Want to experience a lucid dream tonight? Try these herbs…

Want to experience a lucid dream tonight? Try these herbs…

Have you ever wondered how to lucid dream or why it even matters? This article explains all you need to know about lucid dreaming and how to experience it yourself.


For the average person, discovering the answer to questions like “what is lucid dreaming” or “how to lucid dream” may feel unimportant. But if you’re on a path of spiritual growth, you may feel an inexplicable pull to explore the mystical world of dreams.

The only problem is that for many, taking control of their dream world through lucid dreaming is tricky… unless they have a little help. 

Fortunately, there are special ancient herbs that have been used to do exactly this for thousands of years.

They are known as oneirogens, 

Interested in giving them a try? Read on to discover how (and which) oneirogens can help you discover how to lucid dream.


How to lucid dream with ancient herbs

You may want to dive right into finding out how to lucid dream, but there are a few things you need to know first. You’ll need this information to decide if lucid dreaming is the right thing for you and the best way to get started.

These include what lucid dreaming is, how it can improve your spiritual well-being and the different herbs for dreaming (oneirogens) that are best for lucid dreams.

What is lucid dreaming

The simplest definition of lucid dreaming is knowing you're dreaming while you’re asleep. This can present in many ways depending on how well-versed you are in lucid dreaming.

For some, it's simply an awareness that they are dreaming (but with minimal control over the dream itself), while others may have full control of what they do in their dreams and how the dream unfolds. 

Some people can lucid dream intentionally, while others have less control over when they lucid dream.

According to sleep researchers, frequent lucid dreaming is pretty rare.

Around half of the general population experience lucid dreaming once in their lifetime, but only 1% have lucid dreams regularly (every week).

Most lucid dreams happen during the stage of the sleep cycle known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this stage, activity in the part of your brain called the prefrontal cortex is at an all-time high.

But at the same time, your voluntary muscles (like those in your arms and legs) are mostly paralysed (that’s why it’s hard to run fast in your dreams).

REM sleep starts around 90 minutes after you fall asleep, and alternates with non-REM sleep in cycles. The first cycle lasts around 10 minutes, then each subsequent REM stage gets longer and longer  eventually reaching up to an hour.

Why would anyone want to lucid dream?

Ok, so now you know what lucid dreaming is, you may be wondering why controlling your dreams matters  after all, dreams aren’t real… right?

Well, that’s not strictly true… but we’ll get into that later on.

For now, let’s look at the most common reason why more and more people are actively trying to bring about lucid dreams: fun.

We can do amazing things in our dreams  things that are impossible in real life, like flying, going back in time and travelling to other planets.

Dreams also let us live out our greatest fantasies.

Remember the last time you had an amazing dream that made you feel so good you were actually sad when you woke up (or you went back to sleep, hoping to dive straight back into the same dream)? 

Imagine if you could experience that feeling on demand.

Lucid dreaming lets you do that… if you become really good at it.

While lucid dreaming is fun, it has much deeper benefits than being able to fly on command. Research into this area has found that lucid dreaming helps with spiritual growth by providing an opportunity to have mystical experiences and connect with the spirit world. 

So, if you believe you’re a spiritual being having a temporary physical experience, dreams help connect you back to your spiritual origin.

Is lucid dreaming hereditary?

As mentioned above, a small percentage of people are natural lucid dreamers and do so several times a week. But this raises the question: why do some people lucid dream with ease, while others don’t?

Research on this topic is still lacking and there’s no clear answer on if lucid dreaming is hereditary. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that people who come from a family of deep sleepers or vivid dreamers seem to lucid dream with more ease than the average person.

Herbs for dreaming

Several herbs are well known for their ability to trigger or encourage lucid dreams. But before we look at the most popular ones, there’s one thing you need to know.

Oneirogens have been traditionally used in indigenous cultures across the world for thousands of years. They are considered intelligent plant teachers, and as such, they give you the lessons and experience you need, rather than what you want.

This means that while the herbs listed below are known to help with lucid dreaming, there’s no guarantee that you will always have a lucid dream when you consume them, and there's no way to know what your lucid dream experience will be like.

The effects of these herbs are also usually cumulative, which means you traditionally need to take them for several days in a row before their lucid dream effect emerges.

Mexican Dream Herb

Also known as Calea zacatechichia, Mexican dream herb is a shrub plant that’s native to Mexico. And as its name suggests, it has a long history of use as a dream aid. Like many indigenous plants, its biochemical makeup hasn’t been extensively studied, so it's still not clear why it can affect dreams.

