African Dream Seeds: Everything You Need To Know

African Dream Seeds: Everything You Need To Know

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
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The African dream seed has a long, storied history of use by indigenous African tribes and other cultures around the world. Today, it’s still known as a key to the world of lucid dreams.

If you have a friend that's experienced lucid dreaming before, you'll know. The only sign you'll have to look for is the fact that they never shut up about it. But here's the thing about lucid dreaming: Once you’ve experienced it, you might find it hard to shut up too. It's normally not a common experience, but when it does happen, it can give you a whole new perspective on your dreaming mind. That being said, we have a way for you to enter that new world easier than ever before. It comes in a small, convenient package, courtesy of Mother Earth, and it's known as the African dream seed.



Known scientifically as Entada rheedii, the African dream herb is a climbing vine native to the southern tip of Africa. Despite the name, though, it's also indigenous to the Asian continent, Australia, and Madagascar. Within these areas, it can usually be found near bodies of water or other high-moisture areas like tropical lowlands, forest thickets, and rainforests. It can grow up to 75 metres long, bearing a fruit in the form of a hefty woody pod. Inside this pod, you'll find shiny, dark brown seeds that measure around 50 x 35mm on average. These, as you might suspect, are African dream seeds.


African Dream Seeds: Traditional Uses And History

At this point, you're likely wondering how they earned their enticing name. This answer lies in South Africa, amongst the indigenous peoples’ shamans. In their practice, they'd prepare these seeds to induce lucid dreams in their subjects. In turn, these lucid dreams were understood to help connect the individual to the spirit world. In the spirit world, they could then connect to, and learn from, their ancestors. This practice is centuries old, and even continues in some capacity today, which we'll discuss later.

This wasn't the only use in South Africa, though. If coffee beans were out of season or unavailable, the people would brew a fresh cup using these seeds instead. They found a similar use over in the Philippines. There, you could enjoy a cup of tea made with these same seeds, along with parts from the rest of the plant. This tea had a holistic purpose as well, though. To be specific, it was believed this tea could be good for blood circulation.

Traditional herbalists also discovered ways to use it outside of consumption. By breaking down the seed into a paste, people in countries across Southeast Asia would use it as a soothing salve. It was also believed that shampoo made from the seeds could be used to benefit the scalp and hair. They'd also be worn in South Africa as jewelry. They look cool, sure, but that wasn't the main reason for wearing them. Rather, it was their supposed magical ability to grant the wearer good luck.

Aboriginal tribes in Australia also found use for them. There, tribesmen would leach them in water to get rid of toxins, cook them in stone ovens, and eat them for their nutritional value. They might have also experienced the lucid dreaming effect, but the association hasn't been explicitly noted.



Speaking of lucid dreaming, we should also take some time to explain why you'd want to do it. Along with that, for those unfamiliar, we should also explain what it actually is. In short, lucid dreaming refers to the sensation of being able to control your movements and surroundings within your dreams. Essentially, your dream becomes a blank canvas for you to convey whatever you desire.

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Speaking of canvases, the artists amongst you might be especially interested in practising lucid dreaming. Think about it; when you're able to turn anything your brain can think of into your perceived reality, there's no limit to the amount of creative experiments you can perform. Want to see what a castle of your own design would look like inside and out? Just imagine it and you're there! Want to improve the experience for audience members watching you perform? Just picture you watching yourself on stage, and think about what you'd want to see yourself doing. You can play a song you're writing, perform a dance you're choreographing, or sculpt a statue you're forming from stone. The only limit is your imagination.

Even if you're not artistically inclined, there are still benefits to be enjoyed. If life isn't going your way, for instance, and you need to get away from it all, diving into a lucid dream could be the perfect way to relieve the tension that's built up in your waking hours. If you've lost someone you love, you can have them with you in your dream, talk things out with them (or, rather, the version of them you knew), and find some much-needed closure. Even if life isn't dragging you down, it's nice to remember just how powerful your mind is, and lucid dreaming enables that exact realisation.



So, we know how people used to use these dream seeds, and we now know exactly why they did that in the first place. That leaves yet another question: How do people use them now? As it turns out, things haven't strayed too far from the old days. If you go to South Africa, you'll still find traditional practitioners preparing and administering these seeds to help trigger lucid dreams. It's now understood, though, that it doesn't cause lucid dreams in and of itself. Rather, it induces the sort of vivid dreaming that, in turn, sometimes leads to lucid dreaming.

This is still an appealing benefit. Now, with seeds available via online stores, people have taken it upon themselves to experience dream seeds in action. This is perfectly safe to do from home, although it's important to know exactly how it's done. You have a few options here, each as valid as the next. Whichever you choose is up to your personal preference and goals.


Eating the inside is one of the main ways people consume this seed. You'll first want to crush the outer shell, perhaps using a mallet or similar device. Once you have the shell separated from the inner meat, you can eat it just like that. It's not a five-star meal. In fact, it's quite bitter. Once it's down the hatch, though, you can head to bed and go straight to a vivid dreamworld.


Lastly, if you'd rather sip it than eat it, you still have the option to make tea. As in the other process, crack that outer shell and get the kernel separated from it. From there, chop it up, break it down, and get it into a tea infuser. After you immerse the bagged inner seed in hot water for about five minutes, your tea will be ready to drink.


As with any other mind-altering substance, there's a recommended dosage. Generally, if you're eating or drinking it, you'll only need one seed's worth of flesh to achieve the desired effects.



Going from dream seed to dream herb is quite the challenge, but not impossible. Before you begin growing, you'll need to prepare the seed to grow in the first place. In the natural world, the outer seed is slowly scarified until the embryo is exposed, allowing germination to begin. In your garden, however, you'll need to speed up the process. You can do this with sandpaper, achieving a more even scarification in turn, or you can be more direct and drill into the seed until the embryo is visible. Either way, once this is done, you'll submerge the seed in water for 24–48 hours, or until the seed expands. Get some soil in a tray with good drainage, saturate it completely, and sow the seed 50mm into the soil. If you've drilled a hole, make sure said hole is facing upward.

Cover this tray in cling wrap to make the environment more humid, leave it in an area with good sunlight, and periodically water when it seems dry. Germination should be done in about 3–4 weeks, after which the seed can be transferred into a pot. Once you transfer it, make sure the soil is wet, and make sure there is a tree nearby. That last part is important, as this herb is a climbing vine that survives by clinging onto nearby trees. This vine is also perennial, meaning the growing process never really stops. After a certain point, though, it'll bear fruit, and you'll have seeds once again.


If all this has you interested in trying out other dream herbs, we've got some great news. Our online smartshop is full of these wonders of nature, all waiting to be tried by you. They all help with dreaming, yes, but each has its own special effects on the mind. African dream seed, for instance, increases your REM awareness, while others, such as Calea zacatechichi, are known to impart feelings of clarity and light-headedness. They're all wonderful in their own ways, and each is a journey waiting to be taken. As long as you stick to the proper dose and preparation methods, you have nothing to lose.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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