Indigenous to the green river valleys of the eastern cape province of South Africa, this obscure flowering species is regarded by Xhosa diviners as a sacred plant with the ability to induce remarkably vivid and prophetic dreams.
Xhosa shamans regard the plant as a type of “Ubulawu” or medicinal root that they call “Undlela Ziimhlophe,” which literally translates to “white paths” or “white ways.”
There exists very little documentation of the pharmacology of African dream root (Silene capensis). It is suspected that its dream-inducing activity is likely due to triterpenoid saponins contained within its roots. Relatively small amounts of root (250 mg range) are reported to be active. The plant exerts only minimal alterations in waking consciousness, yet the effects upon the dream state can be profound.