Why is tobacco used with Ayahuasca?
Tobacco is utilized as a sacred and healing plant in the Americas and documented medicinal use predates the fabrication and consumption of commercial cigarettes by thousands of years. In many indigenous Amazonian traditions, tobacco (or ‘mapacho’) is considered a Master Plant and is given equal regard and importance as ayahuasca. The qualities ascribed to tobacco in the healing and cermeonial context include energetic clearing, protection, alignment and grounding. Tobacco is actively used by most Shipibo ayahuasceros during ceremonies for these qualities. The tobacco used in ceremonies is the Nicotiana Rustica variey which is very different to the strands used in commercial cigarettes (Virginia, Burley, Oriental). Unlike commerical cigarettes, the tobacco used in ceremony is pure tobacco leaf and does not contain any chemical additives.