Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid and real it was hard to believe it only happened in your mind? Dreaming is one of those oddities that science just can’t confirm the rationale behind. We all do it, but why and how we concoct these scenarios and events in our mind each night is unknown. Luckily, there are ways to increase you ability to have lucid and more vivid dreams. Let’s talk about five herbs for lucid dreaming.
The Sleep Foundation explains that visual imagery is the most common, but that other senses such as taste, smell, and sound can also be present in our dreams. For many, dreaming can be a time to answer questions, gain insight on past and current problems, and process feelings.
Lucid dreaming is a state where you’re aware you’re dreaming and can potentially even exert control over your dream. This type of dreaming can be helpful if you frequently experience recurring nightmares or anxiety. While not studied, some people claim that lucid dreaming can increase creativity and motor skills when practiced during a dream.
5 Herbs for Lucid Dreaming and More Vivid Dreams
Plants have the power to heal, hurt, and aid us in every area of life. In fact, the active compounds found in plants are the foundation for many synthetic medications.
Different herbs can impact your sleep through sedating, decreasing anxiety, or causing psychoactive effects. The following 5 herbs have the potential to enhance lucid and vivid dreams.
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Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
To many, mugwort is an annoying weed that grows and spreads like ragweed. Throughout history this herb has been honored and used for its many medicinal purposes. Known as the “mother herb” since the middle ages, mugwort’s uses date back to traditional Eastern and European medicine. It’s common medicinal claims include treating a variety of gastrointestinal and gynecological problems.
There’s little scientific research or evidence to know why mugwort induces vivid dreams. Much of the evidence is anecdotal. Dreaming is one of mugwort’s metaphysical uses. When it comes to dreamwork, mugwort can meet you where you’re at with your dreams. If you’re unable to remember dreams, then it will help you recall them in the morning. If you are past that stage, mugwort could help to enhance lucid dreaming.
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Mexican Dream Herb (Calea Zachatechi )
Native to Mexico, this herb has been used for centuries in traditional folk medicine. It’s traditional uses range from treating gastrointestinal problems to diabetes. It’s most widely known use is to induce lucid dreams. This herb for lucid dreaming is most often smoked or drank as a tea right before bed.
Some research has found that Calea zachatechi affects the central nervous system. This may explain why many people experience poor sleep such as drowsiness after consuming and frequent waking. The toxicity of this herb on the kidneys is a topic of several research studies and its safety is unconfirmed at this point.
Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea)
The blue lotus flower and its traditional uses date back as far as the ancient Egyptians and other Middle Eastern cultures. Its traditional uses include reducing anxiety and insomnia, and as an aphrodisiac. The Blue Lotus plant has psychoactive effects thanks to the alkaloid apomorphine.
The research is slim on why or how the blue lotus plant causes lucid dreaming. But, for centuries people have claimed that ingesting the plant before sleep by either tea or inhalation results in vivid and sometimes lucid dreaming.
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Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Passion flower is native to the tropical regions of the Americas, but found its way to Spanish and European medicine in the 16th century. Passion flower is popular for its anti-anxiety and sedative-like effects.
While there are not extensive studies on this herb for sleep and dreaming, the studies completed have been promising. One study found that people who drank tea containing dried passion flowers before bed had significantly better sleep quality. Uninterrupted time in REM means a greater chance for remembering your dreams. That makes it a great herb for lucid dreaming.
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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
In ancient China, Yarrow was a powerful aid in divination, awakening the spiritual forces of the mind. It’s prophetic properties are not evidence based by today’s standards, but important to specific cultures and history. The folklore of many ancient cultures tells us that dreams are a way of connecting to a spiritual world.
Unfortunately, science can’t prove prophetic properties. There is limited scientific research connecting Yarrow to sleep or dreaming. This widely used medicinal herb has potential for aiding with wounds, digestive problems, respiratory infections and skin conditions.
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Precautions To Take Before Using Herbs for Lucid Dreaming
It’s important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate herbal products. Purchasing herbs from a reputable supplier is also important since the product does not need approval by a regulating body.
Before you begin using any herbal supplement, always check for contraindications and with your doctor. While herbs can produce powerful results they can also have negative side effects if used incorrectly.
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Final Thoughts on Herbs for Lucid Dreaming
Remembering dreams can be helpful to process current events or feelings. Lucid dreaming is the ability to be aware during dreams and possibly exercise control over the dream.
Five herbs that can aid in remembering dreams as well as the potential for lucid dreaming include mugwort, Mexican dream herb, blue lotus, passion flower, and yarrow. While these herbs can be helpful for achieving an improved dreamstate, make sure you do your research and consult with your doctor before using any herbal supplement.
Kelsey is a Registered Dietitian, freelance writer, and plant focused food blogger. She’s passionate about making plant focused eating accessible, fun, and delicious. In addition to geeking out over nutrition science, Kelsey is an herbal enthusiast and loves to experiment with homemade and natural alternatives in the home and spending time with her two small kiddos and husband.