Disclaimer: This information has been written because a large number of people have asked us about smoking herbs. Although a very traditional way of using herbs, smoking is not necessarily the healthiest way of taking them. Herbal cigarettes normally do not contain nicotine, however they will contain tar, which is the harmful element of smoking tobacco.
We are often asked how to make herbal tobacco. This may be so that someone can continue to smoke without exposure to nicotine, or because they prefer herbal tobacco. It is possible to buy ready rolled herbal cigarettes/loose tobacco or you can make your own herbal tobacco. The instructions below should help get you started in making your own herbal tobacco.
Dried herbs can be rolled as they are, however most dried herbs tend to be rather difficult to roll and smoke as they do not contain any moisture. The most common way to prepare herbs is to add some required moisture for rolling. This often uses honey and since honey is packed full of goodness, an added healthy twist to the tobacco!
Steps 1. Mix the honey and water in a bowl. Rub the herb mix you have chosen together and add the water mix one teaspoon at a time. Rub the water into the leaves until they are slightly damp.
2. Lay the damp herb mix on a dish for a few days to allow the water to evaporate. Stir the mix from time to time. When your herb mix has dried sufficiently to burn place in an airtight jar. Do not allow it to become too dry. It is worth labelling the mix with its name / date made.
3. The tobacco can be used in a pipe, rolled up or may be burnt on a charcoal block and the smoke inhaled.
Coltsfoot, otherwise known as British Tobacco, is an excellent substitute for tobacco. It is usually smoked on it's own but can be combined effectively with other herbs for an individual mix. Not only does Coltsfoot help to reduce the cravings for a tobacco cigarette, but it is an expectorant and therefore can be used to support the lungs .
Other herbs used in tobacco mixes include Sage, Marshmallow leaf, Mullein, White Horehound, Skullcap, Lavender, Peppermint, Uva Ursi, Damiana and Thyme. Some people also use chamomile flowers, rose petals and cloves for a pleasantly fragrant smoke.
Tip 1: Rolling the herbs to make them a nice consistency by hand prior to moistening them can be useful to help make for a more sustained smoke. Tip 2:Rolling your own cigarettes takes practice but is well worth it. The trick is to take your time and not apply too much pressure to the cigarette paper. It's well worth looking for cigarette papers that have not been chlorine bleached - most cigarette papers have been bleached to make them whiter - but most hemp based papers have not been party to this process. If, after a while, you still haven't got the knack of rolling your own then there are empty cigarette 'tubes' which are available from most newsagents and tobacconists. These are cigarette 'shells' - they are cigarettes with filters and without the tobacco. Tip 3: For a faster herbal tobacco simply soak them in honey (the runny type) overnight and leave the mixture to dry out the next day.
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References: Hedley C. and Shaw N, Herbal Remedies, Paragon Bristol 1996