Dream Herb (Calea)

Latin:  Calea zacatechii, ternifolia

Family:  Asteraceae

Parts Used:   Leaf 

Taste/Energetics:  Bitter as hell, cooling

Properties:  Dream enhancer, anxiolytic, sedative,  astringent, appetite stimulant, vulnerary, oneirogenic,

Actions:  This is a very interesting plant growing primarily in Mexico and Central America that traditionally has been used by indigenous peoples for its dream enhancing and divinatory powers.  In the Oaxaca area of Mexico, the Chontal people have used it for dreamwork as well as to receive headaches, fevers and to treat diarrhea.

Researchers have noted that those who consume Calea  experience a greater amount of time sleeping in theta states and report a much higher level of dream activity.  Many note its ability to induce a state of lucid dreaming, where images, colors and experiences in dreaming are much more vivid and easier to remember upon waking.   From personal experience, I note that the plant is deeply relaxing, very slightly euphoric and somewhat sedative.  Dreams were far more present and alive and felt more potent with meaning.   Outside of dream work I note this plant is quite relaxing and sedative.

Dosage:  Traditionally this herb is taken by drinking the tea of the leaf and smoking it.  1-2 tsp infused in hot water for 15 minutes.  The taste of the tea is extraordinarily bitter and hard to take.  For some it can induce nausea and even emesis.  Alcoholic tincture extracts are available but I am not familiar with them and wary of anything that is potentized to 5x or 10 x.  One can smoke a few of the leaves as well with good effect but the tea seems to cause a more long lasting effect.

Contraindications:   Avoid with other sedatives, avoid if one has a potential for psychosis.