Best Herbs For Lucid Dreaming
Let's just get one thing straight...
Herbs are freaking incredible!
These days many of us are aware that herbs can be used for more than simply adding flavor to our food. We see them everywhere - in teas, supplements, beauty products and natural healing remedies.
But what many people may not know, is that they can also be used to enhance your dreams, promote dream recall, and deepen your spiritual exploration!
Did you know that for as long as humankind has been alive & curious, we have used herbs to not only increase the clarity and vividness of our dreams but also improve dream recall and... even trigger lucid dreams ?
That's right, the incredible phenomenon where you can wake up inside your dreams and explore the astral realm consciously, can be triggered just by using certain herbs.
But which herbs help enhance your dreams? Which will help you to remember them and which will trigger the lucid ones?
I have spent many years experimenting with different dream-enhancing herbs, known as 'oneirogens' and this is really the foundation of Despierta.
An oneirogen (from the Greek oneiros meaning ‘dream’ and gen ‘to create’) is something that produces or enhances dream-like states of consciousness.
Here are 5 of the very best herbs for lucid dreaming (in alphabetical order):
- Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort)
- Calea Zacatechichi (Mexican Dream Herb)
- Nymphaea Caerulea (Blue Lotus)
- Passiflora Incarnata (Passion Flower)
- Turnera Diffusa (Damiana)
Our personal DREAM potion blend, Astral Traveler, masterfully combines all 5 of these powerful herbs together alongside other magical amplifying ingredients (peppermint & orange peel) to take your dreamtime to the next level.
Put simply, our oneirogenic blends are masterfully formulated with specific plants, flowers and gems that induce lucidity – waking awareness & clarity - in both your dreamtime and waking life.
Here's a bit more information about each ingredient for those curious..✨
Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort)
Mugwort, also known as wild wormwood, is one of the most popular herbs to aid lucid dreaming. Mugwort is known to make dreams more vivid, improve your dream recall and can heighten awareness in the dream state (helps you to become lucid).
Mugwort is often used in modern witchcraft as a visionary herb, to amplify psychic vision, induce prophetic dreams and give access to "divine visions". It is also used by pagans during summer solstice celebrations. The North American Chumash Indians referred to mugwort as "dream sage" and used it for hundreds of years to promote positive dreams.
Herbalist Scott Kloos, says that mugwort leaves in all forms including tea, tincture, smoke, or even hung above the bed or placed under the pillow, can promote vivid dreams and help uncover, access, and transform areas of psychic unconsciousness.
How does mugwort help to increase lucid dreams?
Mugwort contains a chemical called Thujone, which is also found in gin and absinthe and may be (at least partly) the cause behind the psychoactive effects. The pharmacological effects of thujone are very similar to those of THC (one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis).
Mugwort makes it easier to fall asleep and seems to push REM sleep to later stages of the night. It also improves dream recall due to its relationship with the GABA neurotransmitter. This relationship to GABA increases the ability to recall dreams at later periods of time in the night when GABA transmission is less and the brain is able to create long-term memories.
Other mugwort uses
Mugwort doesn't only give you rememberable and lucid dreams, but has a whole host of other health benefits and uses. This popular herb can be used to calm nerves, regulate the menstrual cycle, as a diuretic, a flavouring in food, to help with anxiety, depression, restlessness, and headaches.
Calea Zacatechichi (Also known as Aztec Dream Grass or Mexican Dream Herb)
What is Calea Zacatechichi?
Calea Zacatechichi, is one of the most effective and most popular herbs for lucid dreaming. The Aztec name Zacatechichi is translated as "bitter grass" and may have helped Aztec magicians (nagualli) travel deeper into Tlalocan, the realm of dreams.
This herb has been scientifically proven in studies to increase dream clarity and vividness. There are two kinds of Calea, the bitter and the non-bitter variety. The bitter Calea has been proven to be more potent and is the one we personally use here at Despierta for Astral Traveler.
There are many reported effects using Calea Zacatechichi. The most common include: increase in dream clarity and realism, increase in the number of dreams, more intense imagery when falling asleep, lucid dreaming (where you realise you are dreaming and can take control of your dream), vividness to dreams and a calming effect when falling asleep.
Blue Lotus (Nymphaea Caerulea)
The sacred Blue Lotus contains the psychoactive alkaloid apomorphine which is present in all parts of the plant, with the highest concentrations in the leaves and the flowers. A beautiful flower from ancient Egypt that works as an aphrodisiac and heightens awareness. Mild hallucinations can occur at higher doses (not within our Astral Travel recommended dosage), and was known as the party drug of the Ancient Egyptians! When taken before bed, it induces vivid and lucid dreams.
Also known as maypop, this beautiful climbing vine, native to the United States has long been used as a herb to aid anxiety and insomnia. Studies have proved that drinking a daily dose of passion flower tea improves the quality of sleep, and trials have shown it to relive anxiety too.
How does Passion Flower Aid Lucid Dreaming?
But, although sleep quality may be of some benefit to those seeking lucid dreams, it is the passion flowers ability to potentiate (enhance) other herbs and drugs which is of most interest to dream explorers. The roots and leaves of the Passion flower contain alkaloids (mostly Harmane) that function as MOA inhibitors (MOAIs) and these are able to increase the effects of mind-altering drugs. So, Passion Flower added to your herbal blend, can increase the effects of other lucid dreaming herbs such as Calea Zacatechichi, Mugwort and Silene Capensis.
Turnera Diffusa (Damiana)
Turnera Diffusa, commonly known as Damiana, is a small woody shrub from Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. The plant produces small yellow flowers that have a spicy sweet aroma. Damiana comes from the same family as passion flower, Passifloraceae, and the two herbs work synergistically together to produce a relaxing state that helps you to fall asleep faster and have more memorable dreams.
How does damiana help lucid dreaming?
Many people report that using damiana before sleep can cause vivid and lucid dreams. This may be due to the affect damiana has on brain chemistry. Damiana works similar to passion flower and galantamine, my inhibiting AChE in the brain, which increases acetylcholine, and in turn, increases memory and cognitive function.
Because damiana is also a great aphrodisiac, many people report their dreams on damiana are particularly erotic and sensual as well as increasing the chances of becoming lucid.
How to make the perfect brew..
If you'd like to learn more about how to sip these powerful herbs in tea form via our oneirogenic potion blend, Astral Traveler, be sure to read all about it & its benefits on our product page!