Cultivating a sustainable source of oni for future generations

Reforesting and restoring degraded land in the Amazon Rainforest

Creating economic opportunities for Shipibo-Konibo communities

“Our mission is to create a growing and sustainable source of oni (ayahuasca brew) and other plants that provide opportunities for healing and living in balance with the planet. Our values are rooted in reciprocity with our mother earth (ronin mai) restoring healthy forests, supporting cultural resilience of indigenous lineage and the continuity of ancient healing practices.“

In 2023 we began planning an ambitious new initiative that launched in January 2024. Like many hundreds of thousands of hectares in the Peruvian Amazon Basin, the land we steward at Jakon Rate has experienced clearing at some point in the past century and as a result, much of the forest consists of dense bamboo, heliconia, and other potentially invasive species of plants with few tall trees. As our community develops trails, establishes gardens, and lives with the land we see gradual changes to the ecosystem but our vision is to accelerate the regeneration of native diversity and cultivate the sacred medicines for a sustainable future, for the Jakon Rate community, for surrounding Shipibo-Konibo communities, and for the planet.


We are driven to cultivate an abundance of high-quality, sustainable locally sourced, and affordable medicine to serve personal and collective healing and to help ease the pressure on wild harvesting as demand for these sacred plants continues to grow. To achieve this at an optimal scale, it’s essential that we reforest and restore degraded jungle habitat and create economic opportunities for local and Indigenous residents, farmers, and landowners in the Peruvian rainforest.

Our goal is to plant 200,000 nishi to help establish an ongoing and sustainable source of oni for future generations while also restoring the natural diversity of fungal, plant, and animal habitats.



Establishing a tall canopy of native hardwood trees and a nursery of trees and lianas 

We have planted lianas on the 300+ existing companion trees throughout Jakon Rate community lands while creating an experimental plot with over 400 new trees planted. We established a nursery to germinate seeds, propagate cuttings, and maintain a continued supply of teacher plants and companion trees. 

Establishing a tall canopy of native hardwood trees not only supports tall and healthy lianas but also, by creating shade and leaf litter, supports regeneration of healthy soil, numerous other smaller trees and plants, and will attract native animals. For these reasons, we initiated several experiments to learn more about optimal conditions for new trees and liana growth in degraded soil. 

With the initial plot of trees, we will test soil conditions, measure light conditions, monitor tree varieties, and measure water requirements to optimize growth and survival over the short and long term. We will assess the impact on subsequent liana growth, survival, and reproduction under varied conditions such as orientation to the host tree, light availability, and soil conditions. We are also experimenting with growing nishi laterally along a horizontal stand of trees. Data will be collected regularly with comprehensive analyses done annually. 

Native Tree Species

The following 15 varieties of trees have been selected for a variety of reasons including their rapid growth rate, mature height, strength of the wood, and nitrogen-fixing properties. By planting a diversity of trees to serve as hosts for lianas, we also create a habitat to bring a diversity of birds, pollinators, and other plant, animal, and fungi contributors in for a dynamic and balanced ecosystem.

Amasisa • Erythrina ulei • Kaxo

Common Name: Amasisa

Taxonomy: Erythrina ulei

Shipibo: Kaxo

Amasisa is a fast-growing tree with abundant orange flowers. Amasisa is a nitrogen fixer tree that helps to restore nutrients in degraded soil. The tree branches are cut and replanted directly in the soil to propagate additional trees. The surrounding boundary of the experimental plot uses closely spaced Amasisa trees to experiment with growing nishi horizontally. It also provides a more effective resistance to fire as compared to other trees.

Caoba • Swietenia macrophylla • Wishtininti

Common Name: Caoba

Taxonomy: Swietenia macrophylla

Shipibo: Wishtininti

Commonly known as Mahogany, the Caoba is considered an endangered species popular for its valuable hardwood. It’s very adaptable to different soils. The resin can be extracted from the bark and oils extracted from the seeds. After reaching maturity, the Caoba produces light yellow flowers and bears long fruits that grow upward (known as “sky fruits”). Each fruit can contain 30 to 70 winged seeds.

Capirona • Calycophyllum spruceanum • Axo

Common Name: Capirona

Taxonomy: Calycophyllum spruceanum

Shipibo: Axo

Capirona is a fast-growing tree that can reach 30 meters at full maturity. Once or twice per year the tree will shed its bark to prevent fungus and other vines from climbing its trunk. The bark has a notable polished and smooth texture with a reddish-brown color followed by a green color after the bark is shed. It produces an abundance of fragrant white flowers followed by seed pods. The bark is used as an antifungal treatment to heal wounds, cuts, and burns and can also be used as an insect repellent.

