4 min

The Right Herbal Extract For Every Occasion

4 min

Desire better sleep? Need to get high without using cannabis? Want to perform better in the bedroom with your partner? There's an herb for that!

Humanity has used herbs for millennia, and for many different purposes, from treating ailments to altering consciousness. Thousands of herbs have been discovered, and many of them have been found to produce unique chemical constituents that exert interesting effects on the human body. These effects can be increased when using an extract, which concentrates these molecules. There really is an herb for every occasion! Check out some of the most popular herbal extracts below—and when to best use them!


View Sakae Naa

Forcing yourself awake in the morning isn’t easy, especially if you didn’t get adequate rest the night before. Many people reach for coffee as their botanical of choice, but other plants do a great job here too.

Sakae naa is one of such species. It's a tree native to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand and traditionally used for several conditions. However, it's the stimulating effects that make this extract so effective in the morning.

The stimulating effects of Sakae Naa have been compared to those of kratom. Small doses are associated with energising effects, whereas higher doses bring about a state of sedation. A dose of 0.5g brewed into a tea should keep you feeling awake and ready to go for around 4 hours.

It’s important not to consume sakae naa if you are taking MAO-inhibitors or operating heavy machinery.


Vieuw Passionflower

We could all use a little extra focus from time to time. Living in the age of information is massively beneficial, but it sure is difficult to keep one's attention on a single focal point for a long period. Luckily, natural products such as passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) extract can be used to tame the wandering mind.

Passionflower has a history of use in treating conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. Its calming effects are still used for the same reasons today, and it may help the mind slow down and focus on the task at hand. Research suggests that flavonoids are behind its anti-anxiety and slightly sedating effects. Passionflower appears to boost GABA levels, a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between neurons, effectively calming the brain.

A standard dose of passionflower is between 0.3–0.5g. Don’t take this extract if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


View Marihuanilla

Several herbs are known for their ability to help users enter a calm and relaxed state at the end of a busy and stressful day. Many people opt for alcohol to reduce the activity of the nervous system, but the long-term effects aren’t good. Many others elect to smoke a joint or blunt, but cannabis doesn’t appeal to everyone, and some people simply can’t access the herb. 

Marihuanilla (Leonurus sibiricus), also known as little marijuana, is a great alternative to these traditional intoxicants. Marihuanilla is an herbaceous plant species of the Lamiaceae family that is native to China, Mongolia, and Siberia. Traditional use of this plant induces a soothing and relaxed state. Dissolve half a teaspoon of extract into 150ml of boiling water for an ultra-chill evening.

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View Blue Lotus

Sleep is an incredibly important biological process that lifts the mood and sharpens the mind. Therefore, it’s important to get enough sleep each night. But for some people, it’s not that easy. They lie in the dark for hours at a time, yet their mind just won’t switch off. There are several herbs that can help to calm the mind and lull it to sleep, including the enigmatic blue lotus.

Blue lotus, or Nymphaea caerulea, is a type of water lily native to East Africa. The pretty flowers of this specimen boast bluish-white petals and a pale yellow centre. The lily is reported to have been used for ritualistic purposes in ancient Egyptian culture. The species houses the alkaloid aporphine, which produces mildly sedating effects—ideal when trying to ease off to sleep. Blue lotus is also reported to boost memory, induce euphoria, and enhance libido.


View Calea zacatechichi

Have you ever been consciously aware that you were dreaming? It can happen during a dream where something just doesn’t seem right, then all of a sudden you realise you are in a different reality, but you don’t wake up. This phenomenon is known as lucid dreaming. At first, lucid dreams tend not to last long, and you have little control. Eventually, people report becoming completely in control of their own dreams and can perform amazing feats such as flight and running at incredible speeds.

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Certain techniques can be used to force the mind to become lucid during the dream state. Specific plants can also be used to increase the chances of lucid dreaming.Calea zacatechichi, the “dream herb”, is a plant species used by the Chontal people of Oaxaca as a medicine and to induce divine dreams. Evidence shows that the plant increases the superficial stages of sleep in which dreams occur.

To consume Calea zacatechichi, make a tea using 0.5–1g, or take orally as capsules. The herb is extremely bitter and much more tolerable when mixed with honey.


View Wild Dagga

Cannabis affects different people in different ways. Some people consume the herb and experience a pleasurable and euphoric high, whereas others have uncomfortable experiences defined by paranoia and anxiety. Even people who love cannabis like to take a break once in a while. If you’re one of these people, then it’s worth exploring Leonotis leonurus, otherwise known as wild dagga.

This evergreen shrub is native to South Africa and thrives in damp grasslands. The plant produces an altered state of consciousness similar to that induced by the cannabinoid THC—only much less intense. Consuming wild dagga can cause slight euphoria, sedation, lightheadedness, and visual changes. The pseudoalkaloid leonurine is said to be behind these effects, but this has never been confirmed.

When using Leonotis leonurus, mix 0.4–1g of 20x extract with juice or yoghurt.


View Damiana

What can possibly be more fun than some intimate time between the sheets with your lover? How about enhancing it with a herbal aphrodisiac? Damiana is a herb that ramps up libido, making partners feel feisty and turned on. This herb of desire is native to southern North America, Central America, and South America, where it's used to treat sexual problems, ease symptoms of menopause, and pump up sexual desire.

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Add between 0.5–1g of damiana extract into hot water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drink around 30 minutes before heading to the bedroom for maximum effect.


View Salvia Divinorum

Of course, not all herbs are used to remedy ailments or boost health in a certain way. Some of them are classed as entheogens and possess extremely potent molecules that can send the spirit to other planes. Salvia is the most striking example of this category of herbs.

Salvia divinorum, also known as sage of the diviners, is a potent psychedelic used by Mazatec shamans to induce visionary states during religious rituals. The plant is rich in opioid-like compounds that can bring about hallucinations.

Salvia Extract 20x is a potent means of taking the plant. Reserve these experiences for the clear mind that a weekend brings, and make sure to prioritise set and setting.


Party Time With Kratom

Now we move on to some purely recreational herbs. These can be taken in a party atmosphere, although some of them are far too intense. Extracts such as Salvia can be used when having a good time, but it’s best to ensure you are in a safe environment and around friends who you can trust to take care of you if needed.

Kratom can be a great party favour if used responsibly. Also known as Mitragyna speciosa, it's a tropical evergreen tree that originates from Southeast Asia. The leaves contain molecules, such as mitragynine, that bring about stimulant-like effects. Extracts can be consumed before social events and parties to give you some energy and put you in a chatty mood. Kratom Bali 15x Extract is a potent form of kratom that will keep you talking and in a social mood for hours, although the effects are more mellow than other types. However, increasing the dose can lead to more sedative effects. Kratom Thai 15x Extract is a much more energetic and stimulating variety.

Never combine Kratom with MAO inhibitors, alcohol, or other medications.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
  • (1986/12/01). Psychopharmacologic analysis of an alleged oneirogenic plant: Calea zacatechichi - ScienceDirect -
  • S.-M. Elsas, D. J. Rossi, J. Raber, G. White, C.-A. Seeley, W. L. Gregory, C. Mohr, T. Pfankuch, & A. Soumyanath. (2010, October). Passiflora incarnata L. (Passionflower) extracts elicit GABA currents in hippocampal neurons in vitro, and show anxiogenic and anticonvulsant effects in vivo, varying with extraction method -
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