When you think about tobacco, what images come to mind? A cancerous tumor or someone with an oxygen tank?
These are the projections and results of western culture who may abuse natural substances in a way that lead to disease.
In other cultures like Amazonian tribes, herbs like tobacco hold a different perspective.
Tobacco is valued in a scared practice called rapé and is becoming a more popular practice in the west as a spiritual cleansing ritual.
If you want to learn more about how tobacco can be used to combat mental and physical ailments, then read on to discover the ancient ways of rapé snuffing.
What Is Rapé?
Rapé is made by combining tobacco from the Nicotiana rustica plant with a secret combination of Amazonian foliage and then crushing it into a powder.
This shamanic snuff contains a strong strain of tobacco and other potent herbs to give it an intense smell and potency. Because of its intensity, it is believed to have many medical properties, mainly as a cleansing agent.
Benefits of Using Rapé
Using rapé powder can have a number of benefits, for instance, it can:
- Help with mental illness and even aid in addiction treatment.
- Provide a sense of calm that when used on a regular basis can lead to an overall change in mood. It, therefore, helps relieve depression.
- Restore the sinuses and respiratory system by removing blockages from the breathing pathway.
- Clears your chakras (energy points) by detoxing you both physically and spiritually.
- Prepares you for intense experiences like ayahuasca ceremonies by removing bad vibes to help you find your true intention.
- Gives an overall sense of clarity to think and focus better.
Sacred Shaman History
To gain the full effects of rapé tobacco, you have to understand and appreciate its deep-rooted history as social medicine.
Indigenous tribes of the Amazon including Peru and Brazil use herbs like tobacco and other native plants for more than pleasure. Each herb has a purpose and is used to elevate the spirit while cleansing the body.
If someone in the tribe is ill, it is the community’s responsibility to ensure their health is restored. Unlike, western society, individualism and personal property hold little value in a tribe. So, sharing sacred herbs and space is essential.
How Is Rapé Administered?
Rapé is one of the tribal cornerstones of communal health. It must be prepared by a shaman or elder, then administered using a two-way pipe (Tepi). The shaman blows the powder up each nostril one at a time.
It can also be self-administered using a triangle-shaped pipe (Kuripe) that fits in your mouth and nose at the same time. But, only experienced users should attempt to do this on their own.
Either way, shaman tobacco should only be used in a respectful manner. It should not be abused or used as an addictive substance. The space should be sacred, quiet and calm. An outdoor setting is best to connect with nature.
What Are the Side Effects?
Something as powerful and sacred as rapé includes some immediate side effects and long-term consequences.
The rapé side effects that you will notice right away include automatic body cleansing outcomes like vomiting, diarrhea, and hot sweats. These conditions are part of the normal process to remove toxins from the body.
It is best to be aware of these effects before beginning the treatment. You can be near a bathroom, keep water by your side, and get help from a guide or friend if you feel nauseous.
After the cleansing of rapé is complete, you will feel rejuvenated. The long-term impact can vary from person to person and depends on how often you perform the procedure.
Many people feel more aligned and in tune with their inner voice yet gain an appreciation for the life surrounding them.
How Is it Used Today?
Ancient practices like rapé are becoming more popular as preparation for ayahuasca ceremonial retreats. Westerners attracted to natural remedies and spiritual growth travel to places where ayahuasca is legal.
It is possible and common to use rapé daily on their own after learning the proper way to prepare and use it. Be aware that it should not be used without prior knowledge and previous guidance from a shaman.
Experienced users take rapé usual twice a day or if they are beginning to feel ill or stressed. This can boost and cleanse the immune system.
How to Safely and Properly Use and Store Rapé?
If you become a regular rapé user, then you will want to prepare your own kit and snuffing device.
Treat your rapé as a sacred medicine by storing it in a cool place using an organic container, including ritualistic items like feathers and ornaments during your practice, and cleaning your snuff pipe regularly.
Regular users must also be cautious as with any substance. It should only be used when necessary as a medicine and not as a recreational drug. Remember that nicotine is the primary ingredient, which can be highly addictive.
Getting Started with Rapé
The best and easiest way to explore the benefits of rapé is to participate in an ayahuasca retreat. Here you can get all your questions answered, be guided by a shaman or leader, and properly use the medicine.
You can view our upcoming programs, retreat dates, and reserve your place at one of our ayahuasca ceremonies. All ceremonies include a rapé ritual prior to the ceremony.