But anecdotal reports support the idea that it really can transform your dream experiences in several ways: 

  • Encourages lucid dreams you can control
  • Makes your dreams more vivid, longer and easier to understand (less jumpy) 
  • Improves your ability to remember your dreams when you wake up
  • Improves your understanding of the symbolic meaning behind your dreams

How it’s used: Take it before going to sleep  either as a tea or smoked. You can also sprinkle it under your pillow at night for dream support.


African Dream Root

Hailing from South Africa, African dream root (also known as Silene undulata or Silene capensis) is revered as a sacred plant by the Xhosa people of South Africa and used during shamanic initiation ceremonies.

The Xhosa call it “undlela zimhlophe,” which means “the way or path of white symbols”.

Its root is ground into a powder, which is mixed with water and agitated to form a foam, which is eaten to bring about:

  • Prophetic dreams - ones that predict what will happen in the future
  • Communicate with ancestors through dreams
  • Encourage lucid dreams

It’s thought that the high saponin content of African dream root is responsible for its impact on dreams.

How it’s used: Take it in the morning. You won’t feel any effects during the day, but they will come on once you go to sleep at night. Most people start to experience lucid dreams after taking the root for up to 5 days in a row. 



African Dream Bean

Known as Entada rheedii, African dream bean are large brown seeds from a vine that grows in southern Africa, Australia and Asia.

The hard beans with a fleshy white inside were traditionally carried around by South Africans for good luck. When the bean naturally cracked open, the fleshy inside would be eaten to bring about lucid dreams and to get messages from your ancestors via your dreams. 

How it's used: Eat the contents of one seed or brew it in hot water and drink like tea before going to sleep. 


Blue Lotus Flower

Scientifically known as Nymphaea caerulea, blue lotus flower isn’t a lotus flower at all. It’s a water lily with documented use that dates back to ancient Egypt, where it naturally grew along the Nile river.

Blue lotus flower was used by the Egyptians for healing and shamanic rituals. They would drink it as tea, soak it in wine to form a euphoria-inducing elixir or smoke it to relax and/or as an aphrodisiac.

It has a long recorded history as an adaptogen that can find areas of the body, mind, and soul that needs healing and restore it into balance. But its dream enhancing abilities are attributed to two opiate-like alkaloids (apomorphine and nuciferine). Apomorphine in particular has mild psychoactive properties that can:

  • Trigger vivid dreams and visions
  • Bring about deep sleep
  • Relax the body and calm the mind

Spiritually, blue lotus flower has a long history as a treasured flower. The goddess Isis made perfume from it, while Cleopatra bathed in it.

And its blue colour is the same as that of the third eye chakra, which possibly explains why it's considered to be the flower of intuition.

How it's used: Stepped in hot water to form a tea, smoked or soaked in wine (taken as a tincture or an elixir).


Also known as Artemisia vulgaris, mugwort is a common flowering plant that grows across Europe, Asia, North Africa and the Americas.

Mugwort’s relationship to all things magical comes from its name. Artemisia refers to the Greek goddess Artemis (aka Diana in Roman mythology). She was considered the goddess of the moon in Roman mythology, and as such, mugwort is thought to harness the magical and transformative powers of the moon  and this links it to the Dreamtime.

It's a natural anti-anxiety remedy that also relaxes and sedates, and this has the cumulative effect of helping bring about sleep.

When smoked or drunk, it can encourage lucid dreaming. Some people believe this is because it contains a ketone called thujone, which acts on the GABA receptor - a brain receptor that’s responsible for relaxation. But so far, there isn’t any research to support this claim.

How it's used: Steeped in hot water to form a tea, smoked in its dry form or burned as a smudging herb.

How to work with dream herbs

To get the most from an oneirogen, you need to be in a relaxed and sleepy state to begin with. That’s why it’s often helpful to pair your dream herb of choice with a natural calming, sleep-inducing herb like valerian root, red lotus flower, white lotus flower or damiana.

But remember that while oneirogens are natural, like any herbal medicine, they can cause side effects and interact with medication. And because they can affect how your brain works, there is a risk of unexpected side effects if you have a mental health condition.

Always check with your doctor before trying a herbal medicine

Want to know more about how else oneirogens can improve your dreams and how they can support your spiritual and emotional wellbeing? This article explores 5 ancient herbs for unlocking your subconscious through your dreams.

This article was all about how to lucid dream with ancient herbs.

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