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Nine Months of Almost Daily Trials
Various Dream Herbs
Citation:   bravedog. "Nine Months of Almost Daily Trials: An Experience with Various Dream Herbs (exp116709)". Erowid.org. Nov 19, 2022. erowid.org/exp/116709

  oral Various (tea)
    oral Various (dried)
    oral Various (extract)
Dream herbs - my experience summary

59 putative dream herbs: Heimia salicifolia, Tilia spp, ashwaganda, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Harpagophytum procumbens, Tagetes lucida, Entada Rheedii, Huperzine A, Lactuta virosa, blue cheese, nelumbo nucifera, Artemisia Vulgaris, Salvia officinalis, etc.

My explorations have largely been in two periods, the first perhaps 15 years ago of the most famous dream herbs: calea, mugwort, silene c., tagetes lucida, and entada r.; and this attempted comprehensive exploration starting in earnest 12/21 and concluded 9/5/22
this attempted comprehensive exploration starting in earnest 12/21 and concluded 9/5/22
after 9 months of almost daily trials. It included my first ever herb-induced lucid dreams [I've had spontaneous ones a few times a year], by sinicuichi, by Holy Basil, by entada, by huperzine A (2x), and by linden flowers (3x).

I note here that the great majority of tested herbs are non-psychoactive at least for me. Of course any strong psychoactive is likely to also affect dream consciousness and strong psychoactives are specifically excluded from this survey. Without exception except for sinicuichi (and a single nymphaea trial and a single nelumbo trial), teas used here were not psychoactive for me. Smoking herbs or their extracts described here can often be mildly psychoactive including Tagetes, imphepho, nymphaea, lactuca, mugwort and other thujone herbs, calea, nicotine, entada, and lemongrass; teas in much heavier quantities might become psychoactive. I always include note of any perceived psychoactivity if present as well as any prospective health issues within the herb notes.

6 months in [6/22] I belatedly noticed that eating at the same time as taking the dream herb sometimes dramatically reduces effects: with devils claw its strong effects were obliterated, with prodigiosa and I think mugwort reduced. I often snack in the evening and while I didn't notice diminishing effects for other herbs I had the idea there was no interference so wasn't alert to such possible effects. While fasting is unnecessary, snacking or eating shortly before bed is recommended against while using dream herbs. Also, 1 trial dissolving ashwaganda in lemonade an hour before taking, rendered this very effective dream herb completely ineffective, probably because of acidic decomposition.

I'll try to indicate about how many times tried and usage; when 'tea' is mentioned without other specification, I prepare by microwaving in a cup of water 2 minutes and steeping 15 minutes an hour before bed; I don't consider effects probably real till confirmed at least 3 times or indisputable effect. I abstain from other psychoactives on days of trials, except for coffee. For more on my methods, idiosyncracies, use of terms, and reflections, see the final paragraphs.

Below I list plants from most to least interesting.

Dream effects:

Sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia) Interestingly though not powerfully psychoactive, this needs careful dosing - the 15g widely recommended will poison you with horrid body aches possibly for days, poison effects start around 7g. It's produced dreams of a really unique and attractive quality, vivid and somewhat magical, and my first-ever herb-assisted lucid dream. Half-dozen trials, a tea of 3-5g. Strong dream effects exist for the 1st half of the night. Traditional tea prep is to steep the leaves in warm water [sun tea] for 24 hours, which is a lot of prep and for me had significant variation in strength depending on the irregular conditions. Simply boiling 5g an hour and 30 minutes, and smoking concentrate, both had slightly weaker dream effects in the same range, but boiling .7g 10x did not.

Linden - all teas leaves and flowers except T. Platyphyllos flowers: [Tilia europa] - 3 1 tsp trials dramatically improved dream recall, crammed with dreams; 2 nights with nightmare aspects for parts; some longer dreams which on 2 nights persisted for hours over multiple awakenings; included 2 lucid flying dreams! 1 trial tsp tilia cordata, included 2 long connected dreams 1st part of which had an extraordinary mythic quality. 1 trial tilia anericana heaping tsp, lots of and long dreams, some interesting, tending to include unsettling themes. 1 trial heaping tsp tilia argentum, moderately increased recall, included sleep paralysis hallucinations leading into a lucid flying dream. 1 trial heaping tsp tilia platyphyllos [Greek linden], significantly increased recall with some long.

Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera) - per dreamherbs boiled 3 minutes, drank tea hour before bed, diuretic, frequent need to get up seemingly thus increased frequency of dream recall; better has been eating, tried at 3g put to sleep, 2g and 1g best, .5g - with all, seemed to dream a lot and have recalled fragments and some long segments; this seems to increase recall and also though sometimes subtly change dream quality to more detail/colorful/3D.

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum, ocimum gratissimum) 3 trials ocimum gratissimum tsp and heaping tsp tea, increased recall, one with 45 seconds beautiful 'video', 2nd trial with 2 lucid/flying dreams. 2 trials Ocimum tenuiflorum a few months later with very different profile 1 heaping and 2 heaping tsp, both with long dream 1st REM, 2 tsp with perhaps the longest dream in 6 months, but both then followed with almost no succeeding recall, 2 tsp trial making evident recall being actively suppressed though lots of dreams occurring. Also, content less interesting, and sleep late in night disturbed. Should try after chamomile tea, see entries for blue cheese and tagetes.

Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) 3 trials 1g swallowed hour before bed, 1st and 3rd trial dramatically increased recall and also without seeming to alter perceptual quality both had very interesting content including 2 with music, 1 dream poem, giant waves, one with mythic quality, lynx, exhilarating sliding on ice. Trial 2 ate some with it and obliterated any effects!

Tagetes lucida - around 2000 tried smoking, not near bedtime, herb and extract a few times with only bland placebo-level psychoactivity and abandoned as unpromising. - Usage directions are now much more available but very contradictory, with different sources claiming and denying only fresh leaves active, boiling destroys effectiveness, quantity to be used, chamomile tea chemicals should potentiate, etc. In 2022 one hour after 2 tsp chamomile tea then boiled 2g tagetes 5 minutes and drank an hour before bed, also smoking unpleasantly harsh leaf placebo-level psychoactive, 1st half of night dreamed but couldn't retrieve even a clear image, but 2nd half of night very interesting, 1 nearly lucid in which I was telling someone about my ingestion method and that I still felt the possible psychoactivity, knew I'd taken it before sleep, that it was the middle of the night, that I hadn't woken up, yet still accepted the conversation as real; followed by hours with many remembered, interesting, vivid, and seemingly altered-quality dreams. 1 trial hour after chamomile tea 1g 20x powder sublingual 2 hours before bed, significant mildish 'lucid' semi-psychedelic psychoactivity when awake, moderately increased dream recall, 1st half of night like a magickal fantasy novel, mildly altered perceptual quality. 1 trial 3 heaping tsp tagetes tea hour after 2 heaping tsp chamomile tea, half hour after tagetes weird groggy feeling, stayed awake an hour after but felt like I was almost falling asleep; moderately increased dreams but degraded recall and altered quality to less interesting, narrative but semi-thoughtlike, less coherent than usual, except at end of night. I won't repeat this method, which was an attempt to use leaves without the harsh smoking.

Entada rheedii - 1st thing I got was a giant rock-hard bean which is probably still in a drawer somewhere. I later found powdered, and then a sort of soft cork like extract which I tried at increasingly large doses, to no effect. Others relate positive experiences. Probably tried a dozen times, discouraged. 8/22 1 trial 1.5g 20x, probably mildly psychoactive, moderately increased recall. 1 trial about .2g 50x smoked, mildly psychoactive, greatly increased recall, including a lucid flying dream, 2 near-lucid, some bizrre dreams including my flat wife. 1 trial .5g 100x probably mildly psychoactive, moderately increased recall, strongly altered perceptual dream quality most marked for 1st dreams which also had almost frighteningly hallucinogenic endings.

Huperzine A - 4 trials 200 mcg greatly increased recall, included 2 lucid dreams incl flying, bad nightmares. But, Nutricost huperzine caps seem the most wildly unstandardized of any supplement I've ever used, with 1 trial amped unable to sleep 1st 4 hours and another trial completely inactive; better to use a GMP-certified brand.

Lactuca virosa (wild lettuce, lettuce opium) - 2 trials smoked about half gram strong extract finished 90 minutes before bed, mildish interesting psychoactivity, strongly increased recall including long detailed dreams, early strongly altered quality especially 2nd trial maybe most altered quality of these 6 months of experiments. Tried insufflating, no apparent effects. 2 trials sublingual powdered concentrate .5g and 1g, half as strong as equal quantity smoked, many dreams with diminished altered quality 1st trial, more altered and interesting 2nd trial though increase in recall less marked than other trials.

