Online Library

The Takiwasi Center has a library specialized in traditional medicines, which holds a fund of more than 6,000 books, 2,000 articles and 300 audio-visual elements mainly related to the fields of ethnomedicine, indigenous spirituality, psychology, anthropology, drug addictions and botany. It is a unique resource for national and international researchers who have free access to it. Takiwasi's resident patients also benefit from its contents.

Takiwasi also has a collection of digital documents which includes a wide variety of books and articles related to medicinal plants, spirituality and psychology, among other topics. These contents, accessible through our website, are organized according to three classification groups: Articles produced by Takiwasi, Documents of general interest and Theses and research works carried out by national and international students and researchers.

The Center also develops its own editorial line that has several magazines, documentaries and books that are available for sale in our Store, whether in physical or digital format.

Featured Article

Ethnomedical uses of Yawar Panga (Aristolochia didyma) in a therapeutic community dedicated to the treatment of drug addiction in the Peruvian Amazon

Authors: Matteo Politi, Nahuel Simonet, Eric Kube, Tereza Rumlerová, Edilberto Chuquilín Bustamante, Gary Saucedo Rojas, Fabio Friso, Gokhan Zengin, Luigi Menghini, Claudio Ferrante.

Published in Natural Resources for Human Health, February 2023.


Aristolochia didyma (Yawar Panga) and other Aristolochia species are used as traditional herbal remedies with potent emetic properties. Scientific data for such Yawar Panga species, however, are scarce in the literature. The aim of this study was to describe the use of Yawar Panga within the context of the therapeutic community Takiwasi, in which the plant is used as part of the protocol for the rehabilitation of individuals with drug addiction. Fieldwork with experts in the administration of Yawar Panga at Takiwasi Center, as well as a retrospective qualitative analysis of experiences with this plant remedy in a residential inpatient population were performed. In-silico analysis of the main constituents of A. didyma as represented in the literature was completed in order to identify its putative pharmacological targets. The therapists interviewed consider Yawar Panga to be the most potent purga at Takiwasi and consider it especially useful in attenuating addiction withdrawal syndrome. From the patient’s perspective, this plant induces strong physical effects, and commonly precipitates effects in the oneiric and emotional dimensions. GABA B seems to be the receptor involved in the emesis induced by the phytochemicals contained in this plant species. Despite some relevant concerns related to the safety of the genus Aristolochia in modern western pharmacopoeias, some species, including A. didyma, are routinely used in the context of traditional herbal medicine in the Peruvian Amazon. Further phyto-pharmacological investigations would be helpful to elaborate this species’ medical utility, especially within the context of addiction treatment.

Links of Interest

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