Dream herb – Calea zacatechichi

The traditional oneirogenic herb from Mexico,
for vivid and lucid dreams

Calea zacatechichi – The Mexican Dream herb

Who is Calea zacatechichi,
the “Dream Herb” or “Leaf of God”?

Name: Dream Herb, Bitter Grass, Leaf of God
Binomial name: Calea zacatechichi
Origin: Mexico

Calea zacatechichi Schltdl. better know as Dream HerbBitter Grass or Leaf of God, is native to Mexico and other regions of Meso-America, with a long tradition of use as a medicinal and divinatory plant.

Calea zacatechichi is very popular as oneirogenic herb, (“dreams creation”), capable of temporarily intensifying the duration and the memories of dreams. 

The Dream Herb is also famous for inducing a lucid dream state:

A remarkable state of consciousness in which one is aware of the fact that one is dreaming while continuing to dream” .

Stephen LaBerge

Dreams are powerful tools to exploring our subconscious as they are defined as “the psychic activity of the sleeping man” (Freud, 1900), and that’s probably the reason why this plant has a long history in the human tradition in Mexico.


  • Promote sleep
  • Intensify dreams
  • Induce a lucid dream state
  • Anxiolytic-like effect 

Traditional use of Calea zacatechichi

Several Indian tribes, such as Chontal Indians used C. zacatechichi during their rituals and ceremonies with the aim of inducing divination dreams, allowing those who use to have visions during sleep (2-3)
For them, the dreams had a special meaning, capable to convey messages from a supra-sensory realm.

 “MacDougall (1968) reported that a Chontal informant knew that the leaves of the plant were to be either smoked or drunk as an infusion to obtain divinatory messages. (…) Whenever it is desired to know the cause of an illness or the location of a distant or lost person, dry leaves of the plant are smoked, drunk, and put under the pillow before going to sleep. Reportedly, the answer to the question comes in a dream.” (4)

Lilian Mayagoita et al.

Seems also that native Indian tribes have used Calea zacatechichi for centuries as remedy for cough and asthma, as well as gastrointestinal tract disorders, such as stomach-ache and diarrhea (Leonti et al. 2003)(5), generally with preparation of infusion using root, leaves and stem.

Botanical pills

Calea zacatechichi is a shrub, native of Mexico that can grow up to 3 meters in the right condition, but generally the size in wild-conditions is around 1 – 1.5 meters. 
The leaves are oviforms with an acute ending and a short petiole. The inflorescence is small, dense and with (about) 12 flowers each(5)

Modern use

The dried leaves of C. zacatechichi are used still used nowadays to prepare herbal tea or smoked/ vaporized to enhance dreams.

Often is consumed just before going to sleep, but the effect can require some days before been perceived!

After few days the dreams will be more clear and easy to recall.

Herbal tea with Dream Herb

The dosage for the infusion is between 2 – 4 grams of Dream Herb (Calea Zacatechichi) in a cup of hot water (80°C). Leave in infusion for 5 minutes. 

Dream herb is also known as “Bitter-Grass” due to his taste, very bitter and sharp. To make it more appreciable some receipt suggest to mix with honeymilk and other sweet ingredient.  Anyway, the bitter taste remains very strong!

Vaporizing Dream Herb

Another way to consume the Dream Herb is by smoking or vaporizing, avoiding the unpleasant bitter taste.

The vaporizing routine usually involves rituals before bed for one week and all throughout the next week, the dreams will become remarkably vivid and easy to navigate.

The optimal temperature used for vaping is 190ºC.

Dried leaves of Calea zacatechichi – The Mexican Dream Herb

Trade Information

In Europe, Calea zacatechichi is legal, except for Poland


  1. LaBerge (August 2018). “Pre-sleep treatment with galantamine stimulates lucid dreaming: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study”
  2. M Salagaa, J Fichna, K Socala, M Pierog M Zielinska, A Kowalczuk, P Wlaz – Neuropharmacological characterization of the oneirogenic Mexican plant Calea Zacatechichi aqueos extract in mice
  3. Ratsch, Christian. 2005. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications. Park Street Press; Rochester, VT.
  5. Study on Calea Zacatechichi (Dream Herb) – Entheology.com