Binomial: Silene undulata (Capensis)
Xhosa Dream Root, African Dream root, gun powder plant, Campion, undlela zimhlophe
In the Xhosa culture, good dreams are sent by the ancestors to give direction in life. Through many sacred rituals, including the coming of age or initiation ceremonies of young men as they are guided into the adult world.
The name given to the numerous African Oneirogens is ubulawu, derived from the verb ukulawula which is translate to English roughly as to give direction or instruction, but used in conjunction with the dreams is more directed at the instructions given by the ancestors through the dreams.
Traditionally, Xhosa youth imbibe the foam made by whisking about 250mg to 1 gram of powdered root in about 300ml of water until it is a fairly viscous froth. They eat this froth after a fast (abstaining from meat, dairy, alcohol and sex) and continue to eat it until they purge. Just as with many South American plant medicines, the purge is believed to cleanse them and rid them of negative energies. It is simple to prepare the Silene roots by crushing them with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle and them blending with a hand held blender or food processor.
It is important to note that some people simply stop recalling their dreams at all when they start using Silene undulata or any other dream herbs.
It is not fully understood why this happens, but often, these people will begin experiencing lucid dreams when they stop taking the dream root.