Synaptolepis kirkii - Uvuma-omhlopeFAMILY: Thymelaeaceae

GENUS: Synaptolepis


COMMON NAMES: Uvuma-omhlope

Synaptolepis kirkii is a multi-branched shrub with dark brown, nearly black stems and blue-green spear shaped leaves.  The plant has a dark blue-green color, while the large, fibrous roots are porcelain white.  The flowers are tubular and white with orange pollen.   The fruits are orange and berry-like, although each fruit is actually embedded in the base of the flower.  The fruits are very good to eat and yellow-orange when ripe ( 2011).

TRADITIONAL USES: S. kirkii is used traditionally to produce clear visions when entering trance and to help diviners gain clarity.  The root is said to help one to communicate with one’s ancestors, to lead to visionary and prophetic dreams, and to aid in divination and in gaining answers to specific questions ( 2011).

TRADITIONAL PREPARATION: The roots of S. kirkii are quite large and are usually cut in to pure white chunks containing brown fibers.  S. kirkii is often combined with other plants to create root infusions for the purpose of divination. S. kirkii may be purchased whole or ground in to a powder. The easiest way to consume it is by using the powder to make a tea and consuming this tea before bed time.  About 300 mg of the dried root powder is sufficient to elicit lucid dreaming (Dream Herbs 20110).

MEDICINAL USES: In Africa, S. kirkii root is combined with many other herbs to create a potent potion known as ubulawu, which is used to induce dreams, trance, and as a potent emetic that removes toxins and negative energies from the body ( 2011).

TRADITIONAL EFFECTS: It is said that consuming S. kirkii allows one to enter a trance state and induces vivid and lucid dreams in which one may communicate with ancestors and find answers to questions about one’s present and future. Individuals who have experimented with S. kirkii report relief of anxiety, restful sleep, and a dramatic increase of lucid dreams, many of which seem prophetic. Individuals also report feeling an increase in well being and happiness after working with this plant ( 2011).

S. kirkii contains several novel alkaloids, including kirkinine, a powerful neurotrophic.  Neurotrophics encourage the survival of nerve tissue and helps to repair and regrow nerve cells. Very little research has been done in to this plant so far but the presence of this alkaloid indicates very promising things about the power of this amazing root ( 2011).


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“Synaptolepis Kirkii.” Dream Herbs, 2011.

“Synaptolepis Kirkii.” Shamanic Extracts, n.d.