobinsana in the jungle. While it is common for a lot of people to flock to South America just for ayahuasca tourism – it is Bobinsana that calls the hears of many who see her photos on the internet. It is not unusual for someone studying the realm of shamanic plant medicines to come across and be bombarded with photos of her over and over again and hear her calling out to you through the computer screen. Who couldn’t love this beautiful plant?

She is very rare outside of the jungle, but as time goes on her popularity is growing and many shamanic apprentices worldwide have begun to order her bark powder online in hopes of communicating with her plant spirit from the comforts of their own countries.

One of the most famous Bobinsana legends says that if you diet with her for a few months, you will go to sleep and have a dream where a mermaid will emerge from a river and greet you with feelings of endless love. That is the personification of the plant spirit coming to greet you and congratulate you on your success of being able to successfully integrate her into your being.

What is Bobinsana?

Bobinsana (Calliandra Angustiflora)

The plant is also known under the scientific names “Calliandra sodiroi”, “Calliandra stricta”, “Calliandra subnervosa”, “Feuilleea angustifolia”.

The plant is also known with the common names “bobinsana, bobinzana, balata, bobensana, bubinianal, bubinsana, bushiglla, capabo, “chipero”, “cigana”, “koprupi”, “kori-sacha”, “kuanti”, “newei”, “quinilla blanca”, “semein”, “shawi”, “yacu yutzu”, “yopoyo”

Bobinsana tree by Vintage Green Farms in California
Bobinsana tree by Vintage Green Farms in California
Bobinsana flowers make the tree look covered in pink hearts
Bobinsana flowers make the tree look covered in pink hearts

Bobinsana is a very famous and well loved plant. It is famous for “calling out” to people all over the world who then go travel to Peru and participate in plant diets with it. Countless people online will endlessly profess it to be their favourite plant of all time… and when you just look at those adorable pink flowers how could you not agree?

Bobinsana growing in bloom along a roadway in Peru
Bobinsana growing in bloom along a roadway in Peru (Chiric Sanango is purple flower on left)

Bobinsana is one of the most notable “plant teachers” of the Peruvian amazon, and has a distinct feminine mermaid spirit. Bobinsana trees grow along the riverbanks at low elevation in the rainforest where their roots are deeply connected to the water. It is native to South America and can be found in the Amazon regions of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia. It is specifically abundant along the Huallaga and Mayo rivers in Peru, and can be found upwards of 1500m in elevation in the Andean mountains. The tree produces a resinous gum in its bark which is of special interest to those making concoctions out of its plant material.

Her pink flowers also have an association to the pink river dolphin who is also connected to the Amazonian mermaid myths. It is a very enchanting plant spirit, do not be surprised if while reading this article you hear her call out to you.

Bobinsana plant biology

Bobinsana is related to the mimosa tree, and has a lot in common with the other mimosa trees that grow in the USA and across the world. here is a photo for reference. It is in the pea/bean/legume family so has a lot in common with those other plants in terms of its bean pods, leaf patterns and biological properties.

Bobinsana tree in bloom - feel the love!
Bobinsana tree in bloom – feel the love!

Here is the official botanical sample of the plant:

Bobinsana Specimen Kew's Herbarium
Bobinsana Specimen Kew’s Herbarium

The plant grows 4-6m tall, and its roots can grow up to 7x deeper in the ground than the height of the tree. All parts of the tree are used in medicine, but the bark and flowers are the most commonly used.

As a great first summary to this plant, we found this YouTuber who has a three part video series. First he starts off chopping up a fallen Bobinsana tree, and notice that when they start chopping it up that they are working with the bark of the tree and not the wood in the middle.

Common Plant Misidentification – Persian Silk Tree / Mimosa Albizia!

There is a plant that grows all around the world called the Persian silk tree. It also has puffy pink flowers and it is commonly mistaken for being Bobinsana. Please note that it is not Bobinsana and does not have the same properties! This tree is native to central Asia but has been spread to new countries and is commonly found across the world.

Persian Silk Tree - it is NOT bobinsana, note the subtle differences in the leaves and flower
Persian Silk Tree – it is NOT bobinsana, note the subtle differences in the leaves and flower

You will notice that on the Persian silk tree the leaves and stems look completely different. They moreso resemble that of an acacia tree. Thinner branches with more fern like leaves. You can scroll up and down to compare to an image below for a full understanding.

