Calea Zacatechichi: Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing

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Calea Zacatechichi: The Dream Herb

Calea zacatechichi is a perennial herb found in Mexico and parts of Central America. It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples for its medicinal properties, particularly its ability to promote lucid dreaming.


Calea zacatechichi is primarily used as a dream enhancer. It is believed to work by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in memory and learning. This increased acetylcholine activity is thought to enhance dream recall and vividness.

Other traditional uses of calea zacatechichi include:

  • Sedative: Calea zacatechichi can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • Analgesic: It has mild pain-relieving properties.
  • Anti-inflammatory: It may help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Antioxidant: Calea zacatechichi contains antioxidants that can help protect against cell damage.
  • Digestive aid: It can help improve digestion and relieve stomach upset.

Side Effects

Calea zacatechichi is generally considered safe when used in moderation. However, some side effects have been reported, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting: These are the most common side effects, especially at high doses.
  • Headache: Calea zacatechichi can sometimes cause headaches.
  • Dizziness: This is a less common side effect.
  • Interactions with other drugs: Calea zacatechichi may interact with certain medications, such as cholinesterase inhibitors and anticholinergics.


  • Calea zacatechichi is not recommended for use in:
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
    • People with liver or kidney disease
    • People taking certain medications, such as cholinesterase inhibitors and anticholinergics
  • It is important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed to minimize the risk of side effects.
  • Do not use calea zacatechichi for extended periods of time without consulting a healthcare professional.


The typical dose of calea zacatechichi for dream enhancement is 2-4 grams of dried leaf powder. This can be taken as a tea, capsule, or tincture.

  • Tea: Steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaf powder in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
  • Capsules: Take 1-2 capsules containing 500-1000 mg of dried leaf powder.
  • Tincture: Take 1-2 ml of a 1:1 tincture in water or juice.

It is best to take calea zacatechichi 1-2 hours before bedtime. The effects usually last for 6-8 hours.

Other Information

  • Other names: Sacred herb, dream herb, bitter herb
  • Botanical name: Calea zacatechichi
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Parts used: Leaves
  • Habitat: Tropical forests of Mexico and Central America
  • Cultivation: Calea zacatechichi can be grown in a variety of climates, but prefers warm, humid conditions. It is relatively easy to grow from seed or cuttings.


Calea zacatechichi is a natural supplement that can be used to promote lucid dreaming and enhance relaxation. It is generally safe when used in moderation, but it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and precautions. If you are considering using calea zacatechichi, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider first.

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