Citation: D Scott. "Cinematic-Style Dreaming: An Experience with Mugwort, Catnip, Passion Flower, Valerian & Wormwood (exp67044)". Erowid.org. May 22, 2008. erowid.org/exp/67044
I've been experimenting with a recipe for 'Dream Tea' lately with a few ingredients I picked up from my local community health food store. I live in Canada, so some of the herbs I was able to obtain here might not be available in your particular area. I picked up about 40 grams each of Mugwort, Catnip, Passionflower, Valerian Root and Wormwood. The bill came to about $9, so I was pretty pleased with that. Just for reference, 40 grams of each herb is lots, seeing as my recipe only calls for single teaspoons of these herbs.
As a side note, my adventure into herbalism is completely predicated on my hopes to make an efficient Dream Tea which enhances the entire dream experience, makes it easier to become lucid and remember dreams more easily. It's not because I was bored one day and decided to get legally high. So in lieu of that, Iíve tried to be a scientific as possible in my methods, and in the next year-or-so will be testing it with some willing participants.
Method: First, I made the tea infusion. In my kitchen, I took a teaspoon of each of my herbs and powdered them with a coffee grinder (NB. I've tried with a mortar and pestle, and it doesn't quite grind the Passion Flower and Valerian as well as a coffee grinder does) in order to increase the surface area of the organic matter. Next, I brought a litre of water to a rolling boil (NB. Itís important to keep the water at a low boil, and added my powdered mixture into the pot of water. I let the mixture boil for a while, and when there was only a very small amount of water left in the pot, I added another litre of water, and allowed it to slowly evaporate. This concentrates the tincture, because the initial water can get saturated with the active principles in the herbs, so adding more water allows more active ingredients to be infused. In the end, it yields a more bitter product but a stronger, more effective product nonetheless. I decided to end the boiling process when I was left with about 1 cup of potion in the pot.
I strained the final mix through a plastic kitchen sieve with a coffee filter underneath it. This was to prevent the larger particles from hitting the filter so it wouldnít get too saturated with herb particles. Iím not sure if you can do anything with the leftover boiled herbs, but at this point, they had been in boiling water for about an hour, so I assume at this point that they are ďspentĒ. I had to warm up the filtered potion, because it had gotten cold by the time the filtration was over. I popped it in the microwave for a minute, and that heated it nicely.
This whole process took me about an hour and a half. Itís not necessary to be standing over the pot of water the whole time, so I hang out, listen to some music, meditate, this is a good time to start getting ready for bed. Another thing I maay do is roll and smoke a joint of Mugwort. This is not a necessary aspect of the Dream Tea experience, but it definitely adds to the final result. Itís best not to get to creative with this joint. Iíve tried adding other herbs into it to see if it makes any difference but as far as I can tell, this only dilutes the potency of the Mugwort. I really enjoy smoking Mugwort, and it is something nice and soothing to have before bed. Some people have noted that a resistance to Mugwort builds up, and so it is only effective every other day, or once every few days. I personally havenít experienced this, because I usually only make this tea on special occasions, or when I feel like connecting with my dreaming life. Another thing to consider is taking a vitamin b pill a half hour before bed. Vitamin B is quite useful in aiding the vividness of the whole dream experience.
Drinking the tea: A cautionary note on the flavour of this concentrated potion, it tastes very acidic, like potent tonic water. But the results are worth it. It is worthwhile to prepare a cold glass of water to rinse and gargle with though, just to get the strong taste out of my mouth.
The Effect: Whenever I drink Dream Tea and smoke Mugwort, I consistently get vivid dreams that last much longer than usual. Something unique I notice with my Dream Tea is that itíll give me one really long ďfeature lengthĒ dream, and after it finishes, Iíll two-thirds wake-up, fall back asleep, and have episodic short dreams that I am more-or-less lucid in. These short dreams are quite the treat, because for me, they are Ė for lack of a better description - like channel surfing, except you get to take part in the little vignettes of your mind. Itís a very unique experience, and well worth the trouble of making the concoction.
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