Bobinsana flowers

Bobinsana trees have beautiful pink-red-white flowers. They are so unlike your typical flower.

The trees bloom [x] often. They are [self pollinators] like all other mimosa trees.

Bobinsana tree by Vintage Green Farms in California
Bobinsana tree by Vintage Green Farms in California
Bobinsana Calliandra Angustiflora Flowers close up
Bobinsana Calliandra Angustiflora Flowers close up
Bucket of Bobinsana Flowers - public photo credit to Clinton Moisés Montgomery
Bucket of Bobinsana Flowers – public photo credit to Clinton MoisĂ©s Montgomery

It is hard to capture in just photo the beauty of a Bobinsana tree in bloom, so hopefully this video can help.

Bobinsana branches, bark and leaves

The Bobinsana tree is very flexible and full of water. It has nice bendy branches that cannot easily snap off. One must really chop down a tree in order to harvest it. Some attest to the idea that the Bobinsana leaves actually glow in the dark, yet this has never been documented in photos or on video.

Most commonly, what is consumed from the plant is the bark of the branches. One will scrape the bark off and cook it, or then powder it. We sell Bobinsana Bark Powder that is made in this way.

Bobinsana tree branches
Bobinsana tree branches – public photos credit to Clinton MoisĂ©s Montgomery
Bobinsana Tree Trunk Bark - Credit to Jan Rostlinka at Feather Crown
Bobinsana Tree Trunk Bark – Credit to Jan Rostlinka at Feather Crown

Bobinsana roots

The roots of a Bobinsana tree are said to be up to 7 times deeper in the earth than the height of the tree! It has a big thirsty taproot which drinks lots of water, which may be linked to its identity as the mermaid with its long tail submerged in the water.

Bobinsana seed pods and reproduction

The bobinsana plant is in the bean/legume family, and as such produces very familiar looking seed pods to what you would normally think of as beans. They are different from the green beans because their casing is brown and more coarse.

Bobinsana flowers in bloom with seed pods
Bobinsana flowers in bloom with seed pods
Bobinsana seed pod on the branch
Bobinsana seed pod on the branch


Harvesting Bobinsana Seed Pods
Harvesting Bobinsana Seed Pods
Collecting Bobinsana Seeds in Peru
Collecting Bobinsana Seeds in Peru

Where can I buy Bobinsana in Canada?

Here at Sananga Canada we have for sale Bobinsana Powder from Peru that has been ethically sourced.

Out of stock

Bobinsana is very difficult to source outside of Peru and South America, and are glad to be able to have this product for sale in Canada for ethnobotanical research and external use only. In no way do we condone the consumption of Bobinsana, but rather want to share the plant for those passionate about herbalism, horticulturalism and Amazonian jungle plants.

We encourage you to do examinations of this plant in your lab if you are a plant scientist so we can come to a better understanding of its properties, and maybe if you are more spiritual it can have a place on your plant alter – but we cannot recommend in any way that you attempt to recreate the shamanic plant dieta at home and try to consume or infuse this plant.

Additionally, we also have Bobinsana Seeds for sale! Grow your own Bobinsana plant at home.

How to grow Bobinsana plant

Here are some photos of Bobinsana seedlings.

Bobinsana Seedlings
Bobinsana Seedlings

How to prepare Bobinsana

Please note that this section is for ethnobotanical research purposes only. We do not encourage you to consume Bobinsana or brew your own mixtures at home to consume – rather we want to document the traditional uses of Bobinsana as they occur in the shamanic traditions of Peru from where the plant originates.

Note that if one is going to consume Bobinsana before bed for the purpose of dreaming with her, they should go to bed with an empty stomach.

Bobinsana preparation by Clinton Moisés Montgomery
Bobinsana preparation by Clinton Moisés Montgomery

In Peru, Bobinsana is most often consumed as part of plant dietas, however it also occurs in their traditional herbal medicine and is prepared with either water or alcohol base. In the following two subsections we will detail how this occurs.

How to make Bobinsana Paste

In video 2, his buddy Pepe seems to be the master chef here doing the preparation. They set up some big pots and boiled and cooked the bark in these giant pots. You will notice this is not at all the same as brewing “tea”, but rather a deep thicker liquid from the bark of the tree with the end goal of being a paste. This is a many-day process of bubbling and reducing.

In Part 3 we are already 5 days into the boiling down process. You’ll see the final stage is that Bobinsana tree bark is transfigured into a paste.

How to make a Bobinsana Tea with Water

In the process of making Bobinsana tea, the one brewing is not aiming to condense the plant material into a thick powerful paste but just making a more subtle liquid extraction in the short term.

Shipiba Maestra Luzmila Mori with Bobinsana Tea
Shipiba Maestra Luzmila Mori with Bobinsana Tea

Individual servings of Bobinsana tea can contain as little as 5g of shredded/powdered bark boiled for 10-15 minutes.

The drinkers often report the subtle feelings of love inside them. The Bobinsana “tea” cannot be just put in a little tea bag in a cup and poured hot water over like a typical steeped tea, but must be boiled or pressure cooked for an extended period of time. It is very important because the healing properties of the Bobinsana are contained deep within the bark alone, and that must be extracted. It is one step beyond the level of herbal infusion one would expect in a cup of tea. The entire liquid should move towards being a deeper pink color.

Bobinsana and Noya Rao tea bottles
Bobinsana and Noya Rao tea bottles

Some schools of shamanism insist that the teas must be consumed at room temperature. Not hot. Not cold. They must be boiled and then sit and cool to room temperature before they are consumed.

How to make Bobinsana Tincture with Aguardiente

Bobinsana tinctures are reported to have been made with a ratio of 1:5 of shredded bark to alcohol.

Some people have attempted to make Bobinsana tinctures using Apple Cider Vinegar instead of an alcohol base however reported that the plant did not absorb well enough into it. Sometimes Vodka or something like everclear is used in place of Aguardiente as a way to make a contemporary tincture, but note that this invention does not reflect a traditional usage as per how it would be made in Peru.

Some Peruvian curanderos would also add honey into their bobinsana-alcohol mix. This would sweeten it and would be used in ceremonies of its own.

How to make Bobinsana Honey

Health Benefits of Bobinsana

This document from the Horticulture International Journal by Matteo Politi and Fabio Friso emphasizes the following main documented benefits of Bobinsana (Calliandra angustifolia):  Calms, causes reflections, smooth feelings. Capacity to be flexible. Rooting, affective communication, openness of heart.

The main health benefits that are reported around Bobinsana include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-arthiritis
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Tonic
  • Stimulant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Contraceptive
  • Diuretic

The team at Rain-Tree has sourced a lot of information about Bobinsana that we recommend you check out with their research.

Bobinsana as the Heart Opener and a cure for Heartbreak

It is interesting to see the many mentions of heart opening and love across the benefits of Bobinsana from its usage. People who go through breakups or lose a loved one can be comforted by the love of the plant’s spirit. This is a paradigm of medicine that is completely unexplored in the modern world. The idea that emotions are something to be healed with herbs is completely outside of the realm of materialistic medicine practice. Some doctors may view depression to be a result of chemical imbalances of the brain that can be cured with pharmaceuticals, but the idea that a plant will give you love and heal your wounded heart is a novel idea for many.

Bobinsana and Lucid Dreaming

During the Bobinsana dieta (which is described in below sections) the plant spirit of Bobinsana will speak to the user.

If one is going to consume Bobinsana before bed for the purpose of lucid dreaming, they should go to bed on an empty stomach.

Health Risks and side effects of Bobinsana

Scientific papers have shown that Bobinsana may cause musculoskeletal pain and dizziness in some users.

Here are some other comments about side effects:

I tried Bobinsana tea from the bark for 3 evenings to induce lucid dreams but the energetic effect was too strong. Its like electric shocks are running through the body which makes it impossible to sleep. When falling asleep the positive effects on dreams were quite obvious, including enhanced lucidity. I will try it now during the day. Maybe this plus of energy is helpful during the day?

Bobinsana as a contraceptive – Pregnant women must avoid!

Peruvian folk medicine says that women who drink Bobinsana all the time will not get pregnant. It is not some type of emergency contraceptive, nor is it something that could be used as a single use.

No scientific study has ever proven the efficacy of Bobinsana as a contraceptive, so this is non conclusive as any type of medical statement, we are just reiterating to you the folk traditions of Peru. Please do not try to drink Bobinsana and use it as a contraceptive, you could get pregnant.

Is Bobinsana a psychoactive plant?

In short summary, no it is not. Bobinsana will not get you high. It is not going to inhibit your motor skills and you will not see any visions. Its effects are very subtle in nature. There are no alkaloids in Bobinsana which are illegal.

