The REAL Dreaming Herbs

One aspect of human experience that I find particularly fascinating is the topic of Lucid Dreaming.  I’ve been so deeply invested learning lucid dreaming techniques from the very first lucid dream I had, where I realized that I was in a reality that was as real and as tangible as the one you’re reading this article in, while being fully asleep.  It was actually so real, that as I tromped through New York City seeking answers to Life, the Universe, and Everything, that I was determined to bring back a license plate with me.  Like any other topic I knew nothing about, I set out to find as much out about lucid dreaming as I could; I wanted this sleeping reality to be a place I could visit as often as possible!

My search initially led me to trying to replicate the experience.  I charted out what I ate the night before, what time I went to sleep, how I felt, and any other detail I could come up with.  It was truly one of the most exhilarating and exciting experiences of my life, and I wanted to get more than a cursory look into this incredible world that not only was completely mutable on thought, but one that literally was as real to me as my waking reality, if not more so.

I feverishly kept a separate Dream Journal, and charted out every dream I had.  Little did I know that the time, that this is one of the most powerful tools for inducing lucid dreaming.  Just like anything else; the more we practice something, the better we get at it.  I was practicing at recalling my dreams, which in turn, raised my awareness while shifting my waking focus to the act of dreaming.  I started to figure out details such as most of my lucid dreams happened in that morning twilight state before I really want to wake up.  I learned that I could set my alarm for 2-3 hours before I awoke, to bring me out of deep sleep into a lighter sleep state where lucid dreams seemed most-likely to occur.

I eventually found my way to the “Lucidity Institute” and then to an amazing device called the NovaDreamer.  Both were instrumental in helping me create a regimen for lucid dreaming, and the NovaDreamer actually induced lucid dreams within the first week of using it!  But, this article is not intended to speak to any of that.  If you are interested to know more about what I know about lucid dreaming, please visit my website called; DreamHerbs.com.  Yes, it’s got herbs on it we sell here at the shop, but lucid dreaming is truly one of my greatest passions in my eternal exploration of human consciousness.

One of the things I found along the way were natural herbal products that helped me lucid dream.  In my research, I discovered that several cultures placed a high value on lucid dreaming, so I looked to those cultures’ practices to discover what methods and perhaps herbs they used to help with lucid dreaming.  One culture that was of particular interest were the Xosa, the Samgoma, Karanga and South African shamans.  All have a long history of contacting ancestors through dreams.  Silene capensis is used by the Xhosa of South Africa to communicate with the ancestors. (Woolcott, 2011).  Imphepho (helichrysum odoratissimum) is used by the Samgoma to induce trance states and to communicate with ancestors. (National Digital Repository, 2011)  Synaptolepis kirkii is used by the Karanga and other shamans in South Africa to bring on visions and to treat epilepsy. (Ethnobotany Life, 2011)

Any culture that places such a high value on dreaming; it would make sense that they’ve explored every possible plant in their environment that may help induce lucid dreaming, and/or enhance dream recall to help bring those messages back. Upon research, this panned out to be true.  Using personal travel and subsequent experience with this ancient and sacred shamanic plants, this is how DreamHerbs has built it’s modest database of plants that help induce lucid reaming or help with the process of dream recall.

Two of the most powerful “Dreaming Herbs” I found for me were Silene Capensis and Entada rheedi.  Silene is easy to work with, but Entada rheedii is a different story altogether.  The seed is the most desired part of the Entada plant, and the seed is the size of a flattened golf ball.  And, the part of the seed that’s used is the “meat” of the seed.  This meat of the seed is like a giant sunflower seed, and can be difficult to blend with other herbs.  This is why I created the Dreamer’s Blend on IAmShaman and Shaman’s Garden.

I make a tea out of the Dreamer’s Blend and also roll it into a cigarette.  I make sure I’m in a state conducive to relaxation.  I have my Dream Journal next to me and review other dreams.  I take note of what I ate that day, what kind of mental state I’m in now, and write that as the first part of my entry for the evening.  Sometimes I think ritual gets in the way of achieving our desired goals, but this is a case where I think ritual has vastly increased my frequency of lucid dreams.

Anyway, find out LOTS more information on Lucid Dreaming on one of my sister sites called DreamHerbs.  It’s another labor of love, and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of both A. Szostek (article research) and Jake More (website design).

