Rubiaceae, Psychotria poeppigiana, hot lips, labios de puta
Native to the forests of Panama, this photo was taken in Soberania national park. I am now growing the plant from stem cuttings. This species has been used as a hunting fetish, as a magical talisman to facilitate hunting. The leaves and flowers would be placed in a bundle and tied to the collar of dogs when hunting taipir.
In Suriname the plant is crushed then boiled, the resulting liquid can be used as wash for headaches. This same preparation can be used as an external wash for sprains, rheumatism, muscular pains and contusions.
The Wayana indians of Suriname use bark raspings from the stem and rub it on a skin rash known as “poispoisi”. The red, sap-filled inflorescence are used for an antalgic to treat earache, administered by dropping the sap into the ear canal. The inflorescence is used to remedy whooping cough.
This species of psychotria has also been used as a P. viridis analogue in ayahuasca, containing significant amounts of DMT.