The roots of the Silene Capensis (also known as Ubulawu) have, up until recently, only been used by the Xhosa people of South Africa, but it is rapidly capturing the attention of western society largely due to its ability to help create lucid dream states. Prepared in the traditional way or using more accessibly western alternatives, the roots can induce vivid and lucid dreams. Although the lucid dreaming as a result of ingesting the roots is only reported by some users.
African dream root is a plant that is indigenous to the Eastern Cape in South Africa, it’s easy to grow, extremely resistant to high temperatures and moderate to low temperatures, growing in temperatures between 23 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the healing and dream-inducing properties of the roots, the plant is also notable for its fragrant flowers that remain closed during the day and open at night.
It is classified as a naturally occurring oneirogen and has similar properties to the well-known dream herb Calea zacatechichi. Naturally occurring oneirogens are plants known for their ability to create or enhance a state of consciousness that is dream-like which is a state is similar to REM sleep.
The History of Silene Capensis
African Dream Root has been used for thousands of years by Xhosa traditional healers in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Known by it’s Xhosa name ‘Undela Ziimhlophe’ which can be translated as ‘white paths’ it is recognized for its ability to help with sleep quality as well as enhancing dreams.
In Xhosa culture, dreaming is an important part of the belief structure. Dreams are believed to be messages which include healing guidance sent from ancestors. It’s one of the most important of the more than 300 psychoactive plants used by the Xhosa people for both medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It is considered to be sacred because of its ability to induce vivid dreams which forms an integral part of Xhosa culture.
Uses and Benefits of Silene Capensis
Much of what is known about silene capensis is due to the work done by researchers Jean-Francois Sobiecki and Manton Hirst. Sobiecki is an ethnobotanist, nutritionist and research associate while Hirst is an anthropologist with an interest in Southern Nguni history, ethnography, religious representations, and traditional healing. Both spent many years living closely with Xhosa people in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, reporting on religious, cultural and healing practices.
Following their work was the 2013 study which looked at isolating the physiological means by which the dream root was able to induce the vivid and lucid dream states. Although not completely, the study focused on investigating the hypothesis that triterpene saponins in Silene capensis were the key compound responsible for the effects of the root. There is, therefore, conjecture that the root could then be classified as an AChEI inhibitor which would put it in the same category as other products such as Huperzine-A which is a popular product for inducing lucid dream states. There is still much research to be done on the effects of the African dream root, and many of the reported effects are therefore anecdotal.
Silene Capensis is used for:
Improved Quality of Sleep
The main effect of using African dream root is to improve the quality of sleep. Ingesting the root before bed helps to ensure that you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day, often with fewer hours of sleep.
Vivid Memorable Dreams
African dream root often induces vivid, extremely memorable dreams. And, although this is not the case for everyone who uses silene capensis, some users have lucid dreams. Lucid dreams refer to a dream where the person dreaming is aware that they are asleep and dreaming. In some cases, this may even extend to having some control over the dream such as the characters, how the dream unfolds and the setting of the dream. Upon waking, users are then able to report in great detail what happened in the dream. If you are using the root to induce vivid or lucid dreaming, it is advisable to keep a journal as the details of the dream may be easy to recall upon waking, but can quickly fade during the day. Other effects of the root on your dream may be that the dreams become more colorful, and the colors themselves are likely to be extremely vivid.
Dreaming is of particular significance in Xhosa culture where dreams are considered to be gifts from ancestors who are able to impart knowledge or healing to their descendants. According to Xhosa traditions, the African dream root can help get answers if you have a particular question. The answer will come in your dreams drawing on the wisdom of your ancestors. This is because the Xhosa people believe that you can communicate with your ancestors (only those from your paternal side) while in a dream state. By concentrating on your ancestors, they will bring you the wisdom you need while asleep.
Lucid dreams where the dreamers are aware that they are dreaming, in particular, are responsible for the rising popularity of the root in western countries. Beyond the vivid colors and intricate details of the dreams, the symbolism found in the dreams has a prophetic nature which the Xhosa people liken to being underwater. The details of the lucid dreams are in high definition and you can experience your imagination coming to life. The duration of the dreams can be lengthy taking the dreamer on a journey that they can recall upon waking.
