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Alternatives for Tobacco

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I have never smoked though most people I was around growing up did.  I gathered these facts for my husband who smokes.  He has almost quit.

Before I get rid of this info I thought someone here might find it informative.  I put this under Medicinal Herbs as most listed here are.

Smoking Comments and information found in various websites.  Please note, again I have no experience with any of the and the "I" in the comments is not me.  DH has not tried any of these either.

The beautiful plant, pearly everlasting and tomato leafs make great substitutes!
stinging nettle leaf has a similar action to mullein or coltsfoot, smokes very smooth and cleanses the lungs.
A very good lung medicine is jimson weed, thorn apple or datura stramonium. Don't be scared.... no psychic side effects! Dried leaves are part of herbal cigarettes sold for people who suffer asthma. It should grow more or less everywhere. I like the taste!
So this fall i have been getting into foraging for my own ingredients to add to my cigarettes. I have used mullein, sumac berries, mugwart, raspberry leaves, sassafras, chamomile, lavender, mint (don't like it), and rosemary. I mix some combination of these with tobacco and it produces a fine smoke and taste. Just wondering if anyone has read or smoked any other plants that have nice flavor or medicinal qualities. I read that mullein is medicinal for the lungs and actually helps sore throats and improves the lungs. These ingredients also make for tastier spliffs.
I have not tried them but have heard good things about pennyroyal and white sage.
I have tried a mullein and lavender mix (light on the lavender) with tobacco and liked it. I haven't tried but would suggest calendula petals, strawberry leaf, blackberry leaf (probably young leaves would be better).
I have grown tobacco and it was super easy. It seeded in the compost and came up as volunteers all over the garden. No pests bothered it in the PNW climate. Curing was kinda tricky though. I aged it for about 6 months after drying. It was smooth but tasted more like pipe tobacco than cigarette tobacco. I'm not sure if that is curing technique or the variety we were growing.

other than that i know you can smoke:
catnip: supposedly gives a cannabis sorta high but has some negative side effects like nausea and such(this isn't from experience though and im sure most of us know that there is tons of misinformation out there about just about every drug in existence, im sure catnip isn't excluded)
cloves: gives a numbing snesation but no high that i know of, supposedly has more carcinogen content than tobacco and i heard that too much can cause blindless(not sure if thats just temp or ont)
salvia: a hallucinagin(sp) that hits within seconds and stops within minutes, supposedly not a very fun trip and no terrible side effects besides un-fun trip that i have heard of, probably not safe to smoke in public as you are reccomended to have someone watch over you during use, unregulated in states as far as i know

I tried chamomile cigarettes for about a week, very enjoyable.
I use a blend of tobacco, bearberry, lovage, mint, mullein, red willow, red sumac and yerba santa in my pipe, it's a very calming and soothing blend, good to use for meditation and communing with spirit. Can also leave the tobacco out and just smoke an herbal blend.

Coltsfoot is good, as is mullein, both smoked like a ciggy. I had an experience with this many years ago (over 10 years now) where I turned to datura stromonium  [jimsonweed] - smoking small amounts (a puff or two) will stop that cough in its tracks.
you can ween yourself off slowly by first moving from commercial tobacco to organic of homegrown tobacco, and then to other herbs.
look into smoking herbs. Mullein is good as a base, and Lobelia has many of the same effects but NOT addictive!
Also  HOPS is marijuana's closet relative and grows wild
Kinnickinnick [Arctostaphylos uva-ursi] leaves & bark, willow bark, and dogwood bark were all traditionally used to add body to the smoke. Skullcap and wood betony have a nice mildly sedative effect. Mugwort, mint for flavour. Mullein as the base. Just a few that i've tried. Ive heard that Elephant's head pedicularis is a very desireable smoking ingredient for it's effect. (A better marijuana?) but ive never found it. I think it is somewhat particular in where it chooses to grow.

A traditional ojibway pipe mixture is:
1/4 inner bark of red willow
1/4 inner bark of green willow
1/4 tobacco
1/4 tip leaves of the flowering dogwood
It is quite a mellow mixture.

