The tribes believe that becoming a good hunter and a good aimer, can only be achieved by using sacred plants. These sacred plants enhance the perception and sharpness, intention, sense of smell, endurance and luck. Therefore, hunting tools like Sananga and Kambo, account for about a quarter of all medicinal plants used in indigenous tribes (Shepard 1999).
Origin, Creation and Application
Sananga eye drops are made from the Tabernaemontana undulata shrub that grows in Acre, Brazil and other South American countries, and is known to the Kaxinawás tribe as “Mana Heins” and as “Becchete” to the Matsés. Mana Heins or Becchete belong to the Apocynaceae family, the same family that iboga (Tabernanthe iboga) belongs to (König et al. 2015). The bark of the root of this shrub is first ground to a very fine powder that is strained various times through a cotton mesh and finally it is extracted into a juice. When applied on the skin, Sananga leaves are softened by fire, and applied directly on the affected part, or the latex from the root is mixed with water and applied with a cloth (Van Beek et al. 1984). Yet, it can also be applied with a drink made with a water extract of the root bark.