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Rapé is a sacred shamanic medicine that has been used by healers of the Amazon basin for thousands of years and has become an essential part of their tribal culture and history (Stanfill et al. 2015). Rapé is a complex blend of pulverized plants, which usually contain a strong tobacco, Nicotiana rustica and sometimes also Nicotiana tabacum, as one of the main ingredients. Given the potency of the tobacco, Nicotiana rustica, which is 20 times stronger than Nicotiana tabacum, rapé can elicit mind alerting effects (Stanfill et al. 2010).

South American shamans use tobacco as a sacred, wholesome medicine and there exists a very close connection between tobacco use and shamanism that has little in common with our western way of tobacco use. Indigenous tribes use tobacco in ceremonies, to predict good weather, fishing, or harvest, and for spiritual (e.g. vision quest, trance etc) and curing purposes (Wilbert 1987), but rarely for smoking. The use of tobacco by indigenous tribes in South America, such as the Kaxinawá, Nu-nu, Yawanawá, and Katukina, is profoundly entrenched in their culture, and has been employed at least since the Mayan civilization for ritual, medicinal and recreational purposes (Zagorevski and Loughmiller-Newman, 2012).

In addition to tobacco, rapé preparations often contain pulverized and sieved leaves mixed with finely ground plant materials or alkaline ashes, e.g. camphor, cinnamon, tonka bean, clover, banana peel, and mint (Cardoso and Nascimento, 2008; Stanfill et al. 2015). The rapé ashes can, in addition, be made from psychoactive plants, e.g. Macambo (Theobroma bicolor); Txunú (Platycyamus regnellii), Copaíba (McKenna, 1993).  However, some rapé ingredients will always remain a secret of the shamanic tribe that composed it.


All Shamballa Ayahuasca ceremonies start with a rapé ritual as it is known to pair well with many other plants. Rapé clears and focuses the mind and thoughts, centers and grounds your energy, opens up your physical and spiritual senses and awareness, cleanses and purifies your body and energetic fields and helps one connect to Ayahuasca.

If You are interested please contact us or see our 6 day Ayahuasca retreats.

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