African dream herb commonly known as or snuff box sea bean, and as the cacoon vine in Jamaica, is a large woody liana or climber. Their seeds have a thick and durable seed coat which allows them to survive lengthy periods of immersion in seawater.
African dream herb is a large unarmed liana (woody high climber), whose stems grow to size of tree trunks. Leaves with 1-2 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 3-5 pairs per pinna, oblong, up to 9 × 4 cm; the main spine of the leaf ending in a forked tendril. Flowers are borne in long, axillary spikes up to 23 cm long, cream to pale yellow. Pods are huge, up to 2 m × 15 cm, flat but woody, breaking down into single-seeded segments, leaving the outer rim. Seeds are very hard, 4.5 × 5 cm, often found washed up on beaches. Its leaves are dried and smoked to induce vivid dreams. Thats what gives it the name African Dream Herb. Sea Bean is native to South Asia, Africa and Australia. It is found in East Himalaya at altitudes of 100-900 m.
The species is employed in African traditional medicine to induce vivid dreams, enabling communication with the spirit world. The inner meat of the seed would be either consumed directly, or the meat would be chopped, dried, mixed with other herbs like tobacco and smoked just before sleep to induce the desired dreams.
The plant is also used as a topical ointment against jaundice, toothache, ulcers and to treat muscular-skeletal problems. The seeds are sought after as pieces of jewelry and as good-luck charms.