Clavo huasca (Tynnanthus panurensis) is a large, woody vine growing up to 80 m tall and native to the Amazon rainforest and other parts of tropical South America. Clavo huasca means clove vine and refers to the strong clove-like scent of the trunk and leaves.
The plant produces very small, white flowers (pollinated by bees and butterflies) and elongated, flat, bean-like fruits. The vine has a striking “Maltese cross” design in the wood in cross-section (with a darker, reddish color as the background and a golden color in the heartwood).
The Shipibo-Conibo, Kayapó and Assurini Indian tribes in the Amazon rainforest highly consider Clavo Huasca to be an effective aphrodisiac for both men and women. It is also used as an additional ingredient in several ayahuasca recipes (or shortly after taking the brew) to help calm the stomach. While clavo huasca itself is not a hallucinogen, the ayahuasca brew can be quite purifying and cause vomiting and diarrhea. Clavo huasca’s ability to reduce nausea makes it a great match for the brew.
Clavo Huasca has recently been adopted by western markets, where it is mainly used for its aphrodisiac properties.
The main ingredient of Clavo huasca is known as eugenol. Eugenol is used in perfumes, flavorings and essential oils. It has a pleasant, spicy, clove-like fragrance. Phytochemical analysis of Tynnanthus panurensis also revealed the presence of saponins and a high concentration of phenols and flavonoids.
How to use
The desired components of Clavo Huasca are not very soluble in water, so a tincture is the preferred method of preparation.
Combine 1 part powder with 4 parts 90 proof alcohol (everclear or vodka). Soak the powder for up to a month with frequent shaking. Pour into a clean bottle and seal. It is traditionally taken 2-3 times a day in doses of 2-3 ml (60 to 90 drops). The liquid can be evaporated to give a solid extract if desired.