The Therapeutic Use of Wild Tobacco in the Amazon Rainforest

Known by many names around the world, in the Peruvian jungle commonly called mapacho or sacred tobacco, bot. Nicotiana rustica is a very potent species of tobacco that holds a special place in the hearts of the Amazon people. Westerners may find the concept of tobacco being a medicine extremely difficult to grasp, but for the South American traditional healers called tabaqueros N.rustica is not only a valid and culturally approved natural remedy, but often the only plant they would agree to use in their medicinal practice. To understand their unbiased relationship with tobacco, we need to take a look at a much bigger picture – from indigenous, intimate and intentional use of tobacco to the catastrophic misuse of its energy that resulted in a mass addiction on a global scale. Let’s talk about the spirit of tobacco.

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Despacho Ceremony with Q’ero Elders

Despacho is a beautiful, old tradition in the Q’ero lineage of Peru that has been used for centuries for a variety of occasions and celebrations. It can be said that it is generally used to celebrate all sides of humane experiences – births, deaths, expressions of gratitude – but a profound observer may soon realise that the despacho ceremony has multiple layers and may also be used for a deeper physical and emotional healing in order to restore harmony and balance in one’s life.

It also serves as a direct prayer and offering to Mother Earth (Pachamama) and many spirits from the Q’ero pantheon. Continue reading “Despacho Ceremony with Q’ero Elders”

Education as a solid foundation for plant-based medicinal work

As much as I progressed in the light of the plant-based medicinal work in the past couple of beautiful and very beneficial years, I think it would be an act of immature, if not perpetual ignorance to deny the dark side of the Ayahuasca boom and the growing dangers of the unregulated world of psychedelic tourism and, the role and impact of foreign visitors training themselves to be shamans, where the lack of understanding of the cultural frames and the substance we now gladly expose ourselves to is widely ignored or simply unstudied. Importantly, the danger a cultural theft, alongside many other not so “light-soaked” pieces of a larger image (sexual predatory), is often unmentioned.

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Yachay and Mariri

Indigenous shamanism is full of intriguing beliefs and fascinating stories. Those of you who have had worked with indigenous healers can probably see them spitting, clearing their throats or coughing a lot throughout various ceremonies. As much as it may just look as just a simple physical reaction there is a deeper and more metaphysical meaning to this. Continue reading “Yachay and Mariri”

Just a Family Meeting

¿Que hora es? – asks our Maestra Juana, as the day slowly changes into the night.

– Son las ocho. – somebody replies and, as with the touch of a magic wand, the rainforest starts its cacophonic concert of buzzes, pings, and rustles of hundreds of insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals. The jungle never sleeps.

Nature opens its portal. Permission to enter is given.
The night is about to unfold.

Continue reading “Just a Family Meeting”