Herbal Smoking Blends
What are herbal smoking blends and how do you use them?
In the face of busy days and fast pace of society, how do you create moments of relief for your mind? Do you sip a cuppa tea outside on a café’s bistro set? Take a grounding puff of cannabis flower? Or indulge in a bath steeped with dried lavender and chamomile? If you answered yes to most of these, we think your home apothecary is in need of a smoking herb blend.
The History of Herbal Smoking:
We’ve all toyed with indulgent plant fixes in some form or another, but maybe we’re not aware of the historical rituals behind inhaling herbal smoke blends for the mind, body, and soul. Thousands of different plants have been smoked by shamans, healers, and herbalists from different cultures and countries across the globe. Archeologists have found pipes with traces of different medicinal plants blended in not one ancient culture, but many.
When using mixed smoke blends, with many different plant ingredients, a concept in herbalism known as ‘synergy’ takes place. This helps the effects of different medicinal herbs become synergistic within the body, creating greater relief than when taken alone.
Many Indigenous groups, including the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and Chippewas peoples, would dry the leaves of different plants to smoke for their healing or ritualistic properties. There is a very old Native American word, ‘kinnikinnick’ which means “that which is mixed” used to describe pipe blends of herbs mixed with tobacco. Smoke is believed to form a pathway to the spirit world which can then carry your thoughts, feelings and prayers to the Creator.
In India, Ayurvedic text explains how smoking different herbs ( Dhumpana ) will release the plant’s medicinal properties throughout the neck and head region. Herbal smoke is said to swiftly deliver healing properties of the plants to the wounded part of the body. The practice of mixing smoking blends and smoking as a means of healing, are still used in Ayurvedic clinics today.
Ancient Benefits of Herb Smoke:
The practice of smoking medicinal herbs to enhance wellbeing has been used across cultures for centuries. When medicinal vapours travel directly to the lungs, many cultures believe the healing properties of these plants can diffuse into the bloodstream in a very ceremonial manner. But due to the westernization of tobacco and the proliferation of cancerous additions into cigarettes, smoking
has been stigmatized to the point of wiping out the traditional ritual and ceremony to health.
Traditionally, smokable herb blends have been used for:
- Soothing The Respiratory Tract
- Expelling Mucus From The Lungs
- Cough Relief
- Calming Anxiety
- Overcoming Tobacco Addiction
- Treating Insomnia
- Pain Relief
- Enhancing Dreams and Divination
- Supporting Blood Flow
- Innervation Of the Digestive System
- Balancing Hormones
- Aphrodisiac And Euphoric Properties
- Supporting Memory and Concentration
- Overcoming Depression
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- And More Depending on The Plants Used
Plants that have been used by healers for herbal smokes for thousands of years:
- Calendula Flower
- Damiana Leaves and Flowers
- Hops Flower
- Lobelia Flowers
- Motherwort Leaves
- Mugwort Leaves
- Mullein Leaves and Flowers
- Red Raspberry Leaves
- Rose Petals
- Spearmint Leaves
- Skullcap Flowers
- White Sage Leaves
For example, the sweet aromas of hops and lavender are used for sleep blends, helping the body to unwind. Damiana will be incorporated into blends for mind expansion, dreaming, and aphrodisiacs. While you’ll find Red Raspberry leaves in blends to help one quit tobacco and neutralize nicotine poisoning.
And while you may think these blends are strictly meant for rolling into a paper a smoking, they can actually be used for ritual and healing in a number of puff-free ways.
Ways to enjoy smokable herb blends:
1. Sip: The most familiar way to use the blend is brewing it into a tea. Sipping a steeped herbal blend hot or cold you will still get the synergistic healing properties of whatever herbs are in your blend.
2. Soak: Add herbal blends into the hot water of your bath or foot soaking basin. Let heaping tablespoons of the herbs float loosely in the hot water or fill into a muslin tea bag to help promote relaxation and nourish the skin.
3. Steam: Clear congestion, open your airways and balance your complexion by adding a tablespoon of herbs to a bowl of hot water for a facial steam. Can also be used as a traditional midwifery pelvic steam to tone the uterus and increase circulation.
4. Infuse: Add the benefits of herbal medicine into your daily routine by infusing into your oil, honey, vinegar, or body oil. Add a few tablespoons of herbs to your carrier let infuse for 2 weeks. Strain and enjoy.
5. Burn: Burn in an incense safe dish alone or over hot charcoals. Recommended for ritual cleansing, aromatherapy, and meditation.
6. Smoke: Roll or pack with or without loose tobacco/cannabis flower. Blends will help you cut down on your cannabis/tobacco consumption, add flavours to your rolls, and enhance your smoking ritual with the traditional benefits listed above.