3.4.8 Imphepho

Imphepho #

Binomial / Botanical Name Helichrysum Odoratissimum
Street Names Silver Bush Everlasting Flower; Licorice Plant; Kooigoed; Trailing Dusty Miller
Major Active Compound Diterpenes (Unconfirmed)
Indigenous Source South Africa
Form Plant Matter
RoA Smoked
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale +**


Helichrysum odoratissimum has been used for centuries in African rituals and ceremonies, for both medicinal purposes, and to help to induce visionary trance states. The contents of the latter are sometimes interpreted by shamans as communication with ancestors.

Traditionally, it has been used in smoking blends, drank in decoctions as tea, and burnt as incense. For my experiment, I elect to explore and investigate by smoking the stand-alone plant matter.

At time of testing, I am clean of all psychoactives, and as I have just had a mid-day nap, I feel quite fresh.

T+0:00 I take three large tokes on the bong. It is hot on the throat as I hold it in my mouth to cool, but it doesn’t feel too bad on the lungs or trachea as I inhale. [3:40pm]

T+0:03 There is no instant intoxication or stoning. Perhaps though, there is a light headedness and a slight enhancement in clarity of vision.

T+0:05 I now feel a very mild intoxication. This comprises largely of a gradually changing headspace: a feeling of being a little distant. There is no tiredness or weariness to accompany it.

T+0:10 I am experiencing a general mood of contentedness, with a lucid type of head buzz. This is minor, but it is there.

T+0:20 I am calm and relaxed, with a clear but drifty heady feeling.

T+0:30 This is still quite pleasant, but is now floating down to a soft landing.

Referring to the book ‘Muthi and Myths From the African Bush by Heather Dugmore and Ben-Erik van Wyk’, Wikipedia states that:

In order to experience the effects of Imphepho a lot of smoke must be breathed in for a long time”.

I wonder whether three hits, each held for about 15 seconds, qualify as a long time. I am reluctant to hold smoke in my lungs for too much longer than that.

Equally, Wikipedia’s suggestion of “Euphoria, ecstasy, uncontrolled giggling and sedation” didn’t materialize. However, at this intake it does provide a very gentle intoxication. This isn’t on the level of a herb like cannabis, for example, but for the connoisseur it is well worthy of some attention.