FAVORITE USE(S): For enhancing other dream herbs and dream herb smoking blends
FAVORITE TIME(S): I find this most effective just before bed when combined with other dreaming herbs, but it gives a great, mild energy burst when taken by itself any time of day.
Patchouli is, of course, best known as the rich and musky scent that one often finds included in body care products or fragrances, and that is favored for its ability to cover up most any unpleasant smell almost immediately. Although it is mostly used as a fragrance or an essential oil these days, the leaves can also simply be left out in the open air to scent an entire room. Patchouli essential oil is said to be both a stimulant and an anti-depressant, and is often used in aromatherapy.
I was completely unaware of the fact that patchouli had any other applications than as a scent for a very long time, and I was completely surprised to discover that it has a long history of use as a healing and a dream herb! I actually stumbled across this fact when I was researching tulsi, or holy basil, for its potential effects on dreaming. I quickly discovered that patchouli leaves, when combined with holy basil, are said in India to be a powerful tool for dream enhancement, for calming the spirit, and for inducing visions. Taken its own, patchouli is said to act as an aphrodisiac.
I have found that certain dreaming herbs, such as Calea zacatechichi, seem to work by keeping the individual in a slightly more awake state than they would be during a normal night’s sleep. This seems to keep the consciousness closer to the surface of the mind, making it easier to remember dreams, and easier to connect with awareness while in a dream state. Given how stimulating patchouli can be when consumed on its own, I feel as if this combination of patchouli and holy basil works using a similar effect. I notice I sleep more lightly after working with this combination, and that my dreams are much easier to remember and to achieve lucidity in. It seems as if the holy basil brings one in to a state of sleep, and the patchouli allows one to remain aware during that sleep. This combination is definitely surprisingly powerful.
HOW TO PREPARE/RECIPE: Whole dried patchouli leaves are fairly easy to find, and can be used in a variety of ways. I find that a tea made of patchouli on its own is very energizing in a calming and balanced way. Simply boil water on the stove, remove from the heat once it boils, and then add one teaspoon of dried patchouli per cup of water. This will create a musky, flavorful tea. I have heard that Pogostemon cablin (patchouli) seeds may also be used in this manner, though I have not verified that for myself as of yet. In order to work with the patchouli and holy basil combination, I personally like to make a tea as above, adding a teaspoon of holy basil seeds along with the patchouli. I then let the mixture steep for 5-10 minutes and strain. I find that this particular combination makes me feel quite relaxed, so I prefer to drink it just before bed.
I have found that patchouli leaves are also very effective when combined with other plants in a smoking blend. One particular blend which I have confirmed to be particularly effective combines sugandi root, bael fruit, blue lotus petals, katuka, holy basil seeds and safflower in equal parts. This is a traditional Himalayan blend which will propel almost anyone in to profound waking dream states almost immediately when smoked. It’s a bit of trouble to gather together all of these ingredients, but I would nevertheless recommend it to anyone who is interested in a truly powerful dreaming herb experience. I also like to add patchouli leaves to other dream herb smoking blends, as I find that it adds an element of alert awareness to my experience.