Calea Zacatechichi Tea: How to Prepare the Dream Herb

Calea Zacatechichi Tea

Calea Zacatechichi {aka – the dream herb} is traditionally brewed and drunk as a tea.  In this article, I will show you how to prepare Calea Zacatechichi tea.

If you’re unfamiliar with Calea Z, check out my article entitled Dream Herb: Using Calea Zacatechichi for Vivid and Meaningful Dreams.  It provides a good overview of the herb, its origins, effects, and other methods of consumption.

Is Calea Zacatechichi Tea Bitter?

When I first heard of Calea Zacatechichi tea, I read many reports that it’s bitter and unpalatable.   Unfortunately, this deters many people from trying it.  My take is that it’s all a matter of perspective.

I find Calea Zacatechichi tea to have a pleasant, earthy flavor that I enjoy drinking. It tastes like Yerba Mate or unsweetened green tea.  If you’re used to drinking overly sweet beverages, you might find the taste slightly bitter.  But in all fairness, it’s really not that bitter.  And in any case, you can always sweeten it with sugar or honey ♥

Pre-Preparation: Allergy Testing

People have drunk Calea Zacatechichi tea for centuries and no harmful side effects have been reported.  However, there is always a possibility of having an allergic reaction to a new substance.  I recommend doing a simple allergy test before drinking the tea.

To do this, take a small amount of Calea Z leaf and place it under your tongue or inside your cheek.  Hold it there for about 15 minutes and swallow any juices.  Remove the remaining plant matter and wait another 15 minutes.

Possible allergic reactions include (but are not limited to): Lack of physical stamina, swelling of the extremities, rash between the fingers or toes, mild nausea, drowsiness, and mild vertigo.

If you don’t experience any adverse effects, carry on with the tea preparation.

How to Prepare the Dream Herb

Before you get started with your tea preparation, you will need:

  • 3 grams dried Calea Zacatechichi herb
  • 2 cups of water
  • Small pot
  • Stove or burner with temperature control
  • Honey or sugar (optional)
  • Milk (optional)

Preparing Calea Zacatechichi tea is easy.  All you need to do is five S’s:  Steep & Simmer, Strain, Sweeten & Sip.

Step 1: Steep & Simmer

Place a handful of Calea Zacatechichi in a small pot.  Add 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer.  Allow tea to steep in simmering water for 20 minutes.  Note:  Avoid boiling the water as this may cause the tea to become bitter.

Steep and Simmer dream herb

Step 2: Strain

Using a tea or juice strainer separate the tea leaves and pour water into a mug.

Strain calea zacatechichi tea into mug

Step 3: Sweeten & Sip

Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey.  Now have a sip and get ready for a night of memorable dreams.

Sweeten with sugar or honey

When to drink Calea Tea for Optimal Results

Option 1: Before going to sleep

Traditionally, Calea Zacatechichi was drunk right before going to sleep.  This is your first option.  To have an authentic experience you can also smoke or vaporize some dream herb while you drink to increase its effects.

Option 2: After 3-4 hours of sleep

This is a good choice if you are using Calea Zacatechichi tea for lucid dreaming.  As your REM cycles get longer after longer periods of sleep, you will have extended periods of dreaming.  Taking the dream herb at this stage of sleep will give you a better change of inducing a lucid dream.

Calea Zacatechichi Tea

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  1. Daughter suffers from severe form of fibromyalgia. We are trying to get her off all the drugs that are causing more side effects and go nature. We heard this one helps at night when spasms occurs.

    • Hi Terri,

      Thanks for the comment. I don’t know anything about treating fibromyalgia, so I can’t comment on that. Calea Zacatechichi is a mild sedative and has relaxing effects. So in that way it might help. Good luck getting your daughter off the drugs – I applaud your efforts to go all natural.

      Happy Dreaming,

      • can a child at the age of 11 drink the tea and is this a drug?

        • Calea Z is not a drug – it’s the leaves, stems, and flowers from the Calea ternifolia plant. It *does* have psychedelic effects in the dream state, ie – it produces vivid dreams. I am in no position to advise on who can and cannot drink the tea. I recommend checking with your doctor or healthcare practitioner and then using your own judgement before giving it to a child.

          Thanks for the question :)

          Happy Dreaming,

          • Simmer two handfuls of leaves. Sometimes I add a handful of dried Damiana, mugwort or Gotu Kola. Let it stand overnight. Sieve and then squeeze out the juice. I just skol it cold before sleep and sometimes when I wake up through the night. You’ll get mostly very realistic linear dreams but the occasional lucid is worth the effort.

    • It is unfortunate that the girl has fibromyalgia. I believe the symptoms of fibromyalgia are the inward expression of a severe allergy that has been only partially subdued. It is the inner body fighting against the irritants. The outward symptoms have been crushed to a whisper – perhaps a sudden fit of sneezing or an intensely runny nose on occasion. My use of Calea z has included chewing a wad for hours and sucking the juice out of it and swallowing it, followed by drinking a strong tea, and sometimes inhaling the smoke of it. But I need a bong full of icewater to cool the smoke. My lungs just cannot take it. The calea is for dreams, and I would say only dreams. But the fibromyalgia seems to respond well to astragalus powder capsules, schizandra berry capsules and stinging nettles leaf tea and gingko biloba leaf tea.

  2. Does the tea have any effect when mixed with Kava Kava for use such a relaxing, not for having before sleep?

    • I have no idea, I’ve never used Kava Kava before. I do notice that when I take Calea on it’s own it can be quite relaxing when I’m awake.

  3. I don’t have way to weigh 3 gm of the herb to make my tea. What would happen if I put too much in? Can you overdose and would it make you flip out of have night mares?

    • The traditional recipe is “a handful.” So it’s not necessary to weigh it. And a handful will be different for each person. I recommend starting with a small dosage and if you don’t get the desired effects, increase the dosage until you do.

  4. Can this be an every night time tea or should It be couple times a week? I’m sure you get what I’m saying, also do you wake up feeling loopy? Thank you, Dave

    • As far as I know, it won’t hurt you to drink it every night… though I personally don’t recommend it. I’d start by taking it just a couple times a week and then use it as you feel like it. I wake up feeling a little “weird.” For me it’s like mellow and sleepy combined. Kind of “hangover” affect, though not the same kind as after drinking alcohol… if that makes sense.

      Sweet dreams,
      Amy xo

  5. Hey… I have trouble falling back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night. I was wondering how much it matters if you take it after 4-5 hours of sleep or before sleep…. Thank you for this article :)

    • It’s just a matter of preference, no need to wake up if you won’t be able to fall asleep again. It’s perfectly fine to take it just before going to sleep… that’s what I do.

  6. Hey, I couldn’t help it, I have to say this… I bought some Calea Z a while back, and have tried a few times with the tea, but it just ends up being WAAY too bitter for someone like me, with a big sweet tooth. I’m trying to move towards the earthier, healthier flavors.

    Right now I’m still at a point where almost nothing can be too sweet for me. I made the tea using a handful for 15 minutes in water and it’s astoundingly bitter to me. I end up with about a cup of tea, that no amount of sugar and honey could help. Any suggestions on a palatable method for the weak-willed, or do I just have to stick it out? Thanks.

    • Wish I could help you out… Calea Z is extremely bitter – even for me and I LOVE bitter foods. You just gotta stick it out ;)

      There are two kinds of Calea Z actually… one is bitter, one is not. I used to have a source for the non-bitter kind, but they went out of business :( I’ll keep looking and if I find another vendor selling the non-bitter version, I’ll let you know.