Keep in mind that the plant dieta (as explored in the appropriate section of this article) is about training you to learn how to communicate with the subtle little messages that the plant sends you when you consume it. Someone who is highly skilled at working with plants would be able to detect the subtle personality even in a stick of celery or kale. That is the way one must tune their mind when working with a plant like this sirenita.

Legality of Bobinsana

Bobinsana is 100% legal in all countries.

There are no legal restrictions around Bobinsana being a controlled substance and it does not contain any illegal compounds that are psychoactive. The heart-opening and “love” related ideas around Bobinsana are subtle and it is not a psychoactive substance. One who works with Bobinsana is developing the subtle ways to interact with knowing a plant spirit, and is not getting “high”. There are some rumors about Bobinsana containing psychoactive alkaloids however these are completely unproven by any lab test and the effects of Bobinsana do not coincide at all with the effects of the rumored alkaloids.

Traditional usage of the Bobinsana Plant

Bobinsana as Peruvian Traditional Herbal Medicine

Here is an excerpt about Bobinsana’s traditional use:

In the Amazon, the Indians of the Rio Pastaza consider bobinsana to be a stimulant. 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.

In the Amazon, the Indians of the Rio Pastaza consider bobinsana to be a stimulant. 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.

Bobinsana tree growing wild in Peru
Bobinsana tree growing wild in Peru

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.

Bobinsana as an Ayahuasca Admixture

It is also important to note that Bobinsana can be added to Ayahuasca brews of the Peruvian amazon, where it is specially chosen for its properties in that specific Ayahuasca ceremonial brew.

All parts of the Bobinsana plant would be added into these brews. Most notably it would be the bark of the tree, but also the leaves and flowers could be added.

Here is an excerpt from a book that mentions its use with some academic citations:

Calliandra angustifolia Spruce ex Bentham [Leguminosae] Ott 1994 and Bianchi & Samorini 1993 and McKenna et al. 1986 cited Luna 1984b. McKenna et al. 1986 cited López Guillen & De Cornelio 1974b and Luna 1984b. Ott was told by a Shuar ayahuascero that Calliandra bark was added to ayahuasca interchangeably with chacruna; p. 31 in Ott 1994 See also Schultes & Raffauf 1990. Used as admixture by Mestizos in Iquitos region. Luna 1984b citing Soukop 1970. Said to be cultivated for purely ornamental purposes by the Kofán. Schultes 1983c.

It is interesting to note this because chacruna contains visionary alkaloids meanwhile Bobinsana does not. This would imply that the goal of these brews was not the way that westerners view it (to trip out) but rather about communicating with the plant spirits. Once again, Bobinsana was also cultivated purely for its beauty and not for human consumption by the Kofan tribe.

An interesting use of Ayahuasca is that it is often used in conjunction with other plant admixtures in order to get those admixtures to potentiate deeper into your body. That would mean that it would be best to frame an ayahuasca-bobinsana mix not as a way to making the ayahuasca stronger, but rather the ayahuasca is being used to get the Bobinsana to penetrate deeper into your body and soul.

The Bobinsana Dieta

The Bobinsana dieta is a perfect opportunity to learn from the plant teacher the traits which it exhibits. It is best for your first plant diet to study under the tutelage of someone much more experienced than you to guide you away from making simple avoidable mistakes in plant communication.

As such, the Bobinsana plant teacher is great for imparting in its users love, strength, flexibility and a gracious mermaid spirit. This is a great introductory video with a woman explaining the Bobinsana dieta.

Here we have a Peruvian guy who really knows what he is talking about! Watch his video on the Bobinsana Dieta. He reinforces the idea that this plant will improve your flexibility and allow you to orient yourself with the flow of life in the face of turbulence. People with rigid attitudes would have immense improvements with Bobinsana.

This guy gives a great video with a long explanation. First, he gives a summary of Bobinsana and then gives some great longer format storytelling about his experience with the plant.

In this video the girl seems to mostly be plugging the retreat center (which we do not endorse and really we don’t know anything about) but the shot of the girl with the tree is so nice we really wanted to include it in the article.

One interesting point about the Bobinsana dieta is that the participant must go to bed on an empty stomach to best communicate with the plant spirit in their dreams.

