Calliandra angustifolia

Family Leguminoseae (Mimosaceae)

Synonyms: Calliandra sodiroi, Calliandra stricta, Calliandra subnervosa, Feuilleea angustifolia

Bobinsana is a shrubby tree growing 4 to 6 meters high, usually found along rivers and streams. . It is native to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia. In the Amazon basin, bobinsana blooms monthly in synchrony.

Common Names in the Peruvian Amazon

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


The biochemistry of bobinsana is 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.

Traditional Uses and Preparation

Bobinsana produces lovely pink to reddish starburst flowers characteristic of the Mimosa family. The tree produces a usable resinous gum that is sometimes extracted and sold commercially. It is widely cultivated for medicinal, shamanic, and ornamental purposes. All parts of the plant are used.

In the Peruvian Amazon, An acohol tincture of bobinzana stems and leaves is taken in shamanic ceremonies to open and heal the heart, to increase empathy, to strengthen one’s connection with nature, and provide spiritual grounding.

Bobinsana produces lucid and colorful visionary dreams. Doctorcita Bobinsana,as she is affectionately called by Amazonian curanderos, is a gentle healing plant spirit enhancing empathy, compassion, clarity, and concentration. Maestro curanderos often incorporate small amounts of bobinsana in their Ayahuasca medicine for it’s heart-opening and healing properties.

Some documented medicinal uses of bobinsana

Bobinsana is used as a heart tonic, stimulant, and energizer. The entire plant is used. Stems, leaves, flowers, bark, and roots are decocted in sugar cane alcohol (aguardiente) with wild jungle honey added for medicinal qualities and flavor.

The simple preparation is to macerate the bark and roots in water for 24 hours. The dosage is one cup is taken twice daily. This preparation is used to treat rheumatism, uterine cancer, nasal congestion,inflammation, and as a blood purifier.

Bobinsana is traditionally used as a contraceptive in Peru. While there is no research to confirm it’s effectiveness, those seeking pregnancy should not take bobinsana. No antagonistic interactions with drugs or other plants are known.

Indians of the Rio Pastaza consider bobinsana 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 (water retention).

Indigenous people 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 cold and chills.