I've tried chamomile flowers, catnip & lavener buds as well as wild blackberry, mint, rosemary & wild passion flower leafs before [dried]. For a while I would roll chamomile with catnip or rosemary when I was quitting tobacco if I had the desire to smoke. Lavender is too harsh for my personal taste but I could see how mint or raspberry would be a nice addition to a spliff or pipe. I've heard about the medicinal properties of mullein. It is in fact a healer of the lungs even when smoked! I'd like to know if some is growing near where I live and if not grow some! Also Hops are great for smoking, being that they are a sedative in the Cannabaceae family, and take a look into Skullcap or Scutellaria!
I found that walnut leaves are not unpleasant. They do have that characteristic 'burnt plant' taste that you get with almost anything but cured tobacco, but it was less so if semi-dry yellowed leaves were used. I bet if you worked out a way to cure them longer they would lose most of this and make for an pleasant smoke either by themselves or blended with tobacco.
Damiana: Very nice as a base to a smoking mixture, or by itself. Spicy scent and taste. Has been used to aid in stopping cigarette smokiing, as a "sexual aid" (I never noticed this effect) and various other herbal medicine uses. Lion's Tail (leonotis sp.) : Used in Africa as a substitute for marijuana, I found it to be a pleasant mood lifter. I've grown this (its legal in the USA) and it makes crazy looking exotic plants too. Native tobacco (Nicotiana rustica) This contains a much higher content of nicotine than the commercial varieties. Native Indians used in shamanic and divination ceremonies, also used as a natural insecticide. I grew my own, but didn't cure it well so it was very harsh, but major nicotine buzz.
I began teaching a lecture titled “Herbal Smoking Mixtures: Local Legal Roots, Barks, and Leaves, and Flowers.”   It is a starting point for your own explorations into the world of herbs and smoke. Take this knowledge and run with it, make it your own, create you own herbal stories to tell. I hope this helps you in your quest for a satisfying legal alternative to Tobacco or Marijuana, or perhaps the perfect ceremonial blend.  I am a smoker, and I am writing from the viewpoint of a smoker. If you don’t smoke anything regularly, my suggestion is don’t start. Smoking every day on a regular basis is never healthy. Occasional use of smoking herbs, or even Tobacco, is not very damaging. It’s our trend towards making it a habit in excess that becomes the problem.
A number of factors contribute to making a palatable smoking mixture. First and foremost is the way you cure the herbs. If you take fresh Tobacco and dry it like any medicinal herb, it becomes an unpalatable obnoxious smoke that the most hard-core smoker couldn’t stomach (or lung, as the case may be). Tobacco is semi-dried slowly, allowing for chemical changes, and is never dried to a crisp. It is packaged slightly moist in air tight containers. If it dries out, the smoker adds an apple slice or sprays it with water. Dried out Tobacco is harsh.
Herbal smoking blends are similar. In most cases you do not want the herbs to be dried crispy. It’s OK for some of the ingredients, but as a whole the mixture should be ever so slightly moist. Some of the most flavorful smoking ingredients need to dry slow, and cure, but the majority are best picked fresh and not dried completely. Package in an airtight container.
Most store-bought herbs are too dry for a pleasant smoke and taste harsh. If you use herbs that are too dry, try spraying your mixture lightly with water. Mix it thoroughly and let sit in an airtight container to let the moisture travel throughout the herbs.
Experiment with the liquid. Try adding an apple slice or honey. You can always let the herbs air dry if they get too moist to burn properly.
Another factor is the consistency of the mixture. The herbs should be well mixed and burn evenly. If you are using a pipe to smoke, this is not quite as important. The mixture can have small pieces of stems and roots without problems. If you plan to roll the herbs in cigarette papers, this becomes very important. Even small stems will poke holes in the paper. Remove all the stems. Powder or finely chop the slower burning roots and hard herbs.
Some herbs are especially helpful to obtain the proper physical consistency of the mixture. By far the best physical base for a smoking mixture is Mullein. When prepared correctly, it is light and puffy. The other herbs mix well into it, and it will burn evenly when lit. It is a good carrier of the other substances. You can also use finely shredded barks. Thin slices or inner barks of plants like dogwood and willow should be finely cut into long strips, much like fine Virginian Tobacco. This can be difficult to do, but it works well.
Certain plants need to be rubbed before use. Mullein and Mugwort don’t become fluffy until you take the herbs in your hands and rub them. Keep rubbing until the herb becomes light and puffy.
Sometimes I put the Mullein in a blender before mixing. It becomes even more fluffy, but it lacks the personal touch hand rubbing gives.
Finally, the amounts and kinds of flavoring herbs you use will change the palatability. You need to just play with it until you get it right. Unfortunately, most commercially available herbal smoking blends don’t properly prepare, cure, and package the herbs.
They often have good recipes,and I have to assume the manufacturers have the best intentions but lack of resources or knowledge. Some are still good enough to smoke. Very few rival even the simplest hand picked, rubbed and/or cured, and semi-dried do it yourself mix.

** Barks for Body: Hearty Smoking Mixture Bases
Barks were a standard ingredient of Native American smoking mixtures, at least on the West Coast of the United States. Good smoking barks are usually astringents, and have medicinal value for external burns, cuts, etc. Smoked, however, they have no medicinal effects, and no apparent physiological effect other than the act of smoking. They have a dull thick flavor that adds Tobacco-like “body” to the smoke.They can be too “raspy” to smoke alone.
Willow and Dogwood bark are two common barks. Use the thin barked willows, or inner layer of the thicker barks for best results. If possible, cut the bark into very thin strips to approximate a fine cut Virginian Tobacco. This isn’t always possible, but it helps to make the smoking mixture easier to deal with for rolling and mixing other herbs.
You can use other astringent herbs like Kinnikinnik in a similar fashion. There are many undiscussed astringent herbs that might add body to smoking mixtures. Try Avens, Geum sp., Cinquefoil, Potentilla sp., Rose, Rosa sp., and Spirea, Spirea sp
Blackberry, Rubus sp.:
Blackberry root is a strong astringent that has use in smoking mixtures. Be sure to powder the root and mix well. The bark of the stems can also be used. The leaves are very gentle, and can be added also. Any Rubus like Raspberry, Loganberry, Thimbleberry, and Salmonberry might be useful additions.

