Herbal Smoking Mixtures
c. 2012, Susun Weed
Let’s work with the mint family, by making an herbal smoking mix. Any dried mint-family plants you have on hand can be used make a great healing smoke, especially if mixed with some mullein, and perhaps a few other herbs. Smoking can be good for the health of your lungs and your being.
Careful application of hot smoke and burning herbs, near the body (smudges), on the body (moxibustion), and through inhalation (smoking) are healing techniques that have been used for thousands of years in myriad cultures around the world. If you choose not to smoke these herbs, you may still wish to try them out as smudges.
Herbal Smoking Mix Number One: Combine one large handful cut and sifted commercial mullein leaf and one to three teaspoonfuls of any mint-family plant. Mix well and smoke in a pipe or roll in paper. A relaxing smoke that is good for the lungs.
Bergamot (Monarda varieties): rich in oregano oil, an powerful lung antiseptic
Catnip (Nepeta cataria): roll your own catnip cigarettes to relieve menstrual cramps fast fast fast.
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare): bitter taste, powerful effect on the lungs.
Hyssop (Hyssopus off.): powerful penetrating healer of lung tissues.
Lemon balm (Melissa off.): liberally added to mixes to help fight viral infections.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca): alters perception when smoked.
Oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage: antioxidant, anti-infection; aromatic tastes; deep healing
Oswego tea (Monarda didyma): minty taste; harvest late summer when in flower.
Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides): just a pinch lifts the mood and brings a smile.
Peppermint (Mentha piperata): nice taste; nice to the lungs.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus off.): as smoke or smudge, improves memory, wards off dementia, counters asthma, and pleases the fairies.
Medicine people and post-menopausal women are the ones most likely to smoke. Fire activates the spirit of the plants and this may prove overpowering for young or untrained people. Each Medicine person makes their own smoking mix, imbued with the spirits of the plants that are their allies.
Herbal Smoking Mix Number Two: Combine one handful each finely chopped uva ursi leaves, cornsilk, and mullein, plus one to two tablespoons of powdered or ground thyme or sage. This is a fair substitute for those wanting to smoke less tobacco; it is more bracing than relaxing.
Fire use sets humans apart. We alone have fire, the dangerous friend, as an ally. Burning herbs is a shamanic action. Inhaling the smoke from burning herbs confers both physical and spiritual healing. The smoke directly affects the lung tissues, opening them and relieving spasms. And smoke carries prayers.
Herbal Smoking Mix Number Three: Combine one handful each finely cut coltsfoot, mullein, motherwort, nettle, hops, and cronewort. Smoke at the dark and the full of the moon to increase your visionary powers.
Some plants have spirits so strong that smoking them alters our perceptions. Happy High Herbs, A Guide to Natural Highs and Addiction Solutions, by Ray Thorpe of Australia, includes these common psychoactive smoking herbs: scotch bloom flowers, California poppy, Mexican poppy, damiana, hops, wild lettuce, lion’s tail, madagascar periwinkle, motherwort, mugwort, nettle!!, passionflower, and Salvia divinorum. Some of these plants are poisonous internally.
Please treat all plants, especially these, with respect and care when you make use of them.
Herbal Smoking Mixtures
c. 2012, Susun Weed
Let’s expand our range of plants activated by fire. Some sources say that more than a hundred different herbs were utilized in Native American smoking mixes. What would your smoking mix be? Would you have several, for different tasks?
Let your imagination play with the plants you most often use. What do they smell like when they burn? Are you tempted to inhale deeply? Give yourself free rein to try them out.
So far as I know, the only plants that may cause you harm if you inhale their smoke are:
Commercially grown tobacco, which is considered addictive.
The Toxicodendron sisters – poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac – which contain potent oil that causes blisters on the skin and damage to the lungs.
Jimson weed (Datura stramonium), which is thought to steal your spirit.
Psychoactive plants, which are mostly not legal.
To help you get started making your smoking mix, here is a short list of some plants commonly smoked, approximately in order of prevalence of use:
• Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), a magical plant in the nightshade family, is used shamanically throughout North and South America; while it is for sale, consider introducing wild varieties as allies.
• Sumac berries (Rhus hirta and others), were a favorite smoke among natives and Europeans before tobacco was introduced in Europe; they are rarely for sale; harvest your own in late summer.
• Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) leaves are the classic herbal smoke. They quickly clear the bronchia, open the airways, and jump-start breathing during asthma attacks. Mullein stalks and flowers add sedative and psychoactive properties. Mullein is for sale; or harvest from vacant lots in the summer of its second year, before or right as the flowering stalk reaches its height. The remedy for the lungs.
• Corn silk (Zea maize), was the first smoke of the under-ten set whenI was young; it is mellow and mild. Sometimes found for sale; we save the silks from organic sweet corn all summer, drying them in shallow baskets.
• Uva ursi, also called “kinnikinnick,” a general term meaning “smoking herb” or “smoking mix,” is better known for its effects on the bladder than as a smoking herb; it is for sale; not generally grown.
• Coltsfoot leaves (Tussilago farfara), make a traditional lung-healing smoke. Occasionally found for sale; harvest and dry the leaves in mid-summer.
• Indian tobacco (Lobelia inflata), gives mental clarity and heightened focus with relaxation. Counteracts the craving for tobacco. Find it wild; use sparingly; seeds are emetic.
• Mints, including Peppermint (Mentha piperata) add wonderful tastes and a range of active medicines to smoking mixes; many are for sale in your supermarket; they are easy to grow.
• Artemisias – amazing plants with unique tastes and safe psychoactive properties.wormwood
• Crone(mug)wort (Artemisia vulgaris), is the herb of moxibustion and excels as a smudge. Leaves and flowers add both taste and mind-altering properties to smoking mixes. It is for sale and very easy to grow.
• Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), is the herb of mind-bending absinthe liquor. A very bitter herb, even when smoked; sometimes for sale; fairly easy to grow.
• Tarragon (Artemisia drancuncula), is the little dragon; it gives smoking mixes a unique licorice-y flavor; for sale; difficult to grow.
Herbal Smoking Mix Number Four: You fill in your recipe.
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