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.