Oh sweet tobacco, how you have become an evil in this contemporary world of consumption. Nicotiana tabacum, like many other sacred plants, quickly became bastardised through commercialisation via colonial mercenaries (the earliest multi-national corporations). You know how it is. Especially this little guy, now denigrated to "commodity", that dirty word. Tobacco is now grown all over the world and cigarettes are sold in every nation.
Tobacco evolved in the Americas and its use is an integral part of indigenous cultures. The smoke is used as a mode of communication (inter-special or with higher beings), used in prayer, for protection, cleansing and being used in healing (HEALING, guys). The plant was (and still is) used as incense, bunched up and burned but of course smoked too, not to be deeply inhaled. Nicotine is a very poisonous substance, it can and will kill you as well as many other smaller creatures. You need to treat it with respect.
Now take all of that knowledge that has been garnered over centuries of use, strip it down completely, in fact negate it all by growing the plant as a cash crop for the masses. Grow it with chemical input, process it with chemical input, package it with chemical input, light it up and suck on it. Crying shame. Never mind the marketing. Now cigarettes are all about Pall Mall, Dunhill and Peter frigging Stuyvesant (a Dutch DG coloniser celebrated on cigarette packs around the world. What even).
Yet smoking is a cultural practise that has come out of every culture, whether recreationally or medicinally yet tobacco doesn't come from everywhere - that's gotta mean that there are many other smokable plants all over the globe too, right? I mean, down here we've heard about smoking Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) and Wilde Dagga (Leonotis leonurus), but what else? We started looking at plants, not only in terms of medicines or foods or cosmetics, but also in terms of smoke. Here are some blends we really love:
- Straight up mint (shoutout to FR for enlightening this whole smkblzzz journey, happy birthday!)
- Rose, vanilla, cardamon and lavender
- Artemisia afra ("Oooh, sweet respected Thujone"), sweet fennel, ginger
- Sage, tarragon, lemongrass, green tea
- Wilde Dagga straight up
If you want to gather round the table at the next Smokables evening hit us up.