Did you know that tobacco is one of the most sacred, detoxifying and powerful plant spirits on earth? This is strange considering our process of selecting the strain, modifying it, processing it with 800 chemicals, marketing it and misguidedly inhaling the smoke. This has resulted in tobacco now being demonised by the very same society that rapped its spirit to begin with! I was a tobacco smoker for the best part of 15 years and needless to say it took a long time get the message, that it’s not meant to be treated that way!
What a turn around to go from: ‘tobacco = toxic’ to ‘Tobacco = Sacred’. It’s so important to take back our sovereign perspective from the media programmed version. Its no coincidence that such an important plant was so keenly used and abused by those who wish to profit from its power rather than use that very same quality for healing. In South America there are shamans called tabaqueros who are devoted to the ceremonial use of tobacco as a sacred herb, they use mapacho tobacco (Nicotiana Rustica) that is a way stronger cousin on the one we are familiar with. Tobacco is a Martian herb; in my experience, if you do want to consume its smoke then let it reside in your head (which is Martian by nature) and do its work there. If possible don’t inhale it, but if you do then do it occasionally because your lungs are wet and cool by nature, an environment harmed by Mars’ hot, dry spirit.
I also take mapacho in small doses (be very careful) as a healing and purifying herb. Its most obvious use is as a smudging herb for energy cleansing much like sage. For this it is unrivalled in my opinion as no evil spirits can reside where the mighty tobacco dwells!
Another interesting point is that much as alcoholics get less infections, tobacco smokers get less worms due to its very powerful parasite killing properties. Believe it or not, proper tobacco smokers are also some of the longest living people on Earth as you will see mentioned next in an article by David Wolfe.
On the occasion recently when I did inhale some tobacco, this time I was aware of the great and mighty spirit of tobacco. Far from being a repetitive casual and unconscious experience I can now only approach tobacco as a full on spiritual journey—nothing I would want to repeat on a regular basis but a very positive ally when I need him. For me this is true alchemy; what was once a real issue in my life, through the light of awareness or inner standing and the alchemy of perspective, has now turned into a sacred and awesome experience. May all our spirit healers be fully integrated into our lives!
‘Is Smoking Tobacco Bad For Your Health?’ by David Wolfe
I have been growing tobacco for about five years in various places. I definitely have a green thumb for it. I love growing it. It is my favorite plant! I thought I’d share some of the things I have come to know about tobacco:
- Insecticide. Tobacco leaf tea is a remarkable insecticide. It is too toxic to have laying around because if a person drinks too much of it, they could be poisoned. However, tobacco leaf tea in a spray bottle against ants-aphids on baby fruit trees is an effective and natural insecticide with thousands of years of usage.
- Lobelia vs. Tobacco. Nearly all the herbal formulas that now include lobelia for its flushing and cleansing effects originally were tobacco formulas. They were all switched in the last 50 years because of the unfavorable press about tobacco and the lack of skill by most present-day herbalists in delivering tobacco orally in sub-toxic dosages. Tobacco is more powerful as a cleansing and flushing agent than lobelia. Tobacco is also a fierce de-worming agent and kills all different kinds of parasites.
- Nicotine, Nicotinamide, Niacin, Niacinamide are very close in their chemical structure. That means vitamin B3 and nicotine are nearly identical. Niacin and nicotine have nearly identical effects. Nicotine is effective in the microgram dosage. Microgram dosage is the equivalent of an ant affecting the Empire State Building. Very little is needed to create large results. It is right on the button and hits the human cell’s receptor sites powerfully causing the instant dilation of capillaries.
- Extraordinarily high mineral demands. Tobacco is the heaviest feeder of all major grown plants in the world. It requires more minerals than anything else. It is rich and requires wealth to grow strong and healthy.
- Tobacco is an insect eating plant. I have observed this repeatedly and I am convinced it is true. I have theorized that in its natural wild environment tobacco is often in strong competition in the soil for minerals and would need to procure more minerals from another source. Therefore it developed sticky nicotine-rich leaves that trap, kill, and dissolve insects. I was showing my friends this the other day on my plants and we found a dead bee on a tobacco leaf that was 25% dissolved. Tobacco usually traps smaller insects.