Bobinsana teaches a deep transformative love to her dieta students. She is great for protection and to make you more flexible in your life. She will accompany you in your abilities to know and understand the spirits of the water.

What encompasses a Bobinsana Dieta?

A Bobinsana Dieta in the absolute most traditional sense involves the participant (in the jungle) going into a little hut or yurt in isolation. They see nobody and participate in no worldly activities, and cannot consume any media including books. There is to be no internet, radio, TV etc. Every day, a shaman who is facilitating the dieta will come visit the participant and give them a daily dose of fresh bobinsana paste or tea and bland generic food like unsalted cassava. The participant will spend their extended time in isolation devoted to prayer and mediation, taking naps and baths. Sometimes a dieta will involve drinking ayahuasca with the shaman at the beginning and end of the period.

During this time, the participant is aiming to build a relationship with the “plant spirit” of Bobinsana. Every plant has a personality, and when we consume the plants their personality becomes embodied in us. For psychoactive plants that personality is very obvious, for example, smoking cannabis gets you high. That is the personality of the cannabis taking over your own personality and becoming embodied within you. You must be able to frame the thoughts that come to you under the influence as not your own, but rather those of the plant speaking through you.

For rainforest plants that are considered the master plants of the Amazon, such as Bobinsana, the voice of the plant spirit is much more subtle. Drinking Bobinsana paste on a regular day will not get you high, and likely will not even alter your mind noticeably at all. You must realize that this is because you must build up the skill of learning how to listen for the voice of the plant. By avoiding salt and all flavor and all media and mental noise you are making your mind into a blank canvas through which the Bobinsana can paint a picture of her entire being in your mind. During this period of fasting and meditation during your isolation dieta, your aim is to absorb all of her teachings into your physical being and she will permanently change the constitution of your body. Think of it like a software patch download from the internet in order to upgrade your body into gaining a deeper understanding of love and joy.

Bobinsana tree by Vintage Green Farms in California

Bobinsana tree by Vintage Green Farms in CaliforniaIdeally, someone eats just once a day on the dieta. They should develop their ability to receive songs from the teacher plant. Sing icaros. Dance. Express output from your body so that the plant is guiding your every move and pushing you forward. To start you may wonder if you are the composer and just convincing yourself that the songs are coming from the plant, but as you develop your skills you will surely feel more confident in your shamanic abilities.

For those that are doing a dieta at home self-directed, it is recommended to keep your Bobinsana by your bedside table to help it communicate with you in your sleep.

When Bobinsana is prepared during a dieta, it is never made in the format of an alcohol tincture. It is macerated in water, or boiled into a paste. Alcohol should never be consumed during a dieta because of its tendency to “mute” one’s clairvoyant forces which should communicate with the plant spirit. The very fresh Bobinsana bark material will produce a nice juice from the process of macerating the bark.

However, with that being said, there is apparently a man named “Papa Gilberto” who administers diettas and he prepares the plant material in a tincture. That is this Maestro’s choice and people who have worked with him have responded positively to it, so we cannot comment about any one absolute way that the plant should be prepared. See the following quote:

I have dieted bobinsana with Papa Gilberto, he usually prepares it in a form of tincture. As for the dieta, i would say it is better to diet yourself if you have already dieted this particular plant with the Maestro. But for the general guidelines the way Papa told me to diet bobinsana by myself was – drink it 3 days in a row before bed, and keep the food diet for 10 days – no fermented foods, no oil, no salt, no sugar, no red meat, no garlic, ginger, nothing with too much oil like avocado, oily nuts, no shell fish, dairy, no harsh spices, of course no alcohol,sex, stimulants, generally no fruits, but sometimes he allows bananas and apples. And you have to do 20 day post dieta with no sex/alcohol, and 1 moth no shellfish, 2 months no pork. I think that’s most of it

How long does a Bobinsana Dieta last?

Traditionally, shamanic dietas were minimum one month to one year in length, with some being up to many years in duration. Today, many retreat centers will do shorter 10 day dietas with Bobinsana.

Interesting excerpts and testimonies from Bobinsana dietas

Here are some various quotes we’ve sourced from around the internet written by people who have done Bobinsana Dietas. There are very interesting accounts and you can see a general trend in what people are saying.

