Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Spirituous Nature of Wild Dagga

photo by ana traina

Wild Dagga is also known as Lion’s Ear, because of its orange flower that looks very much like a lion's ear. This shrub comes to us from its native land of South Africa.
Wild Dagga has a long and respected history of tribal use as a medicine, good luck charm or protective agent against evil spirits, and recreational intoxicant. In traditional medicine it is also used as a folk remedy to treat headaches, dysentery, fever, and swelling.
Wild Dagga is often found in pastures, open grasslands, or growing within the nooks and crevices of sun-drenched rocks. Of course snakes – and that includes poisonous varieties native to Africa that can inflict fever and other radical symptoms with one strike – also enjoy sunny terraces made of native stone. Fortunately, Wild Dagga is used to repel snakes, and is an alternative medicine to cure victims of snakebite. 
It is notorious for attracting all sorts of pollinating creatures. Birds, bees, and butterflies will always arrive in droves if a patch of Wild Dagga is in bloom, because the flowers produce unusually large amounts of nectar.
Others grow Wild Dagga for another kind of nectar, namely the exotic chemical alkaloid, Leonurine.  Leonurine has been extracted for centuries – by drying the leaves of the Wild Dagga plant and smoking them in a pipe South African tribes have used the substance as a form of mild but intensely pleasurable intoxicant. The plant is becoming well known in the West, because it provides what many consider to be a safe and legal alternative to marijuana.
A bit of odds and ends: Wild Dagga can make an excellent relaxing tea.
Wild Dagga Tea Recipe -- 1 table spoonful of chipped dried herb (.10,0g ) added to 3 cupfuls (.500ml ) of boiling water, boil for 10 minutes, allow to cool overnight, strain and use clear liquid for both internal and external use. If fresh material is used, 3-4 young twigs (leaf and stem) are boiled with one litre of water.