- Tobacco is an MAO inhibitor and is associated with longevity. As long as one avoids abuse, does not gum up their lungs with tar or use agri-business chemical tobacco, or smoke any cigarette with potassium nitrate in the paper then tobacco can be an effective adjunct to a longevity program. I know this sounds counter-intuitive based on the anti-tobacco propaganda, however, if you look at the longest lived people in the world, they are always tobacco smokers. For example, Jeanne Calment (French woman who lived to be 122 who lived on chocolate and smoked tobacco) and The Shivapuri Baba who lived to be 137 and who was a tobacco smoker. My shaman friend Don Augustine in the Amazon is over 80, looks great, is extraordinarily healthy, and has smoked Amazonian jungle tobacco for over 60 years.
- Tobacco and Cancer? Amazonian shamans have always maintained that tobacco cures cancer. When one combines non-ritualistic abusive use of tobacco with chain-smoking chemical tobacco with toxic diets with the shower of carcinogens in the atmosphere with the demineralization of present-day humanity along with parasite saturation combined with alcoholism a clearer picture of the connection between lung cancer emerges. Lung cancer is unknown to Amazonian shamans who have been smoking mapacho (jungle tobacco) for thousands of years.
- Why do people become addicted to tobacco? One: They are acidic. Tobacco smoking or chewing creates an alkaline stimulation. Two: They are out of gas in serotonin and tryptophan. Nicotine (like niacin) can be used to produce serotonin. Three: Chemicals. Most tobacco sold worldwide today is chemicalized at every step of growth and processing. Over 800 chemicals are estimated to be added to conventional chemical tobacco. People can become addicted to the chemicals as much or more than the tobacco. Four: Oral stimulation in social environments. People are addicted to the way that smoking makes them breathe and use their face particularly in social settings.
Tobacco’s genus, Nicotiana, covers over 70 species. The name tobacco usually refers to most famous and widely used Nicotiana Tabacum and its shorter but more potent cousin Nicotiana Rustica, both native to the Americas.
Although it’s hard to pinpoint when and where it was first cultivated, we can be sure tobacco had been used for several thousand years before the time Christopher Columbus reached Americas in 1492, after which it spread to the whole world.
Although in present-day society associated with a myriad of health issues, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases, this plant has been used for medicinal, as well as ritual purposes for millennia. Only in the last decades tobacco has been aggressively proclaimed harmful. Up until the 50s they even had doctors promoting them. Why it is so? Throughout South and North America, tobacco was used consumed in a diversity of ways: it was chewed, sniffed, smoked, eaten, juiced, smeared over bodies, and used in eye drops and enemas. Its use varied depending on the culture and location—it ranged from medicinal as a remedy for many ailments, to purely recreational consumed by both men and women, and also mystical—a connection to the spiritual world: it´s purifying smoke was blown over fields before planting, over women prior to sex, blown into warriors’ faces before battle, it was offered to gods as well as accepted as their gift. In other words, tobacco smoke was believed to carry blessings, protection and most of all purification.
The popularity of tobacco was likely due to its dual nature: small amounts of tobacco produce a mild stimulating effect on the user, while large amounts can cause hallucinations, deep trance or even death. This is why it plays a major role in many shamanistic traditions, and is an integral part of many of their cultures.
Even today it is widely used by shamans in the Amazon where there are tabaqueros. They master the spirit of tobacco and heal illnesses with their blow of tobacco. There tobacco is considered a Planta Maestra (Teacher Plant). These plants are considered key protective spirits, allies and guides to the world of health and healing. Other examples of Teacher Plants are Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Coca, but there are dozens of others, not all of which are hallucinogenic.
In pre-Columbian North America, different tribes and civilisations had used tobacco with one thing in common: they all preferred pipes for smoking. The pipes were utilised for distinct social and ritual purposes, which resulted in their sacred status, same as tobacco itself had. Various tribes used tobacco for various purposes including healing ailments such as earaches, snake bites, cuts and burns, respiratory diseases, fever, convulsions, nervous ailments, urinary ailments, and skin diseases. Other examples of its use include sealing the peace with other tribes, preventing lightning and storms, communicating with spirits and, making an offering to them.
