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In the current society, there is a serious perception regarding tobacco/Mapacho, branding it as one of the most dangerous items in the world. However, for centuries, Mapacho  was considered as a revered medicine, often used by many to heal different ailments. There was indeed some danger associated with its usage, in high dosages.  But like any other medicine, if wrongly used, the side effects are not appealing.


It is widely known that Shamans used to ingest copious amounts of Rape’ regularly, and this never made them sick. The tobacco/Mapacho was used to cure an array of ailments, not caused them.


While there are divergent views regarding tobacco usage and its concomitant effects, the focus should be placed on the intention of use and the respect accorded the stuff.


What is Rapé?


Rapé is an Amazonian dried and powdered tobacco snuff that is used by means of blowing it through the nose, with the help of a friend. The preparation of rape was traditionally a preserve of expert shamans. However, this tradition has changed because the art of preparing this sacred snuff has been bequeathed to generations outside the known tribal communities.


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Ingredients of Rapé?


Rapé’s main ingredients are tobacco and tree ash. To enhance its aroma, other tree leaves and seeds are added to the stuff.  Rape, in some instances, could be made without the tobacco, theis is done by collecting the plants and flowers of the region, tho this is an uncommon practice, it has been done by the women and children of tribes for thousands of year.  This Rape’ as its own healing properties, and very strong goddess/feminine energy.   


Rapé contains the main ingredient called Nicotiana Rustica, a species of tobacco/Mupacho that is different from the usual tobacco contained in the cigarettes. This is a strong tobacco, 8-20 times stronger than cigarette tobacco. The Nicotiana Rustica tobacco is prepared with a lot of focus of intention and prayer, devoid of additives. Chemicals are not added to it.  Tribal member believe that this is what opens the third eye and decalcifies the pineal gland


The ashes from sacred trees are usually added as an alkalizer to balance the tobacco. The visionary effects of rape are increased by using plant seeds like yopo or wilka.


Using Rapé


Rapé is a ritual affair. Whether you are alone or in a group setting, it is one of the main way to be introduced to the spirit of the plants.  This Amazonian snuff has a spiritual effect and there brings about the wonderful jungle experiences in the user.


The indigenous Indians revere this sacred tobacco, always using it for sacred purposes. In this sense, they use it while communing in prayer, calling on Nature forces, forest animal blessings, and the powerful medicinal plants to bring about their healings and power to the users and the entire communities around the forest.  They use it to send their prayers to the heavens and bless those around them.  In ceremony it is used to clear negative energy. 


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Medicinal rape has been adapted in contemporary society where its usage is more social. Cross-cultural friendships and the ayahuasca ceremonies practised by the travelling shamans have facilitated this usage. You should use rape the right way to avoid getting addicted to it.


Here is how to use Rapé:


1.     The Right Way


For you to use rapé, you need to have either of the two bamboo or bone pipes.


  • Tepi


This pipe requires the assistance of another person to blow rapé into your nostrils. It is also called the blowpipe.


  • Kuripe


This is a self-administering v-shaped pipe that connects your mouth to your nostril. If you are a rapé enthusiast, it is advisable to have kuripe pipe. It takes a bit of training to blow rape into your nostrils, but it is better than having a novice blow it into your nostrils because you will not love the experience.


2.     The Wrong Way


It is not advisable to snort rapé using a straw or rolled bill. Using the straw is an annoying practice to the indigenous Indians who consider rapé as revered spiritual medicine. This act is considered disrespectful, and you may lose respect form the original users.


Uses of Rapé


·         Ceremonial Use


Rape tobacco is used in ceremonial settings to cleanse one’s spiritual air as a way of setting intentions. 


By snorting the tobacco into the nostrils, one commits to a new life, as they signal what enters and leaves their lives.


The tobacco has endeared itself to the users, who have been loyal to it for over 3000 years, because of its power to both ground and stimulate you. The indigenous Amazon tribe have used rape as a precursor for ayahuasca festivities. Besides this, rape is used for spiritual cleansing as a means of psychologically and mentally prepared one for the ayahuasca, or ceremonial psychedelic mushroom journey.


·         Medicinal Use


Nicotine has addictive properties to any user and should, therefore, be used with caution.


  1. Harmala Alkaloids :


It is an alkaloid that inhibits serotonin and norepinephrine hormones, thus stimulating the Central Nervous System (CNS). With the presence of harmala alkaloids, it is evident then that tobacco is an anti-depressant.


  1. Nicotine:


As said, nicotine as addictive properties and this has been an argument fronted by those against tobacco. However, the same nicotine has been found to increase blood flow to the brain. This stimulates the body, thus the feeling of ‘highness’ after using it.


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