In the indigenous tribes in the Americas, tobacco was known to be a sacred plant and it was used for many ceremonial and ritualistic purposes. Rapé doesn’t solely involve tobacco, it also includes other alkaline ashes of plants and sometimes contains clover, banana peel, mint, and even tonka bean. Most shamans use this mix before ceremonies to clear one’s head and to connect with the earth better. If you haven’t heard about Rapé, here’s some more information about this unique ceremonial medicine.
The Effects of Rapé and How It’s Taken
Rapé is usually used for community rituals and before Cashri drinking festivals and healing ceremonies too. You inhale it using a blowpipe that’s usually made of bone or wood and you can blow it into your nose yourself or have a shaman administer it to you. The immediate effect is a sense of calm and clarity which immediately focuses your mind and quiets the nagging sounds in your head. Before taking it, it’s important to set an intention before jumping into the process. Because of the spike of tobacco, the neurotransmitters in the brain immediately receives a rush of dopamine and epinephrine which promotes focus and calm.
Setting is Key
When preparing for rapé, indigenous tribes would start by uttering prayers and making sure to bless the space with incense and chumpi stones. Light music would be accompanied to assist in creating a more ambient and meditative space. Rapé is a non-psychoactive, but rather natural medicine that can purge the body of its toxins and it can even help with chronic congestion.
The great thing about rapé is not only is it great for cleaning out your nasal passages but it can be incredibly grounding when used with the right intention. Many people all over the world use it today before meditating or when they feel like they need to be more grounded. Just like drinking a cup of coffee, boosts your concentration, rapé can have this effect mixed in with feelings of calmness. Take matcha tea for example, it’s similar to coffee except it contains theanine which doesn’t give you that jittery feeling. Rapé is similar in the sense that it isn’t meant to get you high or hyperactive, the effects are more on grounding and a sense of clarity and awareness in your day to day life.