The dieta is for strength. Strength and flexibility. Not even the sirens can take you in the river if you’re holding in tight to bobinsana, dancing in the wind. (Sylvie Joy Olson Meier from Los Cielos Peru)


Yesss lol but also lets not forget that the path to all that can also be deeply challenging… I don’t want people to underestimate Bobinsana as a fluffy love plant not to be taken with the same serious respect as the Sanangos or palos Etc. I still reccomend a 30 day strict post diet and have seen people get messed up from breaking it. Mermaids get mad too and it ain’t pretty. Just making this note as I see one of my dearest Plant allies gaining a kind of reputation and yes she is incredibly watery but that can still be a calm lake of love or a storm…. (Lara Charlotte from The Garden of Peace, Healing Center Peru)


Love to share a little my experience with a social dieta with Bobinsana I was commiting myself toward for more then a month.
After feeling a deep call and tuning in for a longer periode I decided to inquire a bottle of the Bobinsana tincture on jungle honey made by Clint Fenix Montgomery. It took me some time also because of question arrising around doing a dieta with a Maestro present. Feeling positive about Clint his intentions and commitment towards this medicine I felt finally a yes within.
Feeling a strong support within myself and around me with already years of Medicine work within my dutch Medicinetribe, I felt it was the right time to open the dieta. Being blessed to cook Medicine for the first time, with two very experienced Medicine friends around my birthday… the most perfect possible setting.
The day before opening we where singing, praying and drinking around our precious Madresita pot, when she showed herself to me for the first time. Lots of pink visual flowers where dancing in my vision, when a Robin bird showed herself. I felt direct that this was the energy of Bobinsana showing herself.
Last day of cooking I went in the Force during the cooking seperate to a beautiful spot in Nature. I lit my Tabacco pipe and humbly asked Bobinsana if I could start to diet with her and if she wanted to give me a sign. Out of the bushes, less then a meter from me, jumped again the Robin bird, staring and looking at me for atleast 2 minutes. A more clear confirmation I could not have imagined, so with gratitude in my heart I opened this work with Bobinsana.
Many people have shared already about the musical spirit of Bobinsana and I can only but agree!
What a musical boost and inspiration. I started to sing much more and play guitar. Also I finally got more then only one strumming ritme. Two new songs got born as well gifted to me and even better is that I welcomed my freestyle, improvisation spirit that I always carried within.
I learned to open up more and just sence what I want to sing about and words just come pooring in and the most amazing songs just happen in the moment. Such a joy to finally let this so freely flow out of my being. Gracias Dios!
Also I managed again to find an even deeper copassion and deep love from within towards myself and everyone around me. Opening up, shedding skin and again a bit more purely radiating my light.
I am really pleasantly suprised how strong such a social diet can be, going about my daily life. For sure going in isolation and working under a Maestro must gif even a deeper meaning and you might find much more powerful gifts and healing, but yes I can say…
I started drinking Aya for about 1 year in hopes of fixing some anxiety issues that I have. After that time passed, my curandero asked me if the medicine is helping me with my issues. I said I love the journey, but I don’t see it helping with anxiety. So, he put me on a dieta (Bobinsana & Ajo Sasha). It wasn’t in insolation, as I work in the city. But I followed the restrictions and smoked a lot of mapacho. I stayed on the dieta for 16 weeks. I felt great, as I was eating very clean, mostly oaks, avocados and chicken/fish. But I wasn’t improving in the areas that I was hoping for……Until the dieta closed. Then WOW, everyday I seen huge improvement, my head was very clear, my heart was open and I seen the world very differently.
I closed the dieta 6 or 7 months ago and I still see and feel the teachings the spirit taught me. I still feel her with me. Once in a while i can feel anxiety building up inside me, but before it can affect me, I can feel the spirit of the plants stopping it. I feel I am still learning from her and not ready to do another dieta, but looking forward to doing another dieta, as it is the real magic. Aya is great, but dieta is the true healings. I feel so blessed to have met my curandero and to have been touched by plant medicines.
An excerpt from “The Fellowship of the River” by Dr. Joseph Tafur about his early days of dieting and learning how to heal through song in ceremony:
“Toward the end of the diet, I developed a new icaro, with a new rhythmic melody built around the phrase, “bobinsana medicina, bobinsana invisible, bobinsana medico” (medicine of the bobinsana, invisible bobinsana, doctor of the bobinsana). Once again, this icaro had started as a simple tune in the back of my mind. Over the course of the three-month diet, it developed into a song. I really like this song and the way it feels.”
“Ricardo had taught me that the icaro should follow the vision, the song follows the vision. In our tradition, the icaro is an improvisation. The icaro’s lyrics, which might also include a few set phrases, tell the story of what you are doing as you are doing it. The icaro is the medicine that you “are doing.”
“Shamans do not always have strong visions, and in those times, their song will follow their intuition. Through the training, though, one strives for a more consistent connection to the visions. You want to see what you are doing. For me, the looking glass represented an opportunity to “see” more. When you can “see” the patient’s energies in front of you, you can watch as you work. After the bobinsana diet, my shamanic vision improved.”

