Oneirogen, from the Greek oneiros meaning "dream" and gen "to create," describes that which produces a dream-like state of consciousness. This is characterized by an REM like immersive dream state that can range from realistic to alien like and abstract. Some dream-producing herbs like dream and african dream herb, and most notably Salvia Divinorum (Diviners Sage) have been used for thousands of years in a form of divination based on dreams called Oneiromancy, this is where the subclass derives its name. Oneirogenic plants and chemicals cover a wide array psychoactives ranging from normal dream enhancers to intense dissociative and deleriant drugs. Effects experienced on Oneirogenics include Microsleep, Hypnagogia, Fugue states, REM, Hypnic Jerks, Lucid dreams, and out-of-body experience.
Oneirogenic plants and chemicals include:
- Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
- Calea zacatechichi (the "dream herb")
- Entada rheedii ("African dream herb")
- Dimethyltryptamine ("Ayahuasca" or "Spice") Smoked and oral DMT preparations can trigger intensely vivid and surreal spiritually charged dream states.
- Harmaline (found in Peganum harmala)
- ibogaine (found in Tabernanthe iboga)
- salvinorin A (found in Salvia divinorum)
- Silene capensis ("African dream root")
- Muscimol (found in "Amanita muscaria" )
- Dextromethorphan (the main ingredient in many cough syrups)
- a large variety of Datura plants and Atropa belladonna can produce microsleep and intense hypnagogic imagery.
- Diphenhydramine "Benadryl" can invoke an intense hypnagogic REM-like microsleep often indifferentiable from reality Deliriants can therefore be considered to trigger a oneirogenic state by blocking acetylcholine and suppressing cholinergic system activity.
- Opium and its derivatives can result in euphoric dream-like states and microsleep, known colloquially as "nodding". These are usually more realistic and more pleasure based, however they still invoke dream like states.
- Amphetamine and other stimulants can create psychotic episodes which may be defined as bursts of dream activity erupting spontaneously into waking states, this is not due to the substance itself but rather a result of the prolonged suppression of cholinergic activity and REM sleep due to amphetamine or stimulant abuse.
- Schultes, Richard Evans; and Albert Hofmann (1979), Plants of the Gods: Origins of Hallucinogenic Use, New York: McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-056089-7
- Gianluca Toro; Benjamin Thomas (2007), Drugs of the Dreaming: Oneirogens: Salvia divinorum and Other Dream-Enhancing Plants, Park Street Press, ISBN 978-1594771743
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