Blue cheese - a British Cheese Board study said 20g blue cheese before bed was reported by over 80% of subjects to increase dreaming, with many bizarre dreams. 3 trials 20g half hour before bed, 1st trial moderately more dreams than usual, some kind of interesting but not bizarre, included a painting by an elephant. 2nd trial also increased dream recall moderately, but this time had 2 truly awesome dreams, one in obliquely lit cavern with amazing beautiful semi-humanoid natural formations, the other watching tidal wave or blast sweep twice across major city 10m away. Also seemed possibly to have slightly altered perceptual property. Possibly much more powerful trial 2 because had 2 tsp chamomile tea an hour earlier. (Chamomile inhibits CYP1A2 and for this reason is claimed by some to potentiate tagetes lucida and some essential oil ingredients including estragol, also in holy basil, and possibly anethol - for this reason I drink chamomile before tagetes for dreaming though I can't confirm effect. Nothing in blue cheese would seem to suggest chamomile would have any effect) - it should also work with Holy Basil which also contains estragol [which blue cheese doesn't, however]. Trial 3 again w chamomile, disappointing, marginally increased dreams only and some strange, altered quality like trial 2 so I still suspect chamomile influence, but nothing awesome like trial 2. In sum, blue cheese does seem to alter dreaming, changing perceptual quality slightly and tending to increase bizarreness as well as increasing recall, possibly especially when combining with chamomile. But effects seem somewhat inconsistent.

Lotus flowers (Nelumbo nucifera) 1 trial white var. Tsp tea, many dreams including two long, fairly strong recall increase and possibly increased dreaming, no noticeable alteration in quality; 1 trial pink var. Tsp tea slightly psychoactive, many dreams including some long and with altered quality, some interesting with SF, alien, beautiful mountain, parakeets singing, twice playing music; 1 trial heaping tsp stamens tea, not waking psychoactive though supposedly stamens more active than flower, many dreams, very mild altered quality early in night. - All 3 types had a similar high level of recall, but effects were better with the apparently more actives, in my case, flowers, with interesting altered quality but also more interesting content; so in future I'd try higher doses of the other types.

Artemisa vulgaris (Mugwort) - Probably tried a dozen times smoking resin and taking essential oil around 2000, seemed mildly psychoactive but I didn't detect any dream impact for me though aware of its dream usage, possibly because with high thujone concentrations recall is impaired for me. I had a friend then who swore mugwort pillow altered her dreams. Mugwort contains thujone which can build up in tissues over weeks of repeated use and suddenly cause seizures, and this probably happened to me taking too much essential oil (though many essential oils are dangerous). US Gov says however simple teas are very unlikely to cause problems if not over-used; though thujone isn't water-soluble, a ncbi study [of sage tea] established teas do contain significant thujone though at 30% of maximum alcohol concentrations. In 5/22 three trials tsp tea before bed, seem to alter dream quality, more vivid, some more interesting, slight improvement in recall but not in dream quantity probably, nothing yet super long.

Other thujone herbs, probably identical effects though with somewhat varied thujone concentrations [which also vary strongly depending on sample] and balance of thujones alpha and beta [though effects and toxicity generally combine these]:

Other mugworts include:
Chinese mugwort (Artemisia argyi) 1 trial heaping tsp tea, but very fluffy, tea hardly bitter, maybe underdosed; dreamed with poor recall most of night with one long dream at the end with fairly strong typical thujone quailty
California mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana) 1 trial tsp tea marginally increased recall with mild typical thujone altered quality, supposedly stronger sp but should have doubled dose
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) 1 trial smoking about .33g extract, mildly psychoactive like yarrow but slightly weaker, similar effects to mugwort tea with altered quality especially early in the night but suppression of recall also then; 1 trial tsp tea modestly increased recall last third of night, typical thujone alteration of dream quality