Myths and Legends of Bobinsana

This plant can present as a giant anaconda or as a person coming from the water world in the dreams of the person who diets it for 1-3 months of time.

Some people call Bobinsana the son of Noya Rao. This might conflict with the idea of Bobinsana being female, but the idea could also be that she is the daughter of Noya Rao. Some people who have done diets with both Bobinsana and Noya Rao insist that they are an integral pair together for the development of the dieter.

Bobinsana Music

Bobinsana Icaros

One must first understand that Icaros are songs that are received by individuals who participates in the shamanic practice of communicating with plants. The plant speaks through the person, and the individual who created the song is not meant to be the composer of it, but rather someone who spoke through them. As you listen, focus on the idea of the plant is singing to you through influencing the mind of the singer.

Here is a woman singing a Bobinsana medicine icaro as she brews it into a paste in Peru.

Following here is a collection of more Bobinsana Icaros for your listening pleasure.

Sirenita Bobinsana

Sirenita Bobinsana is the most famous of all Bobinsana songs. Below we include one version of the lyrics, but other versions of it exist.

If you want to find the chords of the song so that you can play it on guitar, you can find them online here and here.


Sirenita de los rĂ­os, danza danza con el viento.
Sirenita de los rĂ­os, danza danza con el viento

Con tus flores y aromas, perfuma los corazones
Con tus flores y aromas, perfuma los corazones

Cura cura cuerpecitos, limpia limpia espirititus
Cura cura cuerpecito, limpia limpia espirititu

Cantaremos icaritos, abuelita curandera
Danzaremos muy juntitos, sirenita bobinzana


Little mermaid of the river, dance, dance with the wind
Little mermaid of the river, dance, dance with the wind

With your flowers and aromas, perfuming our hearts
With your flowers and aromas, perfuming our hearts

Heal, heal our little bodies, cleanse, cleanse our spirits
Heal, heal our little bodies, cleanse, cleanse our spirits

We will sing icaros, grandmother, healer
We will dance very close, little mermaid, bobinsana


Contemporary Bobinsana Music

These are songs that may not be considered to be Icaros in the traditional sense, but encapsulate the plant spirit of this mermaid plant.

As a bonus, here is a very mysterious silly video of some english speaking people dancing with some bobinsana flowers overlayed. We don’t know the backstory behind it but you may enjoy:

Bobinsana Artwork


Bobinsana by Quentin Tayuop
Bobinsana by Quentin Tayuop

Science behind Bobinsana

The following section has been sourced from Rain-Tree with all credit assigned to them, it is a compendium of the published scientific research on Bobinsana:

All available third-party research on bobinsana can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on bobinsana updated up to Jan-2019 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.Antioxidant Actions:
Wang, C., et al. “Pipecolic acid confers systemic immunity by regulating free radicals.” Sci Adv. 2018 May 30; 4(5): eaar4509.Antidiabetic Actions:
Singh, A., et al. “Anti-diabetic and anti-oxidative effects of 4-hydroxypipecolic acid in C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice.” Hum. Exp. Toxicol. 2012 Jan; 31(1): 57-65.
Naresh, G., et al. “Glucose uptake stimulatory effect of 4-hydroxypipecolic acid by increased GLUT 4 translocation in skeletal muscle cells.” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2012 Sep; 22(17): 5648-51.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.

5 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Bobinsana (Calliandra angustifolia)

  1. Kitty says:

    In the section that says to pressure cook the bobinsana for an extended period of time, what does that mean? Is that an hour? A day? 2 days? Could you be more specific?

    Thank you

  2. Sifra says:

    Can you please tell me what the alcohol percentage should be? Since it is wood I think it must be pretty high? My idea is to make a vine with vinegar and also a tincture of which I will evaporate the alcohol from and then mixing the two together.

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