This is my Calea Zacatechichi review, widely known as Calea Z or The Dream Herb for its ability to induce amazingly vivid and prolonged dreams.
Furthermore, it can significantly boost your self awareness in dreams, promoting lucidity (and providing a thrilling dream experience even if you don't become lucid).
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Historically, the herb has been used by Mexican shamans for thousands of years to gain insights, such as the cause of an illness or the location of a distant person. Through the act of dream incubation, subconscious insights and information comes to them in their lifelike dreams.
Today, people use The Dream Herb to increase the overall vividness and intensity of their dreams, for entertainment and for experimentation. Remarkably, the herb has this powerful effect even if you don't normally remember any of your dreams. I've taken Calea Z sporadically for a few years now to push the boundaries of my dreamworld and I'm happy to report some quite marvellous effects on my lucid and non-lucid dreams.
In 2009, I had my first Calea Zacatechichi experience. It was fascinating. It produced some highly meaningful and vivid dreams that left me waking up thinking WOW... They were like no other dreams I'd had before.
(...and I'm a lucid dreamer...)
As dream herbs go, Calea Z is a good one to start off with, because the effect on waking consciousness is minimal - yet it intensifies your dream content and recall upon waking. These all push you towards lucid dreaming, but the really meaningful aspect of Calea Z is not its ability to help you become lucid, but rather take you on an incredible dream journey.
I've had lucid and non-lucid dreams with Calea Zacatechichi; each amazing and memorable in their own right. I've never had any nightmares or negative experiences with it. Perhaps this is possible - like any night of dreaming may be exposed to unpleasant or traumatic content. But I don't think this herb creates nightmares intrinsically. We do that ourselves.
I take Calea Zacatechichi in capsule form after about 4-6 hours of sleep. This is the ideal time because your REM sleep is extended in the early morning, so you make maximum use of your dreamiest sleep cycles.
Some of my Calea Z dreams have been far removed from this world, conjuring up alien planets and futuristic cities. My favorite experience was when I dreamed I was another person living in an advanced alien civilization. I can still remember how I felt to live in a world of the future - it was reminiscent of Iain Banks Culture lore - and that feeling still runs through me like I have lived another life. Just thinking about that dream now makes me want to write a novel, paint a picture, create a computer game -- to do whatever I can to fully re-enter that world in my imagination and try to capture it for others. It was simply awesome.
And in that dream, time seemed to stretch, and I perceived a great deal in what must have only been 30-60 minutes of dreaming. It was a bit like watching an epic movie that spans 200 years in the space of two hours: you feel like it lasted longer because you watched so much time pass. That's about as close as I can explain it, flashing through someone's life while instantly understanding all that they had felt and experienced during the course of many years via implanted memories.
When I woke up, I was mildly stunned to be in this reality. My normal life - without flying cars, or skyscrapers that ran into the clouds, or alien people, or the sense of adventure - seemed quite boring in comparison. But I was euphoric at the memory and wanted to write it all down before it drained away. Now, many details of the dream are lost, even after writing it down, but the emotional content stays with me, a feeling I can't re-define.
Others have reported incredibly realistic Calea Zacatechichi dreams, sometimes with complex plots and gripping drama, others with more trivial content but profound intensity nonetheless. That includes people who don't normally remember any dreams at all... as this particular dream herb has been scientifically verified to improve your dream recall, so it's ideal for beginner lucid dreamers who want to get closer to their dream worlds.
You can buy Calea Z from a limited number of places online:
Here's some guidance on the different ways of taking it:
Tea: Many people agree that drinking bitter Calea Z tea tastes godawful. If you decide to make dream tea, add plenty of honey and drink it slowly to avoid turning your stomach.
Tincture: Calea Z liquid tincture is made from the dried material and reduced down. Just add this to your regular nighttime tea, starting with a small dose and working up each night to find your personal sweet spot.
Capsules: Look for ready made capsules online, or pack the dry leaf into empty gel capsules and take 1-2 pills after 4-5 hours sleep. This gives you sufficient deep sleep before embarking on longer REM cycles.
Smoke: Inhale the dry leaf extract before returning to sleep. You may feel a little buzzy, but the majority of effects occur in dreamland. Smokers say it can feel a bit heavy on the lungs.
Of course, it helps if you incubate your chosen lucid dream as you fall asleep. This means visualizing your desired dreamscape and directing your awareness into that scenario engaging all the senses. Tell yourself (in your mind) that you will lucid dream tonight and relax into the experience.
Don't feel pressure to have a true lucid dream. Whatever your experience, your awareness will be heightened significantly anyway. What's more, the dream plot may well dazzle you -- which is something that often gets lost when our conscious ego takes control of our dreams...