Totally different thujone species:
Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) 1 trial tbsp leaf tea boiled 10 minutes, typical thujone altered quality, many dreams
American sage (Salvia officinalis) 1 trial tsp tea, typical thujone altered quality, increased recall, couple minutes music and coordinated dance, frog, painting by cat
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) 1 trial smoked maybe .25g, mildly psychoactive, dreamed and with altered quality early but no real recall, remembered only a couple dreams at end of night, not promising in this form - too much thujone seems to repress dream recall
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) [not trying tansy tea which supposedly has led to deaths in adults from 10 drops oil and even from tea, attributed IMO probably insufficiently to its thujone content which is only somewhat higher than other herbs not seemingly enough so to account for its reported greatly increased toxicity] and
Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) [not trying, considered unsafe for continuing or overdosed use] are thujone herbs which presumably have the same dream effects, but seem never mentioned as dream herbs. (White cedar also seems unmentioned but does have same dream effects)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) up to 3g tea 4/22 no effect)
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) 2 tsp mild impairment of dream recall; .6g 20x sublingual/swallowed, no definite effects

All thujone herbs are sometimes mentioned as added to dream pillows; while non-dream herbs are often included in dream pillows, among the dozens of putative dream herbs in this list, none not containing thujone seem to be thus used.

Ilex guayusa - vivid interesting dreams, 3 trials tsp tea had very good dream recall, after several tries effect likely real, quality usually didn't seem altered.

Ginkgo biloba - 3 trials each 6g tea over 4 days, consistent mild alteration in dream quality, consistent but decreasing degradation in completeness of recall with no dream segment much over 1 minute recalled, patchiness; 1st trial significant apparent increase in dream quantity, decreasing to little above normal by trial 3; so, possible tolerance at least in short term. 1st trial included 40 seconds very beautiful 'video' and art

MSM - 1g trial most interesting because could recall in 1st couple hours when dream quality significantly altered, trippy visual quality, also action kind of weird. - Later in night at all doses only placebo level such changes though probably real. - At 2g the significant countervailing MSM effects of increased amount of dreaming plus degradation of recall both set in, only any recall in 2nd half of night, then some increase overall in dreams remembered but nothing long. At 3g before bed dramatically increased dreaming and dramatically decreased recall. Remembered 12 blurred dream fragments each of a few seconds, pretty pointless at this dose, better 1g.

Bobinsana Bark Powder (Calliandra angustifolia) - MAOI, harmaine; 2 trials tsp tea drunk incl powder increased recall; early [1st couple hours] dream quality strange, altered, kind of plastic; 1 trial 3 tsp boiled 10 minutes too stimulating and could get only 4 hours sleep, during that, improved dream recall (without apparent increase in quality or quantity). Far better at the lower dose.

Prodigiosa (Brickellia grandifloria) - tsp tea no apparent effects, but 2 trials 2 tsp tea increased number of dreams remembered, once dramatically, in both though at 2 week interval including minutes spent making electronic music [and once listening to 'koto' duet]. Snacking while imbibing reduced effects somewhat.

Shatavari Root (Asparagus racemosus) 2 trials ate 1g significantly increased recall, 1st trial interesting incl singing/composing jazz tunes; possible mild alteration in quality i.e. visuals clear but none brightly lit, last hour of sleep included both times a dozen or more 30 seconds or less fragments

Piri piri (Cyperus articulatus) - 1 trial 1g tea boiled 10 minutes moderately increased dream recall; 2 trials 2g tea boiled 10 minutes significantly increased recall including long dreams, visually interesting parts, one with 1-2 minutes oral text art; 1 trial 1g 20x root powder extract sublingual, many dreams, similar to root powder but with a longer dream and a shorter period of many brief fragments at end of night

Calea zacatechichi is the first one I tried that worked, 20 years ago, when smoking very mildly psychoactive resin definitely led to strange and vivid dreams, tried 8-12 times. In 8/22 .25g 200x eaten, mildly psychoactive, moderate increase in recalled dreams, possible subtly different perceptual quality, some interesting e.g. believed sugar was concentrated mountains extract; 18mg 99$ germacranolides extract similar to 250x but slightly less psychoactivity, dreams mostly SF/magic themes; 2 tsp tea, similar increase in dreams but more fragmentary recall in early ones, more bizarre. It seems as if concentrates while very interesting have removed something affecting dreams quality. One trial 1g 20x moderately increased recall, 1st dream of night truly bizarre structural elements and transformations, others with SF themes; this lower power extract is closer to full spectrum than the also interesting more concentrated extracts

Bacopa monnieri - 3 trials, .75g, 1g, 1.5g 20x swallowed, dreamt a lot with more bizarre early with recall degraded early in lower trials and later in last; in 1st 2 recall slightly increased, in 1.5g trial greatly with 19 dreams though many short, most interesting early, incl 3rd trial like musical comedy w duet sung on raised streets descending stairs, wacky problems

Wild asparagus root (Aspargus cochinchinensis) 2 trials 2g 1 trail 1g tea boiled 6 minutes, moderately increased dreams, included weird aliens, art of disassembly, playing music. 2g better.

