Leonotis leonurus, also known as Lion's Tail and Wild Dagga, is a plant species in the Lamiaceae (mint). The plant is a perennial shrub native to and very common in southern Africa, though it can also be found in California, Hawaii and Australia. It is known for its medicinal and mild psychoactive properties.
Leonotis leonurus has long been used in African traditional medicine as a treatment for fevers, headaches, dysentery, and snakebites. The dried plant material also has a mild sedative effect similar to Cannabis when smoked, and as it is unscheduled, it is sometimes used as a Cannabis substitute.
The smoke is often considered to have an unpleasant taste and to be harsh on the lungs and throat, but it is also reported to cause mild euphoria and lightheadedness. Higher doses may cause mild auditory and/or visual illusions. The picked and dried leaves are also commonly brewed as a minty tea.
One experimental animal study suggests that "the aqueous leaf extract of L. leonurus possesses antinociceptive, antiinflammatory, and hypoglycemic properties; thus lending pharmacological credence to folk usage of the herb in the management and/or control of painful, arthritic, and other inflammatory conditions, as well as for adult-onset, type-2 diabetes mellitus in some communities of South Africa."
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