A few years ago, I was browsing around one of my local herb shops and noticed something I’d never seen before.
I saw a big glass jar full of brown roots high up on one of the shelves.
The label on the jar read:
African Dream Root
“Huh…” I thought to myself.
I’d never heard of this root before.
And as an active dreamer, I was always on the lookout for new plants that could help enhance my dream life.
I asked the clerk in the store about it, but he didn’t know much about it.
All he said was that their customers use it to have vivid and lucid dreams.
I was immediately intrigued and decided to learn as much as I possibly could about this herb.
Now, I am excited to share everything I’ve learned about African Dream Root with you in this in-depth blog post.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- The History of African Dream Root
- The Different Names of African Dream Root
- The Effects of African Dream Root
- How To Prepare African Dream Root
- And More!
Ready to dive in? Let’s start at the beginning.
If you know of any other names for this dream root, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to this article.
The History Of African Dream Root
When it comes to the history of the African or Xhosa Dream Root, I owe a great deal of gratitude to the South African ethnobotanist Jean-Francois Sobiecki. His article on the psychoactive spiritual medicines of the Southern Bantu Diviners is the most comprehensive resource I’ve found on the traditional and practical uses of Xhosa Dream Root.
One of the first things that needs to be considered is why is plays such a crucial role in the culture of the Xhosa people. The reason for this is because the Xhosa people place a great deal of importance on dreams. They view them as a way to connect with the ancestor spirits of their culture.
Traditionally, African Dream Root is used in the preparation of an ubulawu. For lack of a better term, an ubulawu is a psychoactive spiritual medicine made up of a number of psychotropic plants. Ubulawus are used in traditional healing and initiatory settings to help expand someone’s consciousness and connect them with a world beyond our ordinary reality.
Here’s a section from Sobiecki’s abstract that clarifies this point:
“Findings reveal that there is widespread reliance on ubulawu as psychoactive spiritual medicines by the indigenous people of southern Africa to communicate with their ancestral spirits—so as to bring luck, and to treat mental disturbances. In the case of the Southern Bantu diviners, ubulawu used in a ritual initiation process acts as a mnemonic aid and medicine to familiarize the initiates with enhanced states of awareness and related psychospiritual phenomena such as enhanced intuition and dreams of the ancestral spirits, who teach the initiates how to find and use medicinal plants.”
While Xhosa Dream Root is traditionally used in the creation of these psychoactive spiritual medicines, it does have a great power when consumed on its own. I wish I had more information to share with you about this incredible dream root, but the fact of the matter is that there is very little reliable and accessible information about it. As I discover more about this root, I will update this post with new information.