Oneirogenic Herbs Traditionally Ingested Amongst African Tribesfolk

J. F. Sobiecki : "A review of plants used in divination in southern Africa and their psychoactive effects ...". SOUTHERN AFRICAN HUMANITIES 20 (December 2008):333-351. [with different pagination]

p. 2. "the Southern Bantu diviner shares with global shamanic healers the ability to utilise trance and altered states of consciousness (ASC), or what could be better described as ‘enhanced states of association’ (ESA), for healing purposes. Other similarities include communicating with ‘spirits’ (Boshier 1973: 282; Junod 1962: 529; Kohler 1941; Schweitzer 1977: 98–9), undertaking ‘soul journeys’ while dreaming or trancing (Hammond-Tooke 1998: 12; Kohler 1941; Lambrecht 1998: 153), and having animal spirit guides."

p. 3 "interesting terms for psychoactive plants exist, including bhayiskhobho (bioscope (cinema) in Zulu), otherwise known as the ‘mirror’ or ‘TV’, which refers to the effects of hallucinogenic plants such as the toxic Boophone disticha (L.f.) Herb. (see Hall 1994: 54). Another Zulu term, bonisele, describes several plant species that are used by initiate diviners to elicit divinatory powers and induce dreams of the ancestral spirits. This derived verb stem means “to see on my behalf” ... . The descriptions of the effects of bonisele plants on the initiate diviners are analogous with metaphysical ‘seeing’, transcendental enlightenment and revelation. An example of one such plant is Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene. Descriptive phrases for such plants also include ‘magical plants’ and ‘plants that arouse the spirits’."

p. 4 "One of the plants, Myosotis afropalustris C.H. Wright, is used by the Sotho for treating hysteria and to develop the memory of trainee indigenous healers (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962). With ingestion, this plant has been reported as producing a mildly stimulating ASC that Sotho diviners use to divine". "Lamla (1975: 81) notes that “[d]reams and visions feature prominently in divination” in Transkei. In the Nguni worldview, dreams belong to the domain of the ancestors and serve as the medium through which the diviner establishes contact with the ancestors. These ancestors are heavily involved with the realm of the living and can send illness and misfortune to those who disrespect or ignore them. Southern African indigenous healing often runs in families, and ancestors who were healers often call their descendants to the profession through dreams. Given the importance of dreams in the diviners’ lives, they need to find ways to induce them and their methods include the use of certain psychoactive plants." "The term ubulawu refers mostly to the roots of varieties of herbs and creepers, but sometimes to the stems or bark of certain plants, for example, the leaves and stems of Helinus integrifolius (Lam.) Kuntze." "Another popular ubulawu ingredient is Rhoicissus tridentata (L.f.) Wild & R.B.Drumm. Watt (1967) reports its use by the Lobedu and the Masai for psychoactive purposes. A reportedly powerful mixture used by diviners in Johannesburg for facilitating communication with the ancestors includes Hippobromus pauciflorus (L.f.) Radlk., Dianthus mooiensis F.N. Williams. and H. integrifolius."

p. 5 "Broster (1981) mentions an interesting combination of Rubia petiolaris DC.—a plant used by Xhosa initiate diviners to induce dreams of the ancestors (Broster 1981)—and Silene, Hippobromus and Dianthus species, all of which have oneirogenic and ‘visionary’ uses ... . ... Some diviners state that these “varieties of ubulawu possess a spirit (umoya) which has the power (amandla) to reveal deep religious truths in the mind through dreams” (Hirst 1990: 176). “Prescribed at a low dosage, and taken on an empty stomach, certain varieties of ubulawu have the power to induce profound and lucid dream experiences connected with the spirits and sacred animals” (Hirst 1990: 177)."

p. 6 "Myosotis afropalustris C.H. Wright as the primary ingredient produces elation and stimulation (D. Millard pers. comm.). Similarly, the fresh or dried flowers of Nymphaea nouchali Burm.f. have empathogenic effects. Some South African diviners (Sotho, Tsonga and Zulu) make the distinction between plants that produce hallucinations and those that induce dreaming (oneirogenics). Hallucinogens, such as B. disticha, are perceived by some diviners as drugs that yield ‘impure’ and arbitrary visions. Dream-inducing plants, such as Silene undulata Aiton and C. mimosoides, are believed to produce ‘true visions’ that elicit intuitive powers that normally arise only while sleeping." "In the second stage of exorcism, the rite of the Gobo basin, the patient has his or her face submerged into a basin filled with water in which certain plants are mixed. The patient is made to open his eyes which causes burning and produces a red space with black dots in the field of vision. This is done for a long time, after which the patient is said to have “crossed the sea”. “He has seen everything. It is the drug that makes one see (muri wa ku bonisa). Some are said to have learnt divination by this Gobo ablution” (Junod 1962: 489). Junod (1962: 495) further suggests the visionary nature of the plants used in this rite when he says: “The baptism in the calabash has helped him to cross the sea and to reach the land beyond, the land of miracles and of magic powers!” This is a characteristic description of hallucinogenic experience. The psychoactive ingredient is possibly Casearia gladiiformis Mast. (Junod 1962: 501)."

p. 7 "James Hall (1994: 53) described his experience with a vision-facilitating medicine called likhambi, which is administered nasally. The visions elicited were likened to the bhayiskhobho." & also

Emmanuel Adekanmi Adewusi : In Vitro Effect of Selected Medicinal Plants ... . PhD thesis, Univ of Pretoria, March 2012.

Table 2.1, p. 22. Species : "Chamaecrista mimosoides L. Greene". Plant-part : "Root". Traditional use : "C. mimosoides are reported to be taken to remember forgotten dreams by Zulu (Hulme, 1954)". {This effect would be similar to being hypnotized by a hypnotherapist in order to remembre further details of having been abducted into a flying-saucer by outer-space-aliens.}

Hendri Coetzee, Werner Nell, and Leon van Rensburg : "An Intervention Program Based on Plant Surrogates as Alternatives ...". ETHNOBOTANY RESEARCH & APPLICATIONS 12 (2014):155–164.

p. 160b "Acacia xanthophloea Benth. (fever-tree) is most often used to foresee the future, often in combination with such species as umbonisela (Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene) (meaning “show me” in isiZulu), igibonesele (Acalypha glandulifolia Buchinger & Mesin. ex C.Krauss), or ungibonele (Corchorus confusus Wild)." or else with

Kamarudin Mat-Salleh, A. Latiff, & Ian M. Turner : "Taxonomic realignment of Malaysian vascular plants in Burkill’s monumental dictionary".

p. 183, 70.4 "Cassia mimosoides Linn. = Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene".