Calea dream herb is also known as 'dog grass' or Calea zacatechichi ("bitter grass"). The shrub belongs to the sunflower family and grows naturally in the Mexican highlands and certain parts of Costa Rica. Calea zacatechichi measures 1 - 1.5 m in height. The plant has many branches with oviform and opposite leaves (3-5 cm long and 2-4 cm wide).
It is used by the Chontal Indians of Mexico to obtain divinatory messages during dreaming and in Mexican folk medicine as an aperitif and to improve the natural metabolism. Indians have been naming calea 'leaf of God'. It is valued for its ability to clear the senses, to induce visions in dreams and as a healing plant in general. Shamans use the herb to receive divine messages in their dreams. Ordinary people in Mexico use it to increase appetite and health product that supports among other things a natural digestion.
Calea provides a restful and drowsy effect. The psychoactive effect is subtle and can be described as dreamlike. Mexican Indians consider calea as a hallucinogen, although no hallucinogenic alkaloid has been isolated yet.
3 to 25 grams of the crushed dried leaves are drunk as tea. It tastes very bitter.
The Chontal medicine men, who assert that this plant is capable of "clarifying the senses" causing euphoria, call it thle-pela-kano, meaning "leaf of God". Whenever they desire to know the cause of an illness or the location of a distant or lost person, the common ritual is to smoke a cigarette, whilst drinking a tea, both made of Calea Zacatechichi, right before going to sleep. Some also report placing the leaf of God under their pillow before sleeping. Reportedly, the answer to the question comes in a dream
Preparation and dosage
Crushed dried leaves are steeped in hot water, and the resulting tea is drunk slowly, after which the user lies down in a quiet place and smokes a cigarette of the dried leaves of the same plant. The human dose for divinatory purposes reported by the Chontal people is a handful of the dried plant, but effects can be felt with as little as two to three grams of dried leaf matter. The user knows that he or she has taken a large enough dose when a sense of tranquility and drowsiness is experienced and when he or she hears the beats of his or her own heart and pulse. Calea is an extremely bitter herb and is known to induce strong nausea when drunk. Many users prefer to smoke it rather than drinking the tea. Alternatively alcoholic tinctures and placing the leaf matter in algae capsules can be as effective as tea while being much less bitter and much more palatable. There are no reports of hangover or other undesirable side effects. Many report an extremely mild Cannabis like state of relaxation from smoking Calea Leaf or taking Calea Tincture.