Citation: Tau the Apostate. "Dreamer's Sage: An Experience with Coleus (exp63960)". Erowid.org. Jun 25, 2007. erowid.org/exp/63960
Now, I'm not exactly the most experienced tripper, and I'm young too. At the moment (and at the time of the trip) I'm not quite a sophomore yet (it's summer), and am 6'2.5' and approximately 210 lbs, though that could be a little less. Previously I've used marijuana (in both small and great quantities), 5-HTP (for both antidepressant and recreational purposes), kava extracts, DXM (although I regretted it), small amounts of alcohol, trileptal (a mood stabilizer both used properly and improperly), melatonin, and a small sampling of MDMA (or presumably MDMA, considering how shady ecstasy pills tend to be.) I have been diagnosed bipolar, although I think that the diagnosis is an improper way of describing my brain states, although I have undergone both intense psychedelic and euphoric experiences without the influence of drugs. My tolerance level for every drug is extremely low, so be aware that my dose is most likely very low for the experience I achieved.
So now that the pharmacologically important information is out of the way, I can get to the trip. For a little bit of backstory, I had been rather desperately wanting to trip out. My town is one where finding psychedelics is extremely hard (particularly for someone as young as myself), and I'd become bored of the false-enlightenment of marijuana. While looking around on internet forums, I found a thread about the psychoactive properties of coleus. After doing some online research, I had come to the conclusion that, despite the strong lack of research surrounding it, the effects described were indicative of a most likely harmless plant.
After finding out that I had that very plant in my backyard (although I was lucky in that we had coleus blumei, because all I knew is that it was a coleus plant, many of which aren't in the least psychoactive), I had decided to take a trip on it. Having found out the lowest dose was 6 leaves, I gathered the equivalent of 6 leaves from my backyard plants. I then placed the leaves in a paper towel, put it in my pocket, and continued on my day.
Later that night, my parents had gone to bed, and I had confirmed that I had no pressing responsibilities the next day (in case the effects went too long or there was a massive comedown.) Taking the leaves out of my pocket, I rolled them into a rather large quid. Realizing that chewing the whole quid at once would be impractical, I bit the quid in half and began chewing. Let me sidetrack everything by saying that the taste was absolutely disgusting. It was like eating grass, but with every unpleasant part of the taste of grass amplified tenfold.
After chewing the first half for about 3 agonizing minutes, I swallowed that half of the quid. I then began chewing the second quid, only this time pouring blue agave nectar (a health conscious natural sweetener my mother procured recently) on it, and this made it somewhat more tolerable, as did drinking cola in between the quids. After about 10 minutes, the taste had left my mouth completely, and I was ready to begin the trip.
Around 1/2 an hour after ingesting, I began to feel the effects. A small hint of nausea had come around, but it was easily ignored. I began to get a small mood lift. It was nothing particularly euphoric, but I felt like all the harshness within me had become a soft pillow. I felt loose, and like things were okay, and about to get better. I had some minor jitters, but that was more the excitement of an upcoming trip than the coleus. As the effects progressed, there began some minor warping in my perception of the room around me. Television was a little more interesting, and I was feeling a fair bit happier.
I went upstairs to use the bathroom, and I found the warping getting more intense. My balancing wasn't particularly impaired, but it felt like it should've been. Looking at myself in the mirror was remarkably interesting, and I seemed to get lost looking at the odd, smiling thing in front of me. Whenever I began to look serious, I quietly cracked up, and when I returned to the basement I felt like something rather pleasant had just occurred.
As I sat on the couch, a minor sense of dreaminess that had been present before became extremely pronounced. My soft, loving euphoria was filled with a sense of dreaminess, weightlessness, like being underwater but able to breath perfectly.
One of the things that struck me at this point was that I didn't feel impaired. I didn't have the warm, gooey feeling of ecstasy. Instead of the mushy napalm of ecstasy, this was a propane jet. This wasn't to say I didn't feel loving and happy, but it felt like it was a natural love that didn't weigh me down. The alterations in my perception grew more and more pronounced, until I began seeing small specks of light dart across my vision. Around this point, being in the basement watching TV began feeling very oppressing, and like I should immediately get out. I felt no major anxiety about this, but it was a simple, practical piece of advice that came into my head (well, it felt that way at least.)
I went upstairs to my room, put on some soft pajamas, and got nice and curled up in my bed. The soft cloth felt amazing against my skin. Not the orgasmic amazing of ecstasy, but it had a kind, warm, loving tone that amazed me in its profoundness. As I lay in the silent room, I noticed a growing sensation of pressure around my head. As I sat in silence, the feeling of being compressed, like a diver gone too far, began causing a mild physical pain in my head, and I realized that it was silence that caused me such unpleasantness.