Tobacco’s first encounter with Europe was in the palace gardens in Spain and Portugal from where it spread to the rest of the continent, first because of its beauty, and later because of the medical properties that were assigned to it. The first noted experiments with the plant were conducted by Jean Nicot, a French ambassador in Portugal, after whom nicotine was later named. He succeeded to cure a man with a tumour applying tobacco poultices, and continued experimenting with it. He introduced the plant to the French court and promoted its medicinal properties, which gave a boost to its popularity.
The popularity of tobacco is likely owed to nicotine, one of its potent ingredients. Nicotine is an alkaloid that in lesser doses produces a relaxing and stimulating effect, and increases the level of dopamine and serotonin, which probably accounts for its addictive properties. In higher doses it can be harmful. Even though labeled addictive, its benefits seem to outweigh the risks. In fact, it seems to have no more health risks than caffeine.
The confusion about nicotine comes from anti-smoking activists who equate nicotine and smoking. Nicotine is an anti-inflammatory agent and has been shown, among other things to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s, as well as delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
Analysis of natural tobacco leaf has been shown to contain more than 3,000 endogenous plant organic and inorganic chemical compounds. Interestingly, among them are certain harmala alkaloids, which perform as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI-s). These prevent the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin and thereby increase their availability. This can also account for tobacco’s “feel good” effect. Also, in case of ingesting DMT, tobacco is likely to increase its absorption.
What happened in the last hundred years that changed the way the world thinks about tobacco?
At the notion of tobacco, the majority of people will associate it with disease. The WHO states that “tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced”. This statement is false because the tobacco itself doesn’t present such a health threat; it is the modern tobacco products and the production process that pose a threat.
Tobacco today is a commercial agricultural product, planted in over a hundred countries.
The whole process from planting to harvesting, curing and its incorporation into tobacco products is carefully controlled, in order to get specific leaf characteristics, smoke chemistry, degree of combustibility, desired moisture content and other properties.
Being one of two main categories exempt from being required to label the ingredients (the other one being alcoholic beverages), tobacco products are usually laden with additives. Any attempt to make labeling the ingredients obligatory has been smothered by the tobacco industry. Now, I have heard many times that cigarettes have additives, but once I looked deeper into the subject, I realized this was not only true, but true to a perverted extent.
In the US, the industry uses over 600 intentional chemical additives to blended cigarettes. Furthermore, there is a myriad of additives present in tobacco final products which are not intentionally added, but are simply a by-product of growing and production process.
These include: various microorganisms, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals, foreign materials such as metal, cardboard, styrofoam, wood fragments, small animals and insects, and other elements such as organic solvents and dioxins.
The tobacco industry claims that all of the additives used in the manufacture of cigarettes and other tobacco products are approved for use by the FDA GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list. However, problem is the ingredients on these lists have never been approved in products that are intended to be burned or inhaled.
Through inhalation the lungs absorb into the body even the substances that the digestive tract would have recognized as toxic and filtered out, while the burning alters many of these additives into potentially harmful ones, while some are known to produce carcinogenics when pyrolyzed. Furthermore, none of these additives have been tested in conjunction with other pyrolyzed additives or tobacco.
In example, even the seemingly harmless additives such as licorice , chocolate, honey, and brown sugar, are actually harmful when burned in conjunction with nicotine since the sugars in these ingredients create acetaldehyde when burned. Another example is glycerol which, when pyrolyzed, converts to acrolein, a known carcinogen.
As if this wasn’t enough, in 1982 tobacco became the first plant that was genetically modified. Since then, tobacco has been further genetically modified with the purpose of making it resistant to herbicides, insecticides, viruses, fungi, and to reduce the nicotine content. Since labelling GMO-s is not mandatory, users of cigarettes and other tobacco products, in addition to being exposed to numerous dangerous chemicals, have no way of knowing if there’s GMO tobacco in their cigarettes. This also means that the studies done on smoking and smokers do not differentiate between natural and chemically treated tobacco, or between natural and GMO tobacco.
I would call this bad science.