An oneirogen, from the Greek ὄνειρος óneiros meaning "dream" and gen "to create", is that which produces or enhances dream-like states of consciousness. This is characterized by an immersive dream state similar to REM sleep, which can range from realistic to alien or abstract. Many dream-enhancing plants such as dream herb (Calea zacatechichi) and African dream herb (Entada rheedii), as well as the hallucinogenic diviner's sage (Salvia divinorum), have been used for thousands of years in a form of divination through dreams, called oneiromancy, in which practitioners seek to receive psychic or prophetic information during dream states. The term oneirogen commonly describes a wide array of psychoactive plants and chemicals ranging from normal dream enhancers to intense dissociative or deliriant drugs. Effects experienced with the use of oneirogens may include microsleep, hypnagogia, fugue states, rapid eye movement sleep (REM), hypnic jerks, lucid dreams, and out-of-body experiences. Some oneirogenic substances are said to have little to no effect on waking consciousness, and will not exhibit their effects until the user falls into a natural sleep state.
- In a 2018 double-blind study lasting three nights, Galantamine was shown to increase lucid dreaming by 27% at 4mg, and 42% at 8mg.
- Calea zacatechichi has been traditionally used in Central America as a believed way to potentiate lucid dreams and perform dream divination.
- Silene undulata is believed by diviners in South Africa to induce lucid dreams.
- Mugwort, specifically common mugwort, is believed to have oneirogenic effects, particularly for lucid dreaming
- LaBerge (August 2018). "Pre-sleep treatment with galantamine stimulates lucid dreaming: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study". PLOS ONE. 13 (8): e0201246. Bibcode:2018PLoSO..1301246L. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0201246. PMC 6082533. PMID 30089135.
- Mossoba ME, Flynn TJ, Vohra S, Wiesenfeld P, Sprando RL (2016). "Evaluation of "Dream Herb," Calea zacatechichi, for Nephrotoxicity Using Human Kidney Proximal Tubule Cells". J Toxicol. 2016: 9794570. doi:10.1155/2016/9794570. PMC 5040790. PMID 27703475.
- Sałaga M, Fichna J, Socała K, Nieoczym D, Pieróg M, Zielińska M, Kowalczuk A, Wlaź P (June 2016). "Neuropharmacological characterization of the oneirogenic Mexican plant Calea zacatechichi aqueous extract in mice". Metab Brain Dis. 31 (3): 631–41. doi:10.1007/s11011-016-9794-1. PMC 4863909. PMID 26821073.
- Sobiecki, J.F. (December 2008). "A review of plants used in divination in southern Africa and their psychoactive effects". South African Humanities. 20 (2): 333–351. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Schultes, Richard Evans; 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
- Media related to Oneirogens at Wikimedia Commons