Sweet Gale (Myrica gale) - 4 trials 2 tsp tea had very good dream recall, quality usually didn't seem altered.

Galantamine - studies show 'galantamine significantly increased dream recall, sensory vividness and complexity'. 2 trials 8mg hour before bed. Seems to slightly increase dreaming while fragmenting dream recall, in sum ending with about baseline level of recall or slightly more, but with bizarre and strange content including insect scientist, multiple false awakenings, possible mild alteration in experiential quality

Synaptolepis kirkii - definitely affected my dreams quality, kind of like using a different film stock or coating reality with varnish .3g tea had no effect, .7g tea as described, used twice. Apparent suppressed dream recall make it less useful.

Vitamin B6 - Four trials 250mg increased dream time and recall, mostly 2nd half of night, though this included 2 nightmares 1st trial.

5-HTP -Three trials 200-300mg similar pattern of increased recall mostly in 2nd half of the night, as B6. 200mg seems adequate dose.

Choline - take some mornings with racetams; 3 trials hour before sleep about 1g seem to increase number of dream fragments recalled, possibly time spent dreaming; only one included long dreams remembered

Rhodiola rosea - Three trials at 120mg, 150mg, and 185mg in tincture moderately increased recall but not dream quantity or quality, no evident difference between different dosages

Sugandi (Hemidesmus indica) Simmered not boiled 1 oz. Whole root 2 hours and drank hour before bed. Dreams all night including the longest I remember in 6 months. Effective but too much expense and hassle. - Tsp powdered root in tea, no effect. - 5g swallowed, increased recall and probably dreaming incidence last hours of night, but nothing long like the 1 oz.

Damiana (Turnera diffusa) - from previous explorations seemed completely inactive to me beyond a skin flush at very high doses (over 1 oz tea). No apparent effects smoking. 4/22 two tsp tea before bed, no dream effects. 8/22 three trials smoking .25g 50x resin, psychoactivity T1 possible T2 likely T3 definite mild; recall increase T1 slight T2 significant T3 moderate. Tendency to weird morphs and transitions, some bizarre content.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon schoenanthus) - 3 trials smoked about .5g, increased recall significantly 1st 2 and moderately 3rd trial, including longer segments, strongest effects earlier in night. Briefly marginally psychoactive

Chromoleana odorata (false/'non-bitter' calea) - purchased from Sri Lanka as calea z where it is a common invasive, think not calea because not very bitter, less effects, common false ID. Most Sri Lanka calea sales which picture leaves are this rather than calea. - Trials at 1, 2, 3 heaping tsp tea all degraded recall till end of night then with many [around 10] short dreams in last hour or so, snippets w tsp, many 30 seconds with 2 or 3 tsp. No overall increase in recall with tsp, but moderate increase with 2 and 3 tsp, no apparent change in quality. While less active and interesting in quality change and fantastic themes than true calea this related sp also has activity.

Mimosa silk tree flowers (Albizia julibrissia) 2 trials tsp tea significantly and moderately increased recall, included composing poem [mostly remembered], an hour or 2 in the middle of the night/half hour unable to sleep. 1 trial 1.5g 20x moderately increased recall, but also had extended fantastic definitely altered eidetics at beginning of 2 1/2 hours in the middle of the night unable to sleep, will cut this dose in half. Damage to restful sleep pulls this lower on the list of useful dream herbs

