Helichrysum odoratissmumAchyroclim  Hochstetteri, Achyrocline Stenoptera, Everlasting, Gnaphalium Adnatum, Gnaphalium Aureofulvum, Gnaphalium Maritimum, Gnaphalium  Odoratissimum, Gnaphalium Strigosum, Gnaphalium Undulaefolium, Helichrysum Butagense, Helichrysum Engleri, Helichrysum Rosmarinum, Helichrysum Roulingii, Helichrysum Sarveri, Imphepho, Kooigoed, Strawflower, Stinking Strawflower

FAVORITE USE(S): For entering a semi-conscious dream state with complete faculties, comprehension, and recollection

FAVORITE TIME(S): This is best smoked or taken as a tea just before bed, as it has a very intense trance-inducing effect.

Helichrysum odoratissmum is better known as imphepho, and is found in much of Africa.  There it has been used for centuries by healers for magical and medicinal healing ceremonies.  Upon researching this plant, I found that it is still used by the Kwa-Zulu-Natal peoples of South Africa in smoking blends, often in combination with powerful shamanic tobacco.  This blend is said to induce deep trance states and visions, as well as bringing sacred messages from the ancestors.  These messages help them provide healing and give guidance in difficult life issues.

I also found that the Khoihkoi people of South Africa make a tea from the leaves and flowers of imphepho, which they call Buchu.  This tea is said to induce ecstatic trance states during which shamans can divine the future.  This tea is often made with a combination of different psychoactive plants native to the area, including imphepho, Barosma betulina, Agathosma crenulata and others.

I have found through working with imphepho that the most effective way of taking it is through smoking the dried herbage.  Within minutes after smoking imphepho, and overwhelming sense of relaxation and stupor takes hold.  After this, I seem to be able to enter a dream state, but with all of the clarity of my normal consciousness intact.  It is in this state that the African shamans say they can communicate with the spirit world and receive blessings and the wisdom of their ancestors.  There is an interesting feeling of physical paralyzation when smoking imphepho, as if the mind is leaving the body and entering the dream state while still completely coherent.  This is a very unique and powerful dream herb in that it can bring you in to a dream state in a very short period of time and, if I am able to maintain awareness while entering that state, I notice that I often experience full lucidity right from the start.

HOW TO PREPARE/RECIPE: There are three ways to prepare imphepho.  It can be consumed directly, smoked as part of a smoking blend, or taken as a tea.  To consume directly, powder the dry leaves and flowers and put a teaspoon in a cup of water, then mix and drink.  This powder can also be put in to gel capsules, which makes it significantly easier to swallow.

One teaspoon of dried leaf and flower matter can also be steeped in one cup of very hot water for 5-10 minutes to make a tea.  This tea has a very earthy taste, so honey, brown rice syrup, or turbandino sugar can be added to make the tea more pleasant.

Finally, the most effective and common method of using imphepho is to smoke the dried herbage, either on its own or as part of a smoking blend.  When the smoke vapors are directly inhaled, the effects are noticeable within minutes, so don’t smoke imphepho unless you are ready to enter a deep state of dreaming!