Obviously we have all grown up hearing about the dangers of smoking. Perhaps have even lost a loved one to its damaging effects. But did you know that in addition to tobacco, a cigarette contains approximately two THOUSAND chemicals between the filter and the actual smoking blend? I’m sure we can all agree that the act of smoking burning chemicals is never a great plan for our health.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner or herbalist before using any herbal remedies.
However, herbal smoking blends, historically organic (stay away from the burning chemicals, right?) has been used for health for thousands of years. And while I am not going to be the one to tell you is totally harmless, I think its fair to take a measured look at all the evidence and decide for yourself if it’s a worthwhile activity to take part in.
I will not be advocating for Cannabis in this article as it is still illegal federally and not legal at all in many states. I will mention that several studies (2006 UCLA study, 2012 UCLA study) have shown moderate smoking of cannabis can lower cancer risk and increase lung capacity, thus increasing the health of the lungs. I do believe this opens the discussion of actual scientific health benefits for other herbs as well. The following herbs I have listed here are non-addictive and legal, and many you can even grow yourself, if you happen to have a green thumb. If not or you want to try them now, I’ve included my affiliate links to a great organic company.
As always, you are the keeper of your own health and body. Do not take this as medical advice and always seek council with your physician for any questions.
Damiana (Turnera Diffusa) has been used for medicinal purposes in many traditions. Originating in Central and South America, this ancient herb been treasured as an aphrodisiac and mood lifter. The Mayans used to brew it into a strong tea and mix with sugar to enhance lovemaking. Organic Damiana leaf an excellent support of the nervous system, encouraging relaxation and easing stress.
Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) has been known through ancient tradition as the Dream herb, encouraging lucid dreaming and aiding in the remembrance of your dreams. Mugwort is also known as a mild sedative, relieving mild anxiety and stress, and inducing relaxation. It has a mildly sweet and light smoke and pairs well with tobacco, creating a strong earthy blend, though it’s also excellent on its own.
If you’ve been in any Facebook group of herbalists you have seen the absolute plethora of folks foraging their own mullein and discussing the various benefits, especially for those with asthma. It often grows wild along the sides of highways and railroad tracks, though I tend to go back to my earlier sentiment of not smoking chemicals (those HAVE to be covered in exhaust, right?) I would use caution when foraging for wild herbs to smoke, and stay at least 50ft away from roadways. Better yet, buy them from a reputable grower such as Bear Blends or your local apothecary. Organic mullein leaf has long been known as medicine for the lungs, being one of the softest and most soothing herbs we have on this earth. Some Native American tribes, being aware of its amazing properties, even used it to help regrow lung tissue. The smoke of the Mullein plant is gentle and powerful, light, mild, and has a fairly neutral flavor. It soothes coughs and is an excellent lung tonic. It works great as a blend with other base herbs as it doesn’t overpower other flavors.
Raspberry leaves are high in flavonoids, vitamin A &C, Potassium, Calcium, and Phosphorus. It creates a strong full bodied smoke that many use as a substitute for tobacco. Red Raspberry leaves have a long history of use and were used to wrap herbal cigarettes by Native American Women in spiritual ceremonies. It has a mild, fruity taste and is frequently used to support women’s health.
Peppermint is another excellent herb for clearing your lungs and respiratory system. The origin of menthol, it improves blood circulation and relaxes the nerves. Though primarily used in small amounts as a flavoring agent, peppermint is an excellent smoke all on its own with a great smell. There are many other plants in the mint family that are great for smoking as well, including lemon balm, spearmint, chocolate mint, and yerba buena.
Coltsfoot has also been used for clearing the lungs and is an excellent expectorant. Due to this property is can cause harsh coughing if used in too high of concentration in smoking blends and should always be smoked as a blend of herbs.
Organic Skullcap herb has wonderful anti-anxiety properties and may have a mild calming effect when smoked. It has commonly been used as a natural remedy for anxiety and nervousness. Some studies have shown the skullcap may interact with receptors in the brain that are involved in the regulation of anxiety. Skullcap is also known for its mild sedative properties, thus promoting better sleep and having a positive impact on insomnia. It’s a medium smoke with a fairly neutral flavor.
Organic marshmallow leaf has been used in traditional medicines for centuries, there has been documented uses going back to ancient Greece! Marshmallow produces a fragrant and very smooth smoke, soothing and moisturizing dry airways. Marshmallow contains terpenoids creating a gently psychoactive experience with a mild buzz. This aromatic herb is full of flavonoids, which help neutralize free radicals in the body. It has mild sedative properties and helps promote relaxation and improve sleep.
Lobelia (Lobelia Inflata) is also commonly known as Indian tobacco. Its very useful as a nicotine replacement as it binds to the same receptors in your brain. Its an excellent aid in quitting tobacco and can be used to ease the discomfort of withdrawal. Its extremely potent so is best used in blends and in small amounts.
Rose is an amazing addition to your smoking blends, bringing a sweet flavorful note to the mix. Rose petals help ease they feelings of depression and are uplifting to your mood, bringing a clam inner peace. They also act as an aphrodisiac. The smoke is calming and romantic.
Calendula is another amazing herb for lucid dreaming, helping you remember your dreams the next morning! It has a smooth citrus taste and an uplifting positive energy. Its also very soothing for your lungs.
Uva Ursi is a small shrub that grows in alpine regions. Organic Uva Ursi leaf has an earthy flavor and tends to add more body and weight to your smoking blends, which is something tobacco users are more familiar with and can be absent from many herbal blends. It gets its name from providing a favorite food for the bears, its bright red berries!
Ceremonial Herbal Blends:
Dream Lodge Herbal Ceremonial Blend:
Active Herbs: Valerian, Hops, Wormwood, Tarragon.
Moon Herbal Ceremonial Blend: Active Herbs: Rose Petals, Motherwort, St. John’s Wort, Holy Basil.
Kin Nik Nik Herbal Ceremonial Blend: Active Herbs: Damiana, Uva Ursi, Motherwort, Passion Flower.
Vizion Herbal Ceremonial Blend: Active Herbs: Mate, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Skullcap.
OG Bear Blend Herbal Ceremonial Blend: Active Herbs: Mugwort, Rose Petals, Damiana, Catnip, Lobelia, Vanilla Bean.
Mintz™ Herbal Ceremonial Blend:
Active Herbs: Peppermint, Mugwort, Damiana, Lobelia.
Amazon Herbal Ceremonial Blend: Active Herbs: Calamus, Clove, Passion Flower, Vanilla Bean.
Shaman Ceremonial Blend — CBD Flower: Active Herbs: Hemp CBD Flower, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Petals, Uva Ursi.