In light of this newfound knowledge, I went over to put on an album. Thinking of what I'd prefer, I picked something both soft, euphoric, psychedelic, and energetic, so I went with the Platipus Records Beginners Guide (a very nice choice of music, as it turns out, and rather good acid trance anyways.)
Around this time, time began escaping me. It was about an hour to 1.5 hours after eating, but after that, I can't place anything on a timeline. By now, both the senses of being 'loved up' and the psychadelia were coming on strong. I closed my eyes and felt as if I was melting into my pillows, with a swirling world of closed eye visuals melting around me. The CEVs weren't particularly intense, but the melting world of colors and geometries unfolding around me were very pretty, if a tad simple. The sense of dreaminess grew just as much, until eventually I really couldn't tell if I was dreaming or not.
The beauty of coleus is that in the world I enter, dreaming and being awake weren't different at all, and it was completely okay to fall asleep. In fact, everything felt okay.
I drifted around in the world of my visuals, and occasionally opened my eyes, only to see the increasingly geometric warping and visuals continue, although they were less intense when my eyes were open. With all of these experiences going on, my thoughts drifted towards the relation between asleep and awake. My thoughts weren't impaired or dumb at all, like they are with weed. Everything going through my mind was of perfect clarity, although the experiences I was going through colored it quite strongly. With the help of the coleus, I learned and truly felt that the divide between sleeping and being awake was as illusory as most of reality.
Sleep isn't something to be avoided, but it is simply another element of the many layered world of consciousness. Abolishing the idea of a difference between the two is a step closer to becoming an integrated human being, and to truly be in sync with myself. One of the interesting things about the thoughts on coleus is how easily they became very utilitarian, without the head-in-the-clouds theoretical nonsense of cannabis. With cannabis, thoughts get to fold in and out of each other with no concern for reality, but with coleus, thought patterns always come back to a matter of usefulness, and the distinguishing of smart, useful thoughts from flighty nonsense was very clear, although it never diminished the warmth and love of the experience. As my thoughts drifted around, I eventually found myself asleep.
My dreams were exceptionally vivid, and surprisingly devoid of the warmth of my waking experience. I don't remember the details, but the major theme of the dream was of alienation with hope of redemption, with me in a stark, empty New Mexico desert, coming from a household where nobody cared where I was, and trying to find a rave just past the border. I'm not sure if I ever found it in my dream, but if I remember correctly, it ended much like the movie 'Eraserhead', with a buildup of noise and a fade to white. It was oddly cathartic, to have worked out all of my anxiety and feelings of loneliness into a dream, and to have the hope of finding a place where life was as beautiful as I hope it should be, left me feeling rather okay.
When I woke up, I was almost certain it was 4 pm, at the earliest, and that I must've been sleeping so heavily my parents had given up on waking me up. I had to get up immediately! But, after checking my clock, it was only 8 a.m., but I felt completely rested.
All the anxiety of waking up late (a rather common anxiety in my case) had been dissolved, I realized that I was still kind of tripping. The old sensation of being loved up was still there. The old sense of dreaminess was there as well, though not as strong, and some minor colored light specks floated across my vision. I put on Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin on, starting at the song 'Tha'.
I sat and quietly chilled for the next half an hour, and when I reached the song 'We Are the Music Makers', I decided to get up. I put on my clothes and looked at my door, where I had the poem the 'we are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams' line in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (and the song I was listening to) was taken from taped (as a way of motivating me for the day, a measure I took a day before hearing about coleus.) It was at that point I was overcome by the rapture of the world, and how being a dreamer really is okay, and that the world does in fact need more people who think and explore the mind. Despite the discomforts of adolescence, I'm okay, and things will get better. With a smile on my face, I went downstairs to get some cereal, feeling refreshed in ways I've never been before.
The day after, I continued to feel the afterglow, and I eventually reached a rather normal state of being by the time I fell asleep (about 11 pm) that night. I've been entirely normal after that, although with some of the light specks darting past now and then (although that's most likely a mental desire to return to that state, because I'm getting it much more while writing this.) Ultimately, it having been a little over a week since my experience, I feel I'm a better person for it, and while it may not have a permanent afterglow, and I may not be perfect after doing this, I know this has improved me as a person in a small way.
I had some very minor chest pains throughout the experience and I get minor chest pains all the time, without being extremely out of shape and eating a relatively balanced diet, much like I did after doing a not quite recreational amount of nutmeg. This and the nausea seem to suggest that it may not be the best for my body, so I'll be waiting at least a month before trying this marvelous plant again.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center for permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.