Waking up from sleeping after consuming the dream root tends to have a relaxing effect. Many users comment on the quality of their sleep and the sense of wellbeing upon waking.
As Part of Ceremonial Rituals in Traditional Xhosa Culture
The dream root is consumed during different ceremonies including mortuary and full moon rituals. It is also used by traditional healers to treat mental issues as well as to improve memory.
How to Use Silene Capensis: Dosage and Instructions
There are several ways to consume silene capensis. Traditionally the dream root would be ingested by chewing or brewed as a tea and drunk. It is important to note that the effects of the dream root will not be noticeable, or will be very minimally noticeable while you are awake. But the effects of the root, once you are asleep, can be profound.
The different options for consuming African dream root include:
As a Foam
Traditionally, around 200mg of dream root would be crushed and ground, then the dust would be mixed into half a cup of water and stirred continuously to form a thick foam. Just the foam (not the liquid) is then scooped out with a spoon, or sucked up with a straw and ingested. The process can be repeated to create more foam.
The western equivalent of this would be to mix a heaped teaspoon of the root powder with half a liter of water, continue blending the water until froth forms. Consume the froth off the top, then stir and suck of more of the froth until you reach a stage where you feel that you are full of froth. Then go to bed within thirty minutes to an hour.
In a Drink Form
Mix half a teaspoon of the root powder with half a glass of water. This should be drunk early in the morning when you wake up on an empty stomach. When you feel hungry you can have breakfast and will not have any side effects. Drinking the mixture on an empty stomach will give the alkaloids the time that they need to travel through your system. You won’t feel the effects during the day, but once you go to be, the alkaloids that travel slowly through the bloodstream will have an effect when you go to sleep. According to Xhosa culture, you should focus on the question that you want answered as you go to sleep. This should allow you to receive the answer in your sleep, have vivid, colorful dreams which you will be able to recall when you wake up.
In Capsule Form
In the western world, the process has been somewhat simplified and silene capensis is available in capsule form making it much easier to ingest. To match the efficacy of traditionally prepared dream root, it’s advisable to increase the amount that you ingest. The recommended daily dose is between 500mg and 3g per day. The amount that you should take will vary from person to person, and there will not necessarily be a more noticeable effect if a higher dosage is taken. The best option is, therefore, to start with a lower dose and work up to a higher dose depending on how you react and your preferences. Capsules should be taken thirty minutes before bed, but you don’t need to worry about falling asleep immediately. As the dream root begins to take effect you should feel more relaxed which will help you to fall asleep.
A Dream Tea
This uses a 2cm piece of dream root which needs to be ground and mixed with cinnamon and ginger. The ingredients should then be added to a cup of boiling water and stirred, then left to settle for two minutes. If you’d like to add honey, milk or sugar to improve the flavor profile that can be done as it won’t have an effect on how the tea works.
Getting Started with Silene Capensis
Silene capensis had been used for thousands of years in African culture, particularly in Xhosa tribes in South Africa for important rituals, with the belief that the dream state the silene capensis induces is sacred. When taken properly the dream root has the ability to induce vivid and lucid dream states but it can take trial and error to get the dosage levels correct for your needs.
African dream root is legal in all countries throughout the world, making it easy to purchase. The one thing to keep in mind is that it is important to buy high-quality dream root from a reliable producer as the availability and efficacy of the product vary a lot between producers.
Dream memory or recall
Enhances mental cognition
Relaxes CNS (Central nervous system)
Connect with the ancestors
Origin: South Africa
Ingredients: Wild harvested African dream root (Silene capensis)
Parts Used: Root
Forms: One ounce of powder or 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).
How to use:
Powder: Take one tsp of dried powder in 8 oz. of favorite juice or smoothie, once a day.
Capsules: Take 1-2 capsules a day with water or a favorite beverage.
The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all-natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide and Sulfite FREE!
Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.