Quick Summary of Wild Dagga
We here at Herb Stomp sell 100% all-natural Wild Dagga 50x, which is 50 times more potent than the flowers themselves. All of our wild dagga flowers are harvested on a South African farm at the plant's most productive stage. But why should you care? And what is wild dagga?
If you only have time for one paragraph, make it this one: Wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus) originated from South Africa by way of Arab traders who brought it there in the 1100s. The South African Hottentot tribe smoked the dried orange flowers to relax, or they drank the dried leaves as a tea to heal ailments from snakebite to flu to headaches to period-related pain. The flowers are reportedly better-tasting than the leaves. Wild dagga is completely legal in the U.S.
Ready for more? Let’s get back to an in-depth look at wild dagga.
Wild Dagga 101
Image: Blue Sophie
Wild dagga (nicknamed Lion’s Tail or Lion’s Ear, because it would look at home on Tigger) is part of the mint family. The plant is happiest in warm weather, requiring little water. The perennial shrub grows about 6 feet tall with long, thin, spiky leaves and bright orange flowers, although wild dagga flowers may also be yellow, white, or red. Sometimes the plant get up to 15 feet tall, although that’s unusual.
Get a quick peek of wild dagga in, well, the wild with this YouTube video. It’s beautiful -- you can see why it’s popular not only medicinally but in landscaping.
In hot, arid climates such as South Africa, Australia, Arizona, California, and Mexico, wild dagga is an easy-to-grow, quick-sprouting plant that produces lots of nectar and thus attracts bees and butterflies during the late summer and fall when it blooms. Keep reading for more on the historical applications as well as current uses of wild dagga.
Wild Dagga Origin
Leonotis leonurus is found in rocky grassland areas in South Africa’s Cape and Transvaal provinces, including Mpumalanga, Southeastern Gauteng, and the majority of Natal. “Many South Africans remember their grandmothers using dagga as a home remedy, as it had been for millennia,” says the narrator of one dagga mini-documentary.
A rough timeline of dagga’s history follows:
- Mid-12th century: Arab traders introduce the plant to Africa.
- Mid-13th century: Ethiopians smoke dagga or similar herbs in pottery pipes, and use spreads west, south, and down along what is now Madagascar.
- 15th century: The plant is used in what is now Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- 17th century: Dagga has spread along the southeastern and southwestern coasts by the time Portuguese explorers navigate the Congo River. The plant thrives in fertile Mozambique, Swaziland, and eastern South Africa.
- 1652: Jan Van Riebeeck arrives in South Africa with the Dutch East India Company, and use of dagga was well established in native culture. Dutch settlers teach natives to smoke the plant, as it had previously been eaten or drank as a tea.
- 1668: Jan Van Riebeeck sends a group to bring back dagga for the Hottentots.
- Mid-19th century: Dutch settlers journey inland in Africa, taking dagga with them.
- 1970s: The herb experiences a resurgence, thanks to U.S. hippie culture.
- Today: Wild dagga is 100% legal in the U.S.
Wild Dagga Historical Use
In the olden days, the South African Hottentot tribe gathered deer-resistant wild dagga flowers from along the roadside, then dried and smoked them to relax and unwind. Wild dagga resin, leaves, and flowers were either smoked by themselves or in a blend with other complementary herbs. The roots in particular had medicinal applications.
Historically, dried wild dagga leaves were also used to make tea or used to treat snake bites. Other Eastern medicinal applications of the herb were inducing euphoria, using the plant as a laxative, fighting poor circulation, and getting rid of parasites in the body. According to Plant Delights, people have also used the herb as a natural remedy for fevers, headaches, and even dysentery, if you’re playing Oregon Trail.
But wild dagga’s health benefits don’t end there. As a tea, wild dagga can supposedly also help people with the following:
- High blood pressure
- Cold and flu
- Menstrual pain
Image: Andy Carvin
Current Use of Wild Dagga
As explored above, wild dagga has a wide range of applications. It is said to help calm a racing heartbeat connected to anxiety. Leonotis leonurus may also treat female-specific ailments in various stages of life, from regulating periods and easing the pain of PMS to relieving unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
One homesteading blogger claims wild dagga can treat everything from bronchitis and high blood pressure to hemorrhoids and arthritis-related joint pain. “When the stems and stalks are added to a bath, they alleviate itching and muscular cramps,” she adds. Raves user Sheriff Bart of its other effects, “It affects sound perception and gives a whole new dimension to music.”
Those who have recently tried wild dagga seem to prefer the flowers to the leaves. “People also use the leaves from this plant to smoke and make tea, but in my experience the leaves taste really bad and make working with them a lot less enjoyable than using the flower heads,” reports user CatfishRivers. (Thankfully Herb Stomp sells the flowers.)
Image: Andy Carvin
Scientific Research on Wild Dagga
The major active alkaloid in Leonotis leonurus is leonurine. That’s also wild dagga’s main psychoactive agent, although those effects are mild. Leonurine was traditionally used to treat respiratory and bone infections.
According to a 2005 study of wild dagga’s health effects in mice and rats, juice extracted from the plant’s leaves has “antinociceptive, antiinflammatory, and hypoglycemic properties” -- meaning it reduces pain, inflammation, and blood sugar and thus has medicinal potential.
Wild Dagga Warnings
This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This product is not sold for human consumption!!!
When ordering wild dagga, you agree to our disclaimer and that you are at least 18 years old.
As with most supplements, it has not been established that wild dagga is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
We do not ship wild dagga to Louisiana.