African dream herb (Entada rheedii)1 seed
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Entada rheedii, commonly known as the African Dream Herb or Snuff Box Sea Bean, and as the Cacoon Vine in Jamaica, is a large woody liana or climber. The extraordinarily large seeds fall from their parent plant into waterways such as rivers, then drift through inlets to reach the ocean. The seeds can be found washed up on beaches throughout the world.
Some tribes believe the seeds possess magical abilities to bring the owner good luck; the seeds are strung together and used as jewelry; and the bark is cleaned and processed into cordage that was then twisted into rope. In South Africa the seeds would be used as a substitute for coffee, when coffee beans were unavailable.
Most notably, African Dream Herb is used by South Africa’s medicine men and high priests to commune with the spirit world by inducing vivid lucid dreams.
Effects of Entada rheedii
There are many reports and anecdotal stories about the effects of Entada rheedii seeds, which fall into two basic categories.
The first category of reports claim that the seed increases one’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as producing longer lasting, more vivid and memorable dreams, but not necessarily lucid dreams.
The second category of reports describe the seeds effect as an entry into the dream world, stating that the seeds promote increased awareness during REM sleep, making it easier for the sleeper to realize that they are dreaming and thus giving them an edge in achieving lucidity. Either way, Entada rheedii has achieved a well deserved reputation for being a dream herb par excellence, comparable only to Calea zacatechichi.
How to use Entada rheedii
Depending on their purpose, traditional preparations of E. rheedii vary widely. When used to induce lucid dreams and communication with the spirit world, the inner meat of the seed is consumed just before sleep to induce the desired dreams.