Carahuasca • Guatteria hyposericea Diels • Nishi Jiwi

Common Name: Carahuasca

Taxonomy: Guatteria hyposericea Diels

Shipibo: Nishi Jiwi

Carahuasca is a popular hardwood used in carpentry, furniture construction, and tool handles. It grows to reach 20 to 30 meters in height. Many species within the Guatteria genus have been used in traditional medicine. Extracts from the bark, leaves, and other parts of the plant are used to treat a range of ailments, including fevers, digestive issues, and inflammatory conditions.

Cedro • Cedrela odorata • Konxan

Common Name: Cedro

Taxonomy: Cedrela odorata

Shipibo: Konxan

Timber from the Cedro tree (known as “Spanish Ceder” in English commerce)  is popular for its aromatic lightweight wood and natural termite and rot-resistant properties. As a result of overharvesting, the Cedro tree is considered a vulnerable species. Mature Cedro trees can reach 30 meters in height and after about 10 years begin to produce flowers, fruit, and seeds.

Chuchuhuasi • Maytenus macrocarpa • Chochowaya

Common Name: Chuchuhuasi

Taxonomy: Maytenus macrocarpa

Shipibo: Chochowaya

The Chuchuhuasi tree is a known medicine throughout the Amazon Rainforest for its tonifying, anti-inflammation, anti-spastic, metabolic, anti-fever, anti-cancer, painkiller, tumor-preventing, and antihistaminic properties. The word Chuchuhuasi (and other variations such as chuchuhuasha, chucchu huashu, and chuchasha) is Quechua and translates to “trembling bark” as the bark of the tree is effective in relieving back pain, as well as the discomforts of arthritis and rheumatism. Chuchuhuasi can reach 30 meters and produces small white flowers.

Copaiba • Copaifera reticulata • Bomshis

Common Name: Copaiba

Taxonomy: Copaifera reticulata

Shipibo: Bomshis

Copaiba often refers to the oleoresin obtained from the trunk of several South American leguminous trees in the Copaifera genus. At Jakon Rate we have selected a native variety that, like many in this genus, produces copaiba-balsam, the resin is used as a food additive and as flavoring in food and beverages,  in perfumery, cosmetics, varnishes, and lacquers, and as substitute to diesel oil. Medicinally, it is used to treat various conditions with the skin, urinary tract, respiratory system, and reproductive systems. It can also be used as a pain reliever, to soothe headaches, sore throats, and mouth sores. It also treats inflammation and wounds and is considered one of the most important natural remedies in some rural regions where people live far from pharmacies and hospitals and have little access to public health care.

The Copaiba tree grows to 30 meters (and in some cases can be found as tall as 45 meters). Leaf litter and root dieback are known to contribute to nitrogen-fixing in the surrounding soil.

Huayruro • Ormosia coccinea • Reposh

Common Name: Huayruro

Taxonomy: Ormosia coccinea

Shipibo: Reposh

Huayruro (also known as the “Scarlet Bean” tree) is a medium-sized flowering leguminous tree reaching 20 meters. While the seeds are toxic when raw, after proper processing, they are valued in jewelry making with their distinct half-black and half-red color. The Huayruro tree grows quickly and contributes to soil health and atmospheric nitrogen through symbiotic relationships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its root nodules and the decomposition of fallen leaves.

Lupuna Blanca • Ceiba pentandra • Josho Xono

Common Name: Lupuna Blanca

Taxonomy: Ceiba pentandra

Shipibo: Josho Xono

The Lupuna Blanca tree is among the tallest and largest trees throughout the Amazonian rainforest reaching up to 70 meters in height. Commonly referred to as Kapok it can be found throughout the world in tropical rainforests in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The trunk can reach several meters in diameter with large buttress roots extending from its base. 

The Lupuna produces large and showy white, pink, or reddish flowers followed by woody seed capsules filled with seeds and a fluffy cotton-like fiber which is used as a sustainable cotton alternative as a stuffing for pillows and mattresses and in other textile applications. Older Lupuna Blanca trees that tower over the canopy can be an anchor in the ecosystem providing food and habitat for numerous species of birds, reptiles, pollinators, and mammals.

Pashaco • Macrolobium acaciifolium • Awapishi

Common Name: Pashaco

Taxonomy: Macrolobium acaciifolium (Benth.) Benth.

Shipibo: Awapishi

Pashaco is a medium to large tree ranging from 10 to 30 meters in height. The tree typically produces small, inconspicuous flowers that give way to seed pods. The wood is dense, strong, and resistant to decay and as a result, is valued and used in construction, furniture making, and boat building.

Research on nitrogen-fixing trees suggests that, like other legume trees, the Pashaco tree has the potential to contribute to soil restoration and fertility improvement in degraded environments.

