The Ancient Ritual of Smoking Herbs

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There’s something fascinating about the alchemy of herbs and smoke. Part of it is visual. We can see the plants undergoing a fiery physical change as they are transformed into smoke and ash. It is also something that we can experience with our bodies, providing an opportunity to commune with nature. This ritual of smoking herbs from nature offers tastes and textures all their own, and it resonates with mankind on an emotional and physical level.
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The History of Smoking Herbs

​North American indigenous communities smoked around 100 different plant species, according to Brownstein and his colleagues at WSU 1 (1)

Archaeological investigation has linked the first smoking pipes, made of copper, to Egypt around 2000 B.C. The pipes were found inside of tombs, next to mummies, though it’s not clear if the pipes were used for religious ceremonies or were recreational. Romans, Greeks, Celts, and Nordic tribes also smoked pipes, probably having picked it up from their travels east. Hippocrites – the Greek who gave birth to medicine and the Hippocratic Oath – prescribed “smoking herbs in a pipe” to treat female maladies. Another Greek, Herodotus, known as the “father of history,” noted Iranian tribes smoking “burning leaves” in 500 B.C.

In fact, many plants have been smoked for thousands of years by shamans, medicine men and herbalists. Some popular herbal plants to smoke include:
  • White Sage leaves
  • Mullein leaves and flowers
  • Damiana leaves and flowers
  • Lobelia flowers
  • Mugwort leaves
  • Motherwort leaves
  • Spearmint leaves
  • Skullcap flowers
  • Red Raspberry leaves
  • Rose petals
  • Catnip herb
  • Hops flower
 
More than just flavor
 
In many cases the herbs above were smoked for their flavor, however all of the herbs above also offer medicinal properties. Many cultures smoked specific herbs for specific reasons. Whether for ritual or spiritual purposes or for their therapeutic properties, herbs have been a part of human history and culture since the earliest historical writings. Herbs were considered both as food and as nature’s medicine cabinet.
 
 
Synergy and the effects of medicinal herbs 
 
In the realm of herbalism, a concept known as synergy refers to the benefit of using more than one herb at a time. When different herbs are combined, they may offer a greater effect than when taken alone. In archeological digs from various cultures, pipes were often discovered with traces of mixed herbs offering us clues into how these were once used. 
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Today herbalists use their modern knowledge of medicinal herbs to select these pairings. This is what most Sun God Medicinals products are based upon, selecting the right herbs for specific body needs.

Check out our herbalist formulated smoking blends 

We are delighted to offer you these custom blends featuring medicinal herbs that are 100% organic and native to Oregon. A little taste of our home state in every puff.

Heka Visionary Blend - To open the mind and vision

Hypnos Sleep Blend - To support restful sleep

Panacea Transition Blend - To support life changes


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