REFERENCES: Woolcott, Ina. Silene Capensis, Ubulawu, African Xhosa Dream Root Induces Lucid Dreams. Shamanic Journey, Shamans and Shamanism. Web. 27 June 2011. <>. NDR › National Digital Repository › Indigenous Knowledge › Stories › Imphepho. NDR › National Digital Repository. Web. 27 June 2011. Uvuma-omhlope (Synaptolepis Kirkii) Profile. Ethnobotany Life. Web. 27 June 2011.

12 Comments

  1. Kirazara

    Great article. I am just beginning my journey into the world of lucid dreaming. I typically do not remember my dreams. On several occasions when I actually remembered a dream I went through a similar routine as you. I immediately wrote down the details of the dream, then went back and logged what I had eaten, what time I went to bed, what mental state and emotion I was in…etc. The few dreams I have remembered were much like what you described. It was as if I was walking, talking, and experiencing a world just like the one I write this in, but it was different. This other world, the dreamers world, was much more spiritual. Answers to universe were easily stumbled upon. I look forward to more lucid dreaming nights. I just purchased the Dreamers Blend the other day. I’m anxious to try it and see what journey it takes me on.

  2. Oberon Van Housen

    Thank you so much for this unique research, feedback and creativity on the blending and offering end. Nepali and Tibetan herbalists say that the best formula is constructed with three different herbs. In my own research, I have found that blends offer so much more over the experience of single herbs taken alone (which are actively potent unto themselves).

    Ah! Blessings and Joy to You Friend.
    Oberon VH

  3. Jeremy Gilbert

    Lucid dreaming is the process of dreaming consciously. As you fall asleep, your intention is to have a part of your conscious mind stay attentive as you enter the dream state. In that way you can explore the unconscious state to learn more about your life process.

  4. Jeremy Gilbert

    This is especially true for the dreaming herbs that come from Africa, since distinctions are muted between the spiritual and material, the sacred and secular. Dreams and traditional religion are inextricably linked for them, and the appearance of an ancestor in one’s dream is considered a significant experience on both sides of the ocean, informing and enriching the lives of individuals and communities. The ancestor’s message and its purpose can vary greatly – from providing healing and prophesy to demanding changed behavior and many other curious and interesting things.

  5. Tim Radcliffe

    I am also fascinated by lucid dreaming… I have only been twice lucky enough to experience it… and each time was better then the other in dozens of ways. I am curious to start researching methods or herbs that might help “induce a lucid dream”… I myself have only accomplihed it by reminding myself that I am about to be asleep as I fall asleep,. and while I am awake during the day i tell myself i am awake, sounds silly/corny but worked for me

  6. Tim Radcliffe

    Dream log is something i always wanted to do but seemed to lazy… starting now I will! Also, if you could let me know any kind of medicinal things you have done,

    in your own personal experience,

    NOT making any claims that might be frowned upon by the FDA,

    which may help promote lucid dreams… I would be more then grateful 🙂 tHX!!

  7. Bodhi Shaman

    Tim,

    Although I’m biased because it’s my website, I’m passionate about lucid dreaming, and have tried to offer personal and useful information on the plants and techniques that work best for me over on DreamHerbs.com. One article you might be particularly interested in is the “Lucid Dreaming Made Easy“. It’s how I’ve successfully induced lucid dreams for many, many years now, and I know of a number of people who have reported similar success using the techniques I describe in that article.

    Peace & Dreams,
    Bodhi

  8. Tom

    Gingko leaf is excellent for dreaming as I have just discovered this recently in my experience. I didn’t see it mentioned, so maybe it’s news to you!

  9. starbrother

    Nice article, I’ve been interested in lucid dreaming myself for a long time. I have PTSD, and lucid dreaming has helped me to keep night terrors in check. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to eliminate them completely.

  10. SivaRay

    Thankyou for this blog…,I ordered the dream blend and I plan on starting a similar “ritual” using crystals/stones in my pillow. Apparently this too can affect dreaming, it has been my experience at times, not often though, or perhaps I just fail to recall often. Perhaps the the combination will provide a ‘more often’ remembrance.

  11. Dayal

    I have been reading your detailed information on lucid dreaming. I am keen to cultivate dreaming and whenever I have experienced a lucid dream Ihave felt great on waking up and feel cheerful. However I would like to know how I can have a continuity of this experience by using a particular herb available in India. Holy Basel is easily available.

  12. Bodhi Shaman

    I have never tried Holy Basil in relation to Lucid dreaming, but it makes sense.

    Give it a shot and let us know how is works Dayal!

    Happy Dreaming 🙂

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