Quinilla • Manilkara bidentata • Texo

Common Name: Quinilla

Taxonomy: Manilkara bidentata

Shipibo: Texo

Quinilla is a large latex-producing tree with white flowers and yellow berries reaching 45 meters in height and as much as 2 meters in diameter at maturity. The wood is valued for being strong, durable, hard, and resistant to rot and insects. The wood (known as bulletwood) is used in numerous applications including construction, boat building, furniture, and tools. The Quinilla latex was historically harvested for various purposes, including chewing gum, golf balls, and industrial coatings.

The latex has also been used topically to treat wounds, skin infections, and rheumatic pain, and the bark and leaves can been used in decoctions and infusions for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Requia • Guarea guidonia • Xoro

Common Name: Requia

Taxonomy: Guarea guidonia

Shipibo: Xoro

Requia is a medium to large tree ranging from 15 to 25 meters in height. It produces small flowers and stems loaded with fruit. The tree is known as an ornamental tree which produces good shade and is used in some agroforestry systems to provide shade to coffee and banana plantations. Various parts of the tree can be used as medicine either topically or internally to treat body aches, angina, asthma, dyspnoea, fevers, inflammation, digestive disorders, and as a general purgative.

Sangre de Grado • Croton lechleri • Jimimoxo

Common Name: Sangre de Grado

Taxonomy: Croton lechleri

Shipibo: Jimimoxo

Sangre de Grado (Dragon’s Blood) is a medium-sized tree growing 10 to 20 meters high with a relatively thin trunk. It’s popular for producing a thick red resin that can be tapped from the bark of the tree and used in numerous medicinal applications. The bioactive sap or resin possesses antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, and immune-boosting properties. As a result, it is used topically to treat wounds, cuts, infections, reduce inflammation, and reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. It is used internally as a tonic to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including ulcers, diarrhea, and gastritis, and used in dental care.

Shihuahuaco • Dipteryx micrantha • Koman

Common Name: Shihuahuaco

Taxonomy: Dipteryx micrantha

Shipibo: Koman

Shihuahuaco is a very large tree averaging 40 to 45 meters but is known to reach up to 60 meters high. It has a distinctive salmon colored bark and produces ornamental bunches of lilac pink flowers high in the canopy that eventually develop into a mass of large fruit pods, which serve as an important food for many native animals during the dry season. It produces prized timber – dense, hard, and beautiful reddish wood traded in the international timber market under the name “Cumaru”. Currently the conversation status for Shihuahuaco has not been evaluated but some reports and research indicate that the species may be endangered.

Tawari • Ixerba brexioides • Romepoto Jiwi

Common Name: Tawari

Taxonomy: Ixerba brexioides

Shipibo: Romepoto Jiwi

Tawari is a small bushy tree about 10 meters high with thick dark green leaves and white flowers with a green heart. The fruit is a green leathery capsule that splits open to reveal the black seeds. Tawari has a mass flowering strategy, attracting a range of pollinators and wildlife with the abundance of flowers and nectar it produces. Tawari has been planted around the perimeter of the experimental plot to help attract pollinators and contribute to the biodiversity and genetic diversity of the plot and surrounding areas.


The Jakon Rate Center has identified 4 varieties of Nishi to study and cultivate in the initial stages of the Pacha Nishi Project. While all 4 varieties are known botanically as the same species, Shipibo-Konibo and other indigenous communities in the Amazon Rainforest have, for generations, known of numerous varieties often referred to as different colors. Each family and community may offer varied information about the differences in these varieties. Here is what our community has to offer.

Ayahuasca Cielo • Banisteriopsis caapi • Nai Nishi

Common Name: Ayahuasca Cielo (Yellow)

Taxonomy: Banisteriopsis caapi

Shipibo: Nai Nishi

Also known as “Yellow Ayahuasca”, this variety is the most common and popular among the onanya and meraya. After reaching the canopy of its host tree, it produces an abundance of small white, pink, and fuchsia flowers. The magical power of this Amazonian liana, is used to offer healing to patients, and results in the best recipe to unite the 4 worlds:

Panshin Nete: The yellow world
Non Nete: Our current world
Jene Nete: Ocean World
Nai Nete: The universe

Ayahuasca Dulce • Banisteriopsis caapi • Bata Nishi

Common Name: Ayahuasca Dulce

Taxonomy: Banisteriopsis caapi

Shipibo: Bata Nishi

The “Sweet” variety is a less common strain with a unique energy and has a more pleasant flavor. The vine itself is nearly identical to the more common “Cielo” variety but displays lighter flowers. The flowers are white and light pink. When the individual consuming this sweet variety carries negative energies, the visions are said to be terrifying and the spirits frightening.

