|Calea ternifolia Kunth
Calea ternifolia, also known as Calea zacatechichi, Dream Herb, Leaf of God, and Bitter Grass, is a plant used by the indigenous Chontal of the Mexican state of Oaxaca for oneiromancy (a form of divination based on dreams.) The plant naturally occurs from southern Mexico to northern Costa Rica. There are currently two reported varieties, one being extremely bitter and the other non-bitter. It is also employed by the Chontal people as a medicinal herb against gastrointestinal disorders, and is used as an appetizer, cathartic anti-dysentery remedy, and as a fever-reducing agent.
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, while drinking a tea, both made of Calea ternifolia, right before going to sleep.
Preparation and dosage 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
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 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 state of relaxation from smoking Calea leaf or taking Calea tincture.
Chemical composition 
Several compounds have been isolated from the plant, including the sesquiterpenes calaxin, ciliarin,[full citation needed] the germacranolides 1-beta-acetoxy zacatechinolide and 1-oxo zacatechinolide,[full citation needed] caleochromene A and B, calein A and B,[full citation needed] caleicine I and II,[full citation needed] as well as acacetin, O-methyl acacetin, zexbrevin and an analogue, and several analogues of budlein A and neurolenin B, including calein A.[full citation needed]
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2012)|
Generally Calea is a southern plant. Growing Calea from fresh seed is not easy; cloning this plant is much simpler. The most common way to grow it is propagation from cuttings or layers, the latter of which is very easy in late summer. The Calea plant likes full sun, well drained soils, and medium irrigation. Anecdotal evidence suggests the flowering or post flowering plant harvested in the dry or cold season yields the best herbal product.
A good soil mix for The Calea cultivation is: 1/3 of a rich substrate, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 of humus, or a light garden soil.
Propagation from seeds can be tried with the following method: Sow the seeds in a pot with the soil mix indicated as above. Don't cover the seeds, moisten the seeds with water and cover with a plastic bag. This little greenhouse needs from 4 to 6 hours of light to germinate. If the seeds dry out during this period, the plants will not germinate.
United States 
Calea ternifolia is an unscheduled substance in the United States, meaning that it is completely legal to grow and sell. However, Louisiana State Act 159 makes the substance illegal to grow, cultivate, harvest or sell in Louisiana if intended for ingestion. The act applies to more than 40 types of plants.
Tennessee proposed a bill that would have made many "hallucinogenic" plants, including Calea zacatechichi, illegal when "intended for human consumption," but the law was changed to ban only Salvia divinorum and Damiana (Turnera diffusa).
Calea zacatechichi was banned in Poland in March 2009. It is in the I-N list of substances and the penality for possesion of seeds, plants, extracts is the same as for possesion of opiods such as heroin and hydrocodone.
- Wussow et al. 1985
- http://www.tropicos.org/Name/2728541 Calea ternifolia Kunth
- Diaz JL (1979). "Ethnopharmacology and taxonomy of Mexican psychodysleptic plants". J Psychedelic Drugs 11 (1-2): 71–101.
- Ortega et al.
- Bohlmann and Zdero
- Quijano et al.
- Ramos, 1979
- Herz and Kumar
- Mayagoitia, L; Diaz, J; Contreras, C (1986). "Psychopharmacologic analysis of an alleged oneirogenic plant: Calea zacatechichi". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 18 (3): 229–43. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(86)90002-4. PMID 3821139.
- Erowid. "Calea zacatechichi Legal Status Erowid.org. Jun 20 2006.
- Erowid E. "Comments on New State Laws Controlling the Consumption of Hallucinogenic Plants." Erowid.org. Jun 20 2006.
- Dz.U. 2009 nr 63 poz. 520, Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych. (Polish)