Across the ages people have been mesmerized by their capability of having dreams. They sought to understand this process and many believed that dreams are messages from the gods, offering insight, wisdom and instructions about one's life. Looking at what we know about ancient civilizations, we see that almost each and every one of them has had a way of inducing dreams, sometimes through a meditative practice, and other times through the use of a substance.
Natively growing in Oaxaca, Mexico, a herb called Calea Zacatechichi was used by the Chontal Native Tribes to induce prophetic dreams and visions. This plant is traditionally ingested by drinking tea made from the herb, while at the same time smoking a Calea Zacatechichi cigarette.
With the help of shamans, people seeking answers or prophetic dreams, would consume this tea and cigarette, with the intention of opening their mind and increasing their capabilities at both experiencing and remembering dreams vividly.
According to the tribe's shamans, Calea Zacatechichi is a plant that purifies the inner senses of human beings, induces a state of euphoria and prepares the dreamer for an inner journey to the seat of the soul.
This plant can also cause mild auditory hallucinations, enhancing sounds and music appreciation. Commonly known as the "Dream Herb", but in Latin its name is "Calea ternifolia"
Main Effects of the Dream Herb
The main and longest lasting effect of this plant is the relaxation that overcomes the user after drinking and/or smoking this herb. It can last over the duration of the whole night, and even deep into the morning. During the night, the primary effect is to enhance the person's ability to experience and remember dreams. The user will have stronger, clearer, dreams, with an increased chance of attaining lucidity for the experience as well.
It can be used to combat insomnia, but keep in mind that you will suffer a small penalty in terms of coordination. Your thoughts and movements might feel a little bit sluggish and tedious, due to the relaxation that will overcome your body, but it isn't by no means extreme.
The safety of Calea Zacatechichi is not deeply researched. There haven't been any recorded clinical trials and personal reports signify the possibility of inducing nausea for the user, often leading to vomiting. Mild hallucinations can be experienced during the experience with this plant.
It is safe to say that this plant has its place as a ritual substance, with a higher goal on mind and it is not to be used haphazardly and recreationally. There are inherent risks associated with this plant. Seeking a strong dream experience can lead you to an uncomfortable position, especially with this plant. Keep in mind that it can make your stomach feel uneasy and have a plan in place if you really need to let go of some fluids. This will prevent the possibility of creating a cleaning errand for yourself down the line.
If you are a pregnant woman, or a mother that is breast-feeding it isn't recommended that you use this plant for the time being. While it might not actually be dangerous, research into Calea Zacatechichi is so minimal that there is no way to know for certain. We urge you to err on the side of caution!
Possibly dangerous combinations and special circumstances:
Alcohol - It is not recommended that you use this plant alongside alcohol, as they can have a negative synergistic effect.
Sedatives - Same as with Alcohol and other depressants. Calea Zacatechichi is a plant that will slow down your body and nervous system. Avoid combining it with anything that affects the body in similar or completely opposite ways.
Allegies - Calea Zacatechichi can potentially cause an allergic rection for people that are sensitive to plants in the Astraceae or Compositae family of plants which consists of ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and various other herbs.
Breathing Disorders - People suffering from various breathing disorders should stay away from Calea Zacatechichi completely, or if they decide to go through with it, use it extremely cautiously. The reason for this is the fact that Calea Zacatechichi will affect your breathing rate, which can cause complications if you have a pre-existing condition.
Diabetes - Calea Zacatechichi can and will lower your blood sugar level. Diabetics should use this plant carefully and with a watchful eye over symptoms of low blood sugar.
Cardiovascular disorders - Calea Zacatechichi will decrease the blood pressure, so both people with heart conditions and those using medication for blood pressure should use caution and potentially completely avoid taking this plant.
Psychiatric disorders: If you've been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, you should avoid this plant, especially if you are still taking medicine for your condition. Using it can consequently cause panic fits and chaotic behavior, due to the fact that it can cause hallucinations, vivid imagery and disorientation.
Personal Dream Herb Experience Reports
Let us have a look at the various statements that we've collected across the internet. We've summarized the reports found most often, with people decribing their methods and experiences with Calea Zacatechichi.
Most often the reports consist of positive statements concerning the ability of this plant to produce clear, vivid and meaningful dreams. People report that after taking the plant, their dreams are extremely easy to remember, they are clear memories, readily available in the morning.
Methods of Consumption
Following the reports we find that there are three main methods that people use to intake Calea Zacatechichi:
Smoking or Vaporizing
Let's have a look at the differences between each method and help you find the most suitable one for you.
The traditional way of using Calea Zacatechichi is through drinking tea. Conveniently it is one of the best ways to take this plant, as it is easily prepared and offers the full range of the Dream Herb's effects.
Most people report that the tea has bitter taste, and so much is true, but some people refer to it as an acquired taste, and pretty much enjoy the relaxing sensation of sipping tea. They find that the tea tastes "earthy", but still pleasant and it reminds them of something natural.
Smoking or Vaporizing
While traditionally, alongside the tea made from Calea Zacatechichi, participants in a Dream ritual would be smoking a cigarette made from the same plant at the together with their tea.
Smoking the herb leads to a faster onset of the relaxing effects, compared to simply drinking tea, and when combined together it essentially overwhelms the body. People often report that this method, combined with the tea leads to a deeper and more engaging experience in the dream state.
An alternative to smoking the herb is to vaporize it, which is a much healthier way of using the plant, as it reduces the harmful effects of burning organic matter. Most people report that the taste is bitter, and provokes an uncomfortable reaction in their body, but this isn't the case when the plant is vaporized.
The modern way of taking this plant is through a capsule, completely eliminating any contact with the taste and smell of the plant. You can easily make your own capsules. Empty capsules are sold, which can then be filled with the dry plant and ingested before going to sleep.
It is best to start with one capsule and experiment in order to discover your optimal dosage and timing of intake.
The dose varies according to many different factors. Age and health conditions are one of the deciding factors that will decide the dose per use. While we wish there was more information available, at this time it is simply unknown if there are other factors and what their influence over the dosage is.
What is important with Calea Zacatechichi, or any other plant for that matter, is to practice safety first and experiment slowly and carefully. Consults with your doctor or a pharmacist if you feel like you need more information, and do everything in your power to avoid inflicting damage to yourself or others.
Natural products are not always safe, but even though Calea Zacatechichi is considered to be a low-risk plant, used by many people across the world, we would still ask you to be careful and to strongly consider making slow and steady steps into your dream journey with this plant.