The Xhosa of Southeast South Africa call this plant “undela zimhlope” which translates as “white ways” or “white paths”.
In this case, white has multilayered meanings, all intertwined with Xhosa mythology and spirituality. Many of the ritual herbs used by the Xhosa produce a white foam when mixed with water, and this white foam is considered a sign of the herb’s spiritual potency.
The path of the diviner is called the “white way”, and the dreams induced by Silene prominently feature white objects or beings. These dreams are times of communication with the ancestors, who are called upon for guidance or prophecy.
Silene is also unique in that it is taken in the morning to facilitate dreams that night. This may seem strange, but we can attest to its effectiveness. Not only does it bring more frequent and memorable dreams, the dreams are so intense and real that after waking, it is difficult to tell what memories are dreams and what are real events.
One of us here actually acted on a request the other gave in a dream as if it were real, which was surprising to the person who “made” the request but did not remember it!