Turbina corymbosa, syn. Rivea corymbosa, is a species of morning glory, native throughout Latin America from Mexico as far south as Peru and widely naturalised elsewhere. Its common names include Christmasvine, Christmaspops, and snakeplant.

Common Name:
Other Names:
Christmas Pops, Christmas Vine, Ololuiqui, Snakeplant,
Botanical Name:
Rivea corymbosa syn. Turbina corymbosa
Native Location:
North and Central America, Cuba.
Known to natives of north and central Mexico by its Nahuatl name Ololiúqui (also spelled ololiuhqui or ololiuqui) and by the south eastern natives as xtabentún (in Mayan), it is a perennial climbing vine with white flowers, often planted as an ornamental plant. This plant also occurs in Cuba, where it usually blooms from early December to February. Its flowers secrete copious amount of nectar, and the honey the bees make from it is very clear and aromatic. It is considered one of the main honey plants from the island.
This species is an invasive species to the United States, Europe (Spain), and Australia, where it has become more naturalized.
Shamanic Extracts:
The sacred Aztec hallucinogen " Ololiuhqui " is perhaps the best kept secret for the outside world today, strange enough Ololiuhqui is widely used among the local Indians in Sierra Madre, Oaxacan Mexico. The local Mazatecas use the Rivea corybosa seeds for divination when the Teonanacatl Mushrooms are not available. Rivea corybosa grows easily and abundantly in the mountains of southern Mexico. Today in almost all the villages of Oaxacan you can find the Rivea corybosa plant and the seeds still serving the natives magic moments. The plant itself is a climber, like Ipomoea violacea ( Morning Glory) and called 'snake-plant' or `coaxihuitl` in the Nahuatl language. Seeds of the Rivea corybosa plant are very closely related to Morning Glories, it is a very rare but easily grown plant. It flowers abundantly, producing beautiful clusters of white tubular flowers. Ololiuhqui is the Nahuatl name for the seeds of the Rivea corybosa plant and means 'round thing', the seeds are small, oval and brown.
Traditional uses : The seeds are used for their psychedelic purposes by the Aztec priests in order to commune with their gods. Because of the extremely fine line between effective and lethal doses, the ground seeds were only ingested by experienced persons.. Dosages of less than 10 seeds are usually employed for psychedelic experiences, which last for about 6 to 8 hours. The traditional method of preparation is to soak the finely ground or chewed seeds in a minimal amount of water for several hours, then consuming both the water and seeds. The properties are as sensational as those of Teonanacatl and Peyote.
Hoffman reported in 1960 that he had isolated d-lysergic acid amide (LA) and d-isolysergic acid amide from the seeds of Rivea corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea. LA is very similar to LSD in its psychological and physiological manifestations. The seeds of Rivea corymbosa contain about 0.01-0.08% ergot alkaloids, including ergine, isoergine,chanoclavine and lysergol.
Chemical Properties:
The Nahuatl word ololiuhqui means "round thing", and refers to the small, brown, oval seeds of the morning glory, not the plant itself, which is called coaxihuitl, "snake-plant", in Nahuatl, and hiedra, bejuco or quiebraplatos in the Spanish language. The seeds, in Spanish, are sometimes called semilla de la Virgen (seeds of the Virgin Mary). While little of it is known outside of Mexico, its seeds were perhaps the most psychedelic drug common used by the natives.
In 1941, Richard Evans Schultes first identified ololiuhqui as Turbina corymbosa and the chemical composition was first described on August 18, 1960, in a paper by Dr. Albert Hofmann. The seeds contain ergine (LSA), anergoline alkaloid similar in structure to LSD. The psychedelic properties of Turbina corymbosa and comparison of the potency of different varieties were studied in the Central Intelligence Agency's MKULTRA Subproject 22 in 1956.
Five related LSD-like alkaloid
  • Chanoclavine
  • D-isolysergic acid amide
  • D-lysergic acid amide
  • Elymoclavine
  • Lysergol
  • Parts Used:
    Known Effects:
    Depresses central nervous system.
    Miscellaneous Information:
    Snakeplant is used primarily by Mexican Indians in religious ceremonies. They call it badab.
    Possible Additional Effects:
  • May change mood
  • May cause hallucinations
  • Warnings and Precautions:
    Don't take if you:
  • Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or plan pregnancy in the near future
  • Have any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, such as stomach or duodenal ulcers, reflux esophagitis, ulcerative colitis, spastic colitis, diverticulosis, or diverticulitis

  • Consult your doctor if you:
  • Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn't improve in 2 weeks (There may be safer, more effective treatments.)
  • Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs

  • Pregnancy:
    Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.
    Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.
    Infants and Children:
    Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.
    Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.
  • Store in cool, dry area away from direct light, but don't freeze.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.
  • Don't store in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and moisture may change the action of the herb.

  • Safe Dosage:
    Consult your doctor for the appropriate dose for your condition.
    Rated slightly dangerous, particularly in children, persons over 55 and those who take larger than appropriate quantities for extended periods of time.
    Adverse Reactions, Side Effects, or Overdose Symptoms:
    Signs and Symptom What to Do

    Blurred vision Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
    Coma Seek emergency treatment
    Confusion Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
    Hallucinations Seek emergency treatment
    Nausea or Vomiting Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
    Stupor Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
    Wikipedia Article-Rivea corymbosa
    Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals & Supplements The Complete Guide by H. Winter Griffith, MD Copyright©1998 Fisher Books pp. 437-438