I can’t count the number of times I wish I could sit down with each one of our customers and have a discussion about the many plants we have to offer here at the shop. It’s so easy to be lured in by slick marketing or fancy product images, but if anyone takes just one thing away from anything I have to say, it’s this:
ALL HERBAL PRODUCTS AREN’T THE SAME.
One example that comes to mind is our Wild Dagga. This is one of the plants we have to offer that I truly take great pride in. Any of the Wild Dagga we have to offer, whether it’s the leaves or the flowers, are grown by me (Private Reserve), not only with lots of love, but with absolutely no harsh chemicals whatsoever. Wild Dagga also happens to be one of those plants that’s beautiful at every stage of its growth. When it’s concentrating its energy on growing leaves, the scent itself is intoxicating to my senses. I even have a stack of Wild Dagga plants outside my office window which stand about 6 feet tall. Part of the reason I have them there is because of the scent.
But, enough of that. Partly because of my passion, and partly because I’ve been in this business for over 10 years now: I know HOW MANY suppliers there are for entheogens, exotic botanicals, and herbal products and I know WHO they are as well. I’ve probably dealt with all of them. I also know the harvesting techniques of just about every supplier’s growers. And, just as there are everything from Ford Escorts to Porshe’s in the automotive industry, the same is true for the herbal industry.
Many growers know that all they need to do is grow as much as possible as fast as possible to fill demand. Those are the growers who don’t care about the growing or harvesting process and the timing of both, as long as they’re getting products out the door. The difference in quality and potency of herbal products is something that’s difficult to explain in the pages of an online shop. I know how people often shop online because I shop online myself. If a website looks professional, I will automatically be more likely to purchase from them. If their prices are lower than the website next to them, I may choose to make my purchase there. But, that’s no difference than going to a car dealer and picking the cheapest car, expecting it to place first at the Indy 500 (I know so little about car racing, but it seemed like a good idea to stick with the car analogies).
Wild Dagga is one of those plants where this is especially true.
For example, from our own testing, the leonurine content of Wild Dagga is at it’s peak when the leaves are about 4″ long. We stagger our harvesting of leaves, and one at a time, we make sure we don’t harvest leaves when they’re too small or when they’re too large. What’s even more interesting, though, is that in our in-house testing, leonurine content is also about the same throughout the leaves of the Wild Dagga plant when it’s flowering. I couldn’t begin to answer why, but this allows us to harvest a large number of leaves when we’re harvesting the flowers.
Speaking of the flowers: WIld Dagga flowers are like candy to me. As you can see in the photo of one of our own plants (no, that’s not a stock photo), the base of the flower turns white. Pulling the Wild Dagga flower out of the base reveals more of that white part of the flower. Biting into this part, especially when freshly-picked, is wondrously sweet nectar. The sweetness soon turns to bitterness, indicating the alkaloid content of the Wild Dagga flower. The more bitter the taste at the finish, typically the more leonurine is present in the flower.
It’s this kind of care and attention that I give all of the products we have to offer here at the shop. I am as passionate as one can be about choosing WHICH suppliers to work with. And, we choose only those suppliers who can provide us with the quality I demand from my own garden/farm here in California. So, what’s my point? My point is simply this:
It’s also very easy to get inferior herbal products, and to then decide that an herbal product is a “scam” based on that one experience. This is also why I wish I could sit down with each customer and their purchase, and share with them why I’m so passionate about any particular plant. I wouldn’t offer any of the plants here at the shop if I didn’t personally believe in it.
Even with as much care as I take with our products, though, we’re always at the mercy of Mother Nature. Sometimes, when I take as much care as I do with everything from Wild Dagga to any of the other potentiators we carry, sometimes there are batches that just aren’t as potent as others. But, this is also why we offer our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! I want you to be happy with your purchase, and will gladly give you an exchange or a refund if you’re unhappy with any of the products we have to offer.
But remember: Herbal products are not an exact science, and part of the fun of working with them is to responsibly experiment with the ones that are intended for consumption.
EFFECTS OF WILD DAGGA
Finally, I’m getting to the section I started out writing this post about; the effects of Wild Dagga. From my extensive experience with Wild Dagga, I would have to conclude that the effects are more mild when the leaves and flowers are dried, but there is, without question, a pleasant repose that Wild Dagga offers all on it’s own. For me, my favorite thing to do is to harvest a couple of handfuls of flowers and extract the nectar and alkaloids from them. This turns into clear, sweet-smelling liquid that I place into a dropper bottle. That liquid is perfect for dropping onto my other favorite herbs. Why? Because Wild Dagga is something called a “potentiator,” which in technical terms, is also called a “vasodilator.”
The active alkaloid in Wild Dagga (as mentioned earlier) is Leonurine. Leonurine happens to be (among other things) an alkaloid that dilates blood vessels. This means that whatever herb it’s blended with, it will make that herb more potent than the herb on its own. For example, if I want to intensify the effects of my Blue Lotus flowers, if I blend them with Wild Dagga, the effects of the Blue Lotus will be more noticeable and in smaller amounts than if I had decided to work with Blue Lotus on its own. The possibilities are endless, and again, part of the joy of all of these herbs is to work with them, to blend them, to find what works best for you.
So, if you don’t want to go through the process of extracting the alkaloids from the Wild Dagga flowers, the whole flower can simply be blended with any herb you’re working with, whether you’re smoking it or making it into a tea. It’s the same with the leaves; although not typically as potent as the flowers, the power of Wild Dagga leaves are when they’re blended with other favorite herbs.
I’ve been working with all the exotic botanicals we have to offer for a number of years now, and I’m still not tired of playing with different blends of herbs. My Dreamer’s Blend isn’t some random blend of exotic botanicals, it’s a blend that I finally settled on after countless personal experiments with dream recall and ludic dreaming. Wild Dagga is something that I found helps increase the overall effects of the dreaming blend, and actually; it increases the effects of just about anything you blend it with. It can definitely help “stretch” other herbs when you’re trying to conserve.