What is a Lucid Dream?
A lucid dream is any type of dreaming in which your aware that your dreaming. Whether it be a short period or prolonged amount of time. As long you are aware that your dreaming it is considered a “lucid dream”. A Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik (Willem) van Eden was one of the most widely known persons to key the term ‘lucid dream”.
During lucid dreaming, the dreamer has the ability to exert varying degrees of control over their dream environment. Lucid dreams can be extremely vivid and realistic, almost seemingly real as waking life. Being able to manipulate and alter the imaginary experiences in the dream can be quite easy once you learn how. When you can develop a sense of how to materialize and change things in your lucid dreams, dreaming becomes a whole new world and a lot more fun!
Studies show that there is an increased amount of brain activity in the parietal lobes. Notably higher amounts of beta-1 frequency bands(13-19 Hz) are experienced by lucid dreamers. The brain activity spikes during the 90-minute intervals during REM(Rapid Eye Movement) cycles.
Some skeptics suggest the phenomenon isn’t a state of sleep but a brief waking. There is no real way of proving that lucid dreams happen other than sharing your experiences with others. In fact, scientists to this day still don’t fully understand where dreams come from or how they generate. However scientific research studies do show that test subjects have pre-determined physical responses while experiencing lucid dreams. A truly mysterious and universal function of the human experience.
Almost everyone dreams every night without realizing it or without remembering their dreams. In our modern day culture, we have lost the sacred art of dreaming. There is so much potential to learn and experience new things from our dreams. Many indigenous cultures emphasize the power of dreaming and exercise their abilities to help them during waking life. The symbols and meanings can be very deep, intrinsic to one’s daily life, as stepping stones or guiding principals.
There are many lucid dreaming techniques that can help you further develop your dreaming skills.
One of my favorite ways of facilitating dreaming is using herbs. Certain herbs are known to make dreaming easier. These herbs are known as Oneirogens. From the Greek oneiros meaning “dream” and gen “to create”. The word describes that which produces a dream-like state.
In my studies as a herbalist, I have discovered herbs known to be oneirogenic in effect, otherwise known as “dream herbs”. These dream herbs can be taken to help you discover the lost art of dreaming or just simply help you develop a solid relationship with your ability to dream.
What is Dream Herbs?
A great way to facilitate dreaming is using special herbs. These herbs are known to make dreaming easier, also known as Oneirogens, from the Greek oneiros meaning “dream” and gen “to create”. The word describes that which produces a dreamlike state. These herbs are otherwise known as dream herbs.
Dream herbs are historically or otherwise known to induce or enhance dreams. Many cultures around the world, some traditions thousands of years old use these special herbs to induce Vivid Lucidity, Prophetic Dreams and Out of Body Experiences. Each dream herb carries its own special message. Traditionally these herbs are considered holy or sacred for communion with the divine. They can have certain qualities that are unique to the plant during dreaming. People may experience forest like themes with them; some may help to have deep psychological insights, others can help you become more naturally aware that you’re dreaming and some can help with Nightmares. Certain herbs can also be used to calm dream over-activity.
These rare plants not only help enhance your dream world they also have other health benefits as well. For instance “Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris)” is a well-known European dream herb and is used as a bitter tonic for digestion. Mugwort is also mildly sedating and has an anti-spasmodic effect. Another dream herb “Indian Sarsparilla (Hemidesmus indicus)” cultivated in certain areas of India used in Ayurvedic medicine is good for heartburn and sore muscles. So these benefits come hand in hand with these dreamy plants.
Some dream herbs are bitter and some taste quite pleasant. People like to experiment and try different herbs to find the ones they prefer. Most dream herbs are made into tea or taken in tincture form but some can be eaten raw and some are traditionally smoked.
Dream herbs are taken as an herbal tonic, otherwise known as a “Dream Tonic”. This means you take the herb for 4-7 days at a time and give yourself breaks in between ranging anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or months depending on your intentions. Most dream herbs have a cumulative effect, so even days after taking the herbs your dreams may still be enhanced. Some people get results the first night of taking them. Other people will see effects in 3-7 days of use.
Setting intentions to learn from these rare and sacred plants is a great way to facilitate the best dreaming experiences. So following before bed practices and combining techniques will always be of benefit.
7 sensational herbs for calming the mind
1. Passion flower is a beautiful vine that has mild sedative properties and can help calm the mind. All parts of all the plant except the root are used for the mind relaxing qualities. Usually brewed as a tea, taken as a tincture or in capsules.
2. Lotus Flowers are a beautiful way to increase your calmness and say relaxed. This nonhabit-forming anti-anxiety flower brings upon a state of natural euphoria and joy. This can be a great ally when encountering anxious moments, too much caffeine or really stressful moments in your life.
3. Kava kava, a herb from the south pacific, is a potent muscle relaxer, mood enhancer and is very effective at treating various anxiety related issues, overactive mind, and general depression.
4. Skullcap has a gentle sedating quality to it bringing about a calm relaxed mind. It may also be used inflammation, sore/tight muscles, restless leg syndrome, and nervousness. This herb can nourish the nervous system and it is traditionally used to help fight restlessness, insomnia, depressive states, and even a rapid heart beat.
5. Holy Basil, otherwise known as Tulsi is a famous herb from India where it is regarded as a very sacred plant. Studies show that Tulsi shows benefit in treating anxiety and chronic stress. This herb has an uncanny ability to balance the mind and slow thoughts, in turn, calming the mind and body.
6. Mulungu is a hidden gem from the Amazon. The tree bark of the Mulungu tree has been used for thousands of years by indigenous people to relax the mind, treat hysteria, nervousness and intense anxiety. This powerful herb is also great for tonifying the liver
7. Persian Silk Tree is an abundant tree found in many places around the world. The Chinese name for this tree is called “the tree of joy”, as it is known to bring joy and happiness into one’s mind. A happy mind can be a calm mind! This herb has also been studied to treat depression and anxiety.
Now you have some herbal knowledge you can put to use! Keep in mind not all herbs are for everyone. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, take pharmaceutical medications or have a medical condition please talk with you doctor or certified practitioner before using.