The following list of names are the most commonly known types of Ayahuasca:
-Heaven (sky) Ayahuasca or yellow Ayahuasca
This is the type of Ayahuasca most commonly used in contemporary mestizo curanderismo in Amazonian Perú where it is widely cultivated. It is a relatively gentle but powerful healing plant capable of vivid and highly transformative visions. Cielo Ayahuasca is considered to be the best type of Ayahuasca for initiation.
-Thunder Ayahuasca or black Ayahuasca
This type of Ayahuasca provokes especially strong purge and physical shaking which can be overwhelming. Ayahuasca trueno is for those more experienced with the medicine.
This type of Ayahuasca is harvested exclusively from the ‘monte’ old-growth unflooded white sand rainforest. It is not cultivated. It is a powerful variety widely used by pre-columbian indigenous people.
This type of Ayahuasca is used primarily in magic, both white (benevolent) and red (black or harmful)
This is a very strong shamanic medicine taken almost exclusively by Shaman themselves to facilitate healing of others.
These distinctions are often based on the types of visions produced, rather than on the morphology of the plant.
The Ingano Indians recognize seven kinds of Ayahuasca, the Siona recognize eighteen, and the Harakmbet famously recognize twenty-two, distinguished on the basis of the strength and color of the visions, the trading history of the plant, and the authority and lineage of the Shaman who owns the plant. All of these variations are a single botanical species, yet Shaman can distinguish these varieties on sight, and Shaman from different tribes identify these same varieties with remarkable consistency. Indigenous Ayahuasqueros look at the shape of the vine, the color and texture of the bark, the shape and softness of the leaves, and the overall nature of the cylindrical shape of the vine, as well as its taste and smell.
In Brazil, members of the União de Vegetal church distinguish two varieties of Banisteriopsis caapi, which they call tucanaca and caupurí. The tucanaca variety is a smooth vine which grows in the cooler climate of southern Brazil and is known to have a mild purgative effect. The caupurí variety is a knobby-looking vine with large internodes, which grows in the hotter jungles of northern Brazil and its known the Ayahuasca drink as a powerful purgative and a healer for the heart, mind, body and spirit.
–Ayahuasca Cielo o Ayahuasca amarilla
–Ayahuasca Trueno o Ayahuasca Negro