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Cestrum nocturnum L. (Solanaceae)
by Claudia Müller, Christian Rätsch, and Surendra Bahadur Shahi
Originally published in Shamanism and Tantra in the Hiamalayas
Citation:   Müller C, Rätsch C, and Shahi SB. Shamanism and Tantra in the Hiamalayas. Inner Traditions. 2002. 163-4.
Hasana -- Cestrum nocturnum L. (Solanaceae)

This shrub in the nightshade family is usually known as night jasmine around the world. It is widespread throughout the Kathmandu Valley and can often be seen throughout the Kathmandu Valley and can often be seen on the edge of the roads. It blooms in luxuriant clusters during the monsoon months (June to August). The small, yellow, star-shaped and five-rayed flowers release their aroma only at night. The flower clusters are used as offerings to the gods. We mostly saw the flowers at the shrines of Ganesha and Shiva. "The yellow flower of happiness is first offered to Ganesha and then to Shiva"1.

The plant is usually called hasanna by the shamans, but in Nepalese it is also known as jahiko pul ("nectar flower"), pahelo jayi phul ("yellow happiness flower"), or ati bas aune ("a plant that changes at night"). In Kirati it is called bounwat or michili boung, "fire flower." The shamans eat the fresh flowers or smoke the dried flower clusters in order to get more shakti and thus increase their healing powers. The tripping effect is not particularly strong, but it is distinctly noticeable. The scent that wafts through the night gives the Kirati shamans energy for the journey. The dried herb is also pulverized and drunk in schnapps, at least in the Kalinchok region.

The dried flower clusters, complete with the leaves, are burned as dhup for the shamanic ceremonies, especially by the Kirati and the Tamang shamans. Sometimes the clusters or the small branches are struck into the bumba, the water pitcher. The plant transforms the water into the primordial amrita ocean (holy water). A medicinal tea prescribed for bronchitis is also made from the tips of the flowering branches.

Exquisite Smoking Blend
2 partstitepatiherbage from Artemisia vulgaris, A. Nilagirica, A. spp.
2 partshasanaleaves of Cestrum nocturnum
1 partcharashemp resin (Cannabis spp.)
The dried leaves of mugwort and night jasmine are mixed with crumbled hashish and rolled into a joint or smoked from a pipe. The dose is self-determined -- a person smokes until high or on a journey.

References #
  1. Mohan Ria, Kirati shaman and shamanism mediator, peronal communication
Revision History #
  • 1.1 - Aug 27, 2008 - Erowid - Published on
  • 1.0 -2002 - Müller-Ebeling, Rätsch, and Shahi - Published in Shamanism and Tantra in the Hiamalayas.