Ayahuasca Negra • Banisteriopsis caapi • Wiso Nishi

Common Name: Ayahuasca Negra

Taxonomy: Banisteriopsis caapi

Shipibo: Wiso Nishi

The “Black” variety is more common among some Mestizo Vegetalistas and is usually blended with the “Cielo” variety.
Among Shipibo-Konibo communities, it is rarely consumed as it carries an association with sorcery and witchcraft.

Sacha Ayahuasca • Banisteriopsis caapi • Nishin Chai

Common Name: Sacha Ayahuasca

Taxonomy: Banisteriopsis caapi

Shipibo: Nishin Chai

The “Sacha” variety is rare compared to other varieties. It is said to be less strong and less effective than “Cielo” and other varieties. For this reason, it is not cultivated, however, its potentially unique genetics still offer diversity to the forest. This and other less common varieties will be cultivated and tested to learn more about their unique qualities.

Companion Plants

Companion plants have been incorporated into the forest design for a variety of reasons such as restoring degraded soil, providing shade, and creating habitat for pollinators, birds, and other species that contribute to a balanced ecosystem. We have also planted numerous Kawa a.k.a Chacruna (Psychotria viridis Ruiz. and Pavon.) with varied conditions and alongside the Yarina palm, a companion plant specifically known to support the health and growth of Kawa.

Guaba • Inga edulis • Xenan

Common Name: Guaba

Taxonomy: Inga edulis

Shipibo: Xenan

Guaba (also known as Ice Cream Bean) is a fruit-bearing tree known for its rapid growth and ability to improve soil properties. Like many other species in the genus Inga, Guaba can fix nitrogen in the soil through a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its root nodules and decomposed leaf litter. This makes it valuable in agroforestry systems, where it can improve soil fertility and support the growth of other crops. As a result, it’s used in coffee, cacao, tea plantations, and other agroforestry systems to provide shade and improve soil. It can reach 30 meters in height at full maturity. The pulp of the fruit is sweet and is often said to taste like vanilla ice cream. 

Guaba plays a significant role in the ecology of its native habitat by providing food for a variety of animals, including birds, bats, and insects. It also contributes to the overall biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of tropical forests.

Chacruna • Psychotria viridis • Kawa

Common Name: Chacruna

Taxonomy: Psychotria viridis

Shipibo: Kawa

Chacruna or kawa is a powerful plant teacher used alongside nishi in the preparation of oni. It’s a slow-growing shrub in the coffee family. Chacruna requires some shade and moist soil as it establishes itself in the first couple of years of growth. Over many years, it can become as tall as 5 meters. It produces flowers and berries containing seeds. Cuttings of stems and even healthy leaves can be used to propagate the plant. 

Yarina • Phytelephas macrocarpa • Jepe

Common Name: Yarina

Taxonomy: Phytelephas macrocarpa

Shipibo: Jepe

The Yarina palm is a dioecious, solitary palm with a short trunk and a large crown. It produces large white flowers and composite fruits. The nuts, leaves, palm hearts, and fruits are all edible. Yarinacocha derives its name from the Yarina palm. Yarina has been planted as a companion plant to Chacruna. The two have been cultivated together for many generations. 


Sharing findings and developing a replicable model for other properties in the region

With sufficient data collected, we will share our findings with the broader community locally and regionally and also make data available to the academic community. Our findings will help us to establish (and continue to refine over time) a replicable model for other properties aiming to restore degraded lands and establish a viable economic alternative to deforestation of Amazonian lands for monocultures of palm oil production, logging, etc. to utilize their land for the cultivation of traditional medicines in a healthy and diverse forest. 

At this stage, we will also begin production of oni with plants grown at Jakon Rate. Funds from this collaboration will be transparently reinvested into the Pacha Nishi initiative along with additional funding from international reforestation grants, national subsidies, and other contributions from private donors that will make it possible to help foster project success and the opportunity to begin scaling the project to meet growing demands. We aspire to offer reforestation guidance, resources, and direct support as we begin planting tens of thousands of new trees, lianas, and companion plants to restore soil on degraded lands and establish long-term sustainable sources of medicine benefitting landowners and Indigenous Shipibo-Konibo communities.


The life-giving good essence of creation

Some Shipibo-Konibo elders mention that 200,000 years ago marked an epoch in history where their ancestors first began the samá (plant diet) tradition with teacher plants. Since then, for countless generations the onanti rao (teacher plants) have continued to guide their communities. Despite political, economic, cultural, and environmental pressures, the path and wisdom imparted between student and teacher guided by the master teacher plants are experiencing a real renaissance. We are calling on support from this deep lineage of ancestors and teachers to guide this work as we continue to seek alignment with the jakon néte – the space-time energy of the good life-giving essence of creation  – to bring about true harmony and balance of life on our earth. 


Our goal is to plant 200,000 nishi to help establish an ongoing and sustainable source of oni for future generations while also restoring the natural diversity of fungal, plant, and animal habitats.