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African Dream Herb

African Dream Herb:

A dying traditional game, given a fresh lease of life at the ongoing Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, has fuelled a drive for conserving a creeper known as the African dream herb.

  • A perennial climbing vine that is used by African traditional healers to induce vivid dreams that enables them to communicate efficiently with their ancestors.
  • Common names: Giant sea bean, African dream herb, snuff box and Entada rheedii
  • It is indigenous to Africa, Asia, Australia and Madagascar. It grows in tropical lowlands, along the coastline and river banks, in woodland, thickets and riverine rain forests.
  • A paste made from the leaves, bark and roots is used to clean wounds, treat burns and heal jaundice in children.
  • Tea made from the whole plant is used to improve blood circulation to the brain and heal the after-effects of a stroke.
  • The bark is used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and parasitic infections.
  • This creeper yields a dark brown and spherical seed, almost the size of a human patella or kneecap, used to play ‘Hambi Kepathu’.
  • It is associated with the origin of the Karbi community.