Jurema names a plant, an herbal potion, a spirit and a spiritual tradition:

The Jurema is a sacred evergreen whose bark and roots are used to create a psychoactive decoction called Vinho da Jurema (Jurema Wine); traditionally used similarly to the more internationally famous ayahuasca. There are two subspecies: Black Jurema (Mimosa hostilis) and White Jurema (Mimosa verucosa).

Shamanic and magical healing are at the root of the spiritual tradition called Jurema, now centred in north-eastern Brazil, near Recife. Jurema is based on indigenous Brazilian traditions, specifically those of the Tupi Indians but is a syncretic tradition also incorporating African and European influences. In recent years, it has become an increasingly urban tradition, as many rural people, especially indigenous people, have been displaced from native villages and move to cities.

Practitioners of Jurema are called Juremians. Jurema is also sometimes called Catimbo but some consider that name derogatory as it may also refer to malevolent sorcery or witchcraft.

Two types of spirits are venerated in Jurema:

• Caboclos (Indigenous spirits )

• Mestres, literally Masters as in Master Healer but also indicating spirits of African or European derivation; in the context of Jurema, Maria Padilha is classified as a Mestre.

Both types of spirits are invoked during rituals and channelled through spirit mediums in the hope of receiving healing, prophesies, blessings or other services.

Jurema is the spirit of the sacred Jurema tree and considered the most important Cabocla. She presides over the Caboclos’ mythic paradise, which is also known as Jurema. Jurema the goddess is the primary presiding spirit of Jurema the paradise but she is also venerated in the Brazilian spiritual tradition Umbanda and by independent practitioners. In Yoruba-based traditions, Jurema belongs to the line of Oxossi. She is the Queen of Hunters; bestower of wisdom and a spirit of beauty and romance.


Tupi; Brazil


Jurema is depicted as a romantic, idealized Indian princess. She may be naked or dressed in feathers including feather headdress


Wine (once upon a time, this would be Jurema wine but in urban areas, she may be given true wine); herbal teas; tropical fruit; arrows; what you would offer Oxossi


Red, white, green





Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.


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