Nymphaea sp, - Around 2010 tried various sp all of which have pain relieving and mild psychoactive qualities, together probably 2 dozen times, never noticed any dream qualities but wasn't looking for them. Told to try tea before bed for dreams, March '22 on (Nymphaea caerula w one trial N. Rubra), tried 1g which seemed to stimulate many dreams but then to blot out all recall except the merest snapshots; 2.5g and 5g induced a strongly altered few hours of dreams and dreamlike state unfortunately also with almost all memories suppressed, followed at the end of the night with more normal possibly slightly increased and better recalled dreams. One trial only seemed to have waking mild psychoactivity. In the somewhat unlikely event these higher dosages might in future be combined with other herbs improving recall of the altered early stages this could be worthwhile, but by itself nymphaea doesn't seem very rewarding for me for dreams. - Combined 5g with 200mg 5-htp, still zero recall till end of night

Nicotine patch 3.5g applied half hour before bed, 3 trials moderately increased recall though 3rd trial doubling that. Contents mostly prosaic, seems to consistently cut short sleep period by 1-2 hours leaving feeling of not being fully rested. Seems of limited value.

Helichrysum stoechas (immortelle, strawflower) related to imphepho which for me was ineffective. Trials at 1tsp, 2 tsp, 3 tsp tea. At 3 tsp, and less certainly at lower doses, somewhat increased dream recall. Unsure if because of herb, but dreams had odd tone.

Ubhubhubhu (Helinus integrifolius) - Tried a whole series including from 1 to 2.5 tsp steeped; smoked; 20 minutes boiled, including 3 successive days as recommended. It consistently damaged depth and restfulness of sleep; consistently impaired dream recall; though hard to really say because of poor recall, most dreams quality seemed unchanged, with two fragments however having dimmer light and less vividness than I almost ever have. As of little value, I'm giving up further exploration.

Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) - activated mycelium, 3 trials 1g-2g eaten, no apparent effects. Fruiting body powder, 3 trials 3-4g, likely marginally improved recall

No dream effects:

Ajos sacha (Pseudocalymma alliaceum) - 2 trials 4.5g root powder mixed in cup of water refrigerated 2.5 days, drunk - suppressed recall to half baseline, an interesting trial 1 flying and transformation into a geometrical pattern dream possibly herb effect or chance, nothing of note trial 2 though

Silene capensis/undulata - this is another one with many very credible positive reports, including from reliable vendors of dream herbs saying it's their most effective, which hasn't worked for me. I read recently it should be used a few successive days, so retried 3 successive days, nothing. Probably tried a dozen times (usually half g eaten) over several years. 8/22 .3g 99% triterenoid saponins extract, no apparent effects.

Melatonin - while not an herb, effects on dreams for some people seem well documented. None for me to 10mg, though I use it as an occasional sleep aid.

Reishi mushroom powder (Ganoderma lucidum) - trials at 1/2 and 2tbsp, seemed to largely suppress dream recall with partial rebound at end of night

While obviously not to be used for their dream qualities, it seems medically accepted that up to 25% of people taking the malaria prophylactics mefloquine and indeed many anti-malarials, have vivid and strange dreams or nightmares. I've been on several of these for months on end and was told by doctors of these side effects. Never had any effect for me.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) - tastes like the inside of an old sneaker smells but ingested for 1-2 weeks 10 years ago during a period of stress and insomnia hoping for sedative and calming effects, noted nothing including dream effects. Retried 3/22 eaten 1g, still nothing. 1 trial 1g 20x sublingual/swallowed, almost totally obliterated any recall and apparently even dreaming

Magnesium glycinate - 3 trials 665mg without significant effect

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) - a tasty tea without dream effects for me, including retrial 4/22 3 heaping tsp tea

Imphepho - separate trials tsp tea Helichrysum petiolare and h. Adoratissimum without effect or possibly somewhat suppressed quality sleep and dream recall; smoked 1g h. Adoratissimum suppressed recall. As main effect on dreams seems suppression of dream recall, and mild psychoactivity when smoked only is mildly pleasant but unremarkable, I am abandoning further trials.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) MAOI. 3 trials 2.5g-5g tea, no effects. Smoked .5g 10x, mild psychoactivity, no dream effects

L-theanine - 300mg no effects

Verbena/vervain (Verbena officinalis) 2g tea seemed to almost totally eliminate dream recall. 1 trial 1g 20x sublingual, made me sleepy and sleep more sound, no effects in recall; uncertain but 1st dream of night may have had somewhat altered quality.

Celastrus paniculatus seeds - .1g 10x with milk seemed to significantly degrade dream recall

Uzara (Xysmalobium undulatum) - 2g root powder swallowed, veiled and reduced dream recall

Mukanya Kude (Acacia xantophloea) - 3 trials 2g bark chips tea boiled 25-45 minutes, no significant effect. Some degradation of recall 1st half of night, total recal same as baseline but slightly more weighted to short snippets.

Yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe) 12mg extract = 1mg yohimbine, no apparent effect: at 1/20 the 'aphrodisiac' dirty speed-like effects dose of yohimbine associated with some fatal results, this trial for dream effects with caution should be safe

I close with information on my methods, idiosyncracies, use of terms, and reflections. I've kept dream journals on and off over the years, and like many, find the practice significantly in itself improves recall. In my 20s I slept soundly and if permitted for 10 hours or so. I tended to awaken occasionally and very briefly after REM periods, and sometimes remembered dreams from these, but more from the last hours of sleep which typically involved more dreaming and more brief awakenings. From my 50s this sleep pattern changed; since then I awaken briefly after most REM periods and at some of these times go to the bathroom, often multiple times in a night. While a bug for continuous sleep, this is a feature as far as dream recall is concerned. Those without this kind of sleep pattern are unlikely to remember as many dreams as I do in this research, in particular missing the first half of the night, which for some dream herbs is by far the most interesting - though for others, the first half of the night may even have dreaming suppressed, with interesting effects coming later.

I believe I tended to remember more dreams in my youth. For my baseline before beginning this research in 12/22, I only remembered dreams 2-3 times a week, I am guessing mostly minute or 30 second fragments of a couple a night. Because dream journal and attention increases recall, I measured a baseline dream recall in May or June, which has increased to 2-3 daily dreams of 30 sec - 1 minute with perhaps a couple snippets, a significant increase.

Terms: Each morning I estimate from dream journal notes the lengths of all dreams to the nearest 30 seconds. For duration I include only the sections recalled, not including in this length even median sections of remembered dreams whose recall is missing. Almost all dreams have significant sections which can't be recalled, in my opinion. If the totalled night's dream length is 50%-100% more than baseline, I call this slightly or marginally increased; if 2x-3x, somewhat or moderately increased; > 3x is significantly increased. Because even a night of baseline sleep could by natural variation be 4x normal, I don't consider dream effects established definitely with less than 3 consistent trials, unless there is a definite change in dream perceptual quality.
I don't consider dream effects established definitely with less than 3 consistent trials, unless there is a definite change in dream perceptual quality.
I think my maximum recall may be around 5x baseline. For recalled dreams which are extremely short, if there is any event change taking place, I call it a snippet. If no event change is apparent, even if as likely it comes with a knowledge of past events, I call it a snapshot. Such dreams are most common by far shortly before waking.

My method of recall is when waking in the night to resist going back to sleep and try to recover as much as possible. Usually, including baseline, I awaken remembering the end of a dream or a vague impression of having dreamt. I seize whatever is available and with a receptive attitude, similar in feel to trying to remember a word, I work backwards until I have what I can get. I then immediately write this up, either by my bed or on a table near the bathroom. Somehow this usually doesn't keep me awake and I can return to sleep quickly. Some dream herbs alter this recall pattern; I may awaken with a significant chunk of dream recalled, but which in seconds dissolves away like melting sugar or chunks flaking off a stone. This is the case with a few of the herbs which for me, though apparently not for others [eg imphepho] actively decrease dream recall. Some others, for me eg nymphaea, leave an impression of having dreamed extensively, but the recall process fails utterly to bring anything concrete back. It's also worth noting that there seem to be significant variability between people on effectiveness of different herbs, though I think many will be effective for most. For me, besides the degradation of recall I experience with nymphaea, imphepho, and some others, I am somehow a hardhead for silene capensis which seems not to affect me at all, though many including at least 2 very experienced and knowledgeable vendors of dream herbs credibly call it their most effective one. Go figure.

Before this series of experiments I knew calea was effective for me but was dubious many others would be effective. I happened to order the very effective linden as well as guayusa and sweet gale, none of which I'd heard of as dream herbs; these results stimulated investigation of others, which turned into this attempt at a complete survey of all dream herbs with what seem to me at least a few credible reports.

Exp Year: 2021-2022ExpID: 116709
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 68
Published: Nov 19, 2022Views: 1,252
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Dreams (85), Various (136) : Unknown Context (20), Multi-Day Experience (13), Retrospective / Summary (11)

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