African Dream Root, also known as silene capensis is a plant that can be used to grant someone the ability to enter and control dreams.
For centuries, African Dream Root was used by shamans and medicine men for dream walking.
Jeremy Frost, a young man who lost the ability to dream after suffering a serious head injury from his abusive father, became a part of a sleep study using African dream root. The dream root restored Jeremy's ability to dream and he learned to use it to manipulate and control of others.
In 2007, when Doctor Walter Gregg, the man running the study kicked Jeremy out, Jeremy used African dream root to enter the man's dreams and kill him in them. Killing Doctor Gregg in his dreams killed him in real life.
Jeremy's actions eventually drew the attention of hunter Bobby Singer who investigated Doctor Greg's mysterious death. Bobby made the mistake of drinking a beer offered to him by Jeremy, allowing Jeremy to trap Bobby in a nightmare of his wife coming after him for revenge for Bobby's inability to save her from the demon that possessed her. After learning of Bobby's predicament and the case he was working on, Sam and Dean Winchester contacted Bela Talbot for some African dream root. Using the dream root, the two entered Bobby's nightmare where Sam was attacked and nearly killed by Jeremy and Dean found Bobby. Dean eventually managed to convince Bobby that he was in a nightmare, allowing Bobby to take control and wake them all up.
Following the rescue of Bobby, he, the Winchesters and Bela searched for Jeremy who had the ability to enter Bobby and Dean's dreams if either of them went to sleep. After two days of nothing and becoming exhausted, Dean chose to go to sleep to confront Jeremy inside of his mind. To help Dean, Sam took African dream root with some of Dean's hair. While Dean confronted manifestations of his own self-loathing and fears about becoming a demon, Sam confronted Jeremy who was able to use his control of the dream to tie Sam up and beat him with a baseball bat. However, Sam was able to use his own ingestion of the dream root to manifest Jeremy's worst fear: his abusive father. This distracted Jeremy long enough for Sam to free himself and smash in Jeremy's head with the baseball bat, killing him in both the dream and reality.
Afterwards, Bobby suggested that Sam's ability to manipulate the dream had to do with his psychic abilities as well as the dream root, but Sam wasn't convinced. The Winchesters discovered that Bela also used the opportunity to steal the Colt.
In 2013, after Charlie Bradbury was trapped in a nightmare by a djinn, Dean decided to use African dream root to enter it and set her free. While Dean was unable to take control of Charlie's nightmare, he was able to interact with Charlie and her dreamworld. This enabled Dean to convince Charlie to let go of her greatest fear, losing her mother and get her to wake up.
Powers and Abilities
- Dream Walking - Ingesting African dream root alongside a sample of a person's DNA grants the user the ability to enter and in some cases, control that person's dreams. The level of control is shown to vary based on the person with Jeremy Frost gaining enough control to consider himself a god and Sam Winchester was able to manipulate the dream world to manifest a vision of Jeremy's worst nightmare and set himself free from where he had been tied up. In contrast, when taking African dream root, Dean Winchester lacked any special control of the dreams he entered. Instead, he was only able to enter the dream world and interact with it.