by Nick Polizzi
Do you remember what you dreamt about last night? How about the
For thousands of years, we humans have placed a ton of value on the
content of these bedtime reveries, deriving inner wisdom and even
premonitions from them. Dreaming feels like a birthright, an extra
sense that allows us to process both rationally and spiritually
while our body rests up.
They are one of behavioral science's biggest mysteries, with no
agreed-upon theory of their origin and specific purpose. For some,
dreams occur nightly, but others never experience them at all.
One thing is for sure - many who don't dream wish they did.
Since I was young, I've had them on a regular basis, but have always
known there were deeper places to go in this state of consciousness.
The quest for many is to achieve the lucid dream, or "knowing we're
dreaming" inside the dream.
The lucid dreamers I know are able to navigate their dreamscape with
an awakened mind, asking characters they come across pretty
insightful questions about their spirit path. They can run, jump,
and fly at will, gaining profound inner wisdom from the experience.
If you would like to dream more at night, and perhaps experience the
magical lucid dream, there are three wild herbs that have been used
throughout time to accomplish just that.
The herbs below are all 100% legal, and easy to get ahold of.
However, please do your own research before trying any of them -
herbs are medicine and they should be treated with proper caution.
These plants each have a
variety of other medicinal uses, but we're focusing solely on their
Root - Asparagus racemosus
The Chinese word for wild
asparagus root is Tian Men Dong
- or heavenly spirit herb.
For millennia, it's been
cherished by shamans, monks, and yogis for its heart-opening
Also known as "The Flying Herb", it's believed that wild asparagus
root helps one fly through the universe at night, achieving
magnificent dreams. The wisdom schools of ancient China placed much
value on dream work, namely lucid dreaming.
In Chinese folk medicine, it is believed that this particular herb
has a direct and positive effect on the heart energy, dissolving the
dualities that come with our physical incarnation - black and white,
left and right, inside and out.
This allows our
consciousness to blossom into infinite space while we sleep.
- Valeriana officinalis
This herb has been used in folk
medicine for centuries as a calming aid, muscle relaxant, and to
promote deep sleep.
Because lucid dreaming
usually requires a heightened state of slumber, it has become a
commonly reported side effect of valerian root. Many also report
that valerian greatly improves the ability to remember their dreams.
Robert Monroe, a
famed specialist in Out Of Body Experiences, once said,
"Most of us dream,
and those who don't simply are not remembering them."
Imagine an herb that not
only promotes deep states of sleep that are fertile ground for vivid
dreams, but also boosts our ability to remember what happened the
Valerian might be just
isn't enough information available regarding its effects
during pregnancy, women who are expecting are better off
avoiding it altogether.
Keep in mind:
If you already
experience extreme dream states, you might think twice
before trying valerian. It can intensify your nocturnal
adventures quite a bit - which is wonderful when you're
having a good dream, but not-so-great if you're having a
Valerian is most
commonly brewed in a tea, but be careful to use water that
is hot, but not boiling, in order to preserve the delicate
oils in the root. Some also prepare a tincture from the
dried or fresh root (this can usually be found at health
Very common throughout
the Americas, Europe and Asia,
mugwort has a rich history of use,
both as a medicinal and metaphysical ally.
In the middle ages, it
was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis, because Saint John the
Baptist famously wore a belt of it whenever he traveled through the
It is referenced often in
Celtic and Norse mythology as a magical plant that can ward off
evil, and was hung in doorways and burnt as incense to clear
stagnant air and prevent illness.
Mugwort is known as "Molush" by the Chumash Indians of California,
and its Paiute name translates literally to "Dream Plant". It's
often smoked in indigenous ceremonies, and interestingly, is also
hailed by various tribes for its power to ward off evil, bad
spirits, and disease.
Known for its dream-enhancing effects, many report that it magnifies
the brilliance of color and overall duration of their mid-slumber
journeys. On a personal note, I've had some lovely experiences with
Mugwort grows just about everywhere. You'll often find it underfoot,
whether in the woods or walking through an overgrown urban
Is it sheer chance that
this sacred herb that reportedly heightens consciousness is
sprouting up all around us?
I wish you wonderful and
wisdom-packed journeys tonight, and many nights thereafter.
Remember, like any good herbalist, we each need to do careful
research on the medicinals we choose to work with - this is a
central pillar of the plant path.
Everyone deserves to dream...