Wild dagga or Leonotis leonurus is a big broadleaf evergreen plant native to South Africa and belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is often used as an alternative to cannabis. It has been used as a medicine since ancient times and is known for its healing properties and psychoactive effect. It is a very versatile herb that can be consumed as a tea or smoked.
Often, it is mixed with other legal smokable herbs like Damiana, Rosemary or Chamomile as part of herbal smoking blends and smoked as a substitute for tobacco or cannabis. It is one of the most effective herbal alternatives to smoking cigarettes and can bring about similar effects albeit a milder high. It is also used to reduce a cough and as a stimulant for asthma patients. It is also known to suppress fever and relieve a headache.
When consumed as a tea, it induces calming sensations and euphoric reactions. It is a great herbal remedy for treating various skin conditions including boils, itches and rashes. It is also used for a wide range of internal illnesses including indigestion, high blood pressure, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids and dysentery. It is also reported to be an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anthelmintic.
Its psychoactive effect is induced by the water-soluble alkaloid leonurine which has a very similar chemical structure to THC but much milder in potency. It produces a calming and uplifting feeling of euphoria which makes it very popular amongst smokers looking for an alternative to marijuana but without the harsh side-effects.