** Medicinal Smoking Herbs for the Lungs
On the other hand, if your lungs are filled with crud that won’t come out from cigarettes and a mild respiratory cold, smoking some lung herbs will help your body’s natural expectoration. Smoking will be good for your lungs.
Mullein, Verbascum thapsus; Horehound, Marrubium vulgare, and Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara;  Jimson Weed Seeds, Datura sp.

** Flavorings: Sometimes an herbal smoking mixture can be quite bland, or the smoker may like menthol cigarettes. The herbs in this section are good for flavoring. Most are aromatic or good smelling herbs with no system wide effect when smoked.
If you were to smoke these herbs alone full strength, they wouldn’t taste good. They may even be irritating this way. Only add a little to the mixture and taste it. Experiment to find your own special flavor and strength. Go light handed at first.
Feel free to go further in experimenting with flavors. Any smelly edible plant might be useful as a flavoring. Look in your spice and tea rack for possibilities like lemon grass, etc.

Sagebrush, shrubby Artemisia sp.: Sagebrush is a shrub found growing throughout the desert western United States. It is in the Sunflower family and is not related in any way to the Salvia Sage used in cooking. It has been traditionally used to purify the environment. It is indeed an anti- bacterial for airborne bacteria. Often found in Sage sticks, and in stores labeled as Sage, it can be used as a flavoring for smoking mixtures. Native people used this plant like Salvia if they lived in an area where there was no Salvia.
Sage including White, Black, and Hummingbird, Salvia sp.: There are many kinds of Salvia Sages. Some are good to smoke as flavors including the white, black, purple and garden Sages. Some are not so pleasant but worth a try. Some of these Sages were used by Native Americans for purification rituals. They are in the mint family and are not related to Artemisia Sagebrush or Mugwort. These are also found in sage sticks.

Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis:  Melissa is an herb often escaped from gardens and easy to find in the Pacific Northwest growing wild in cities. It is a very mild and friendly calming herb that will add a peaceful lemony flavor to any blend.
Yerba Buena, Satureja douglasii:  Yerba Buena is a good herb for flavoring that grows in the coastal west. It should not be confused with peppermint, which is also sometimes called Yerba Buena. It has a menthol flavor that should satisfy those people who like “Kools.”
Angelica, Angelica sp.: Angelica has many physiological effects when taken internally. When smoked as a flavoring in small amounts, it should have no system wide effects. You can use the root, dried and powdered and thoroughly mixed with the rest of the blend. Feel free to experiment with the leaves and green seeds for different flavor and strengths.
How to Prepare Mullein for Smoking - Dried Mullein is not nearly as good a smoke as moist Mullein. Moist Mullein has a light, fresh flavor and is soothing to smoke, while dried Mullein is pretty tasteless and can even feel harsh. Here's one way to prepare Mullein and keep it moist.
1. Pick two or three nice, big Mullein leaves and let them dry for a day or two (in dry climates -- humid climates will require drying longer) until they are limp. I usually bundle together the ends and hang them upside down.
2. Cut the Mullein leaves into pieces like confetti.
3. Mix the Mullein with dry smoke mix ingredients. The Mullein will help keep the whole mix a little moist, and the dry plants help keep the Mullein from molding. The whole mix is infused with the lovely, fresh energy of Mullein.
4. If the mix is too moist to smoke and doesn't light, spread the mix out on a plate or tray for a day or two to dry a little more.
Nettle mix:  1/2 c nettles, i/4 c mullein + skullcap, fennel seed + mint to taste.

** Make Your Own Natural Herbal Smoke Blend  **
1. Choose Your Base
Your base should be something that is smooth, has body, and burns well. There are a few different bases I would suggest, depending on your desired flavor and effect.
~Damiana: Nice herbacious unique flavor, and stronger relaxing effect. If you are looking to make a smoke blend to give this calming, creative, uplifting effect, I would suggest Damiana as your base. It burns very well, tastes great, and is easy to roll.
~Mullein: Mullein has a lot of body and burns well, but has no relaxing effect. This is good if you’re just looking for an every day kind of smoke. Mullein also cleanses the lungs and brings up congestion, so if you are quitting smoking or have quit already, Mullein is a good lung restorative. *TIP: Make sure the mullein isn’t too dry, because this causes the smoke to be more harsh. You can always remist lightly with a little bit of water. Also, rub the mullein between your fingertips to fluff it up.*
~Raspberry Leaf: Another nice, fluffy base for every day smoking blends. I suggest blending Raspberry and Mullein together for a nice base. You could even do one third of Damiana for a little more of a relaxing effect. You can play with the ratios and find your favorite!  Re-mist lightly with water to freshen up the leaves and make a nicer, smoother smoke.
2. Choose Your Modifiers
Your modifiers will be the second largest quantity in your  mix after the base. They will augment and enhance the effect of your base. So, depending on your desired effect, choose 2-4 modifiers to add to your base. Be creative!
Some examples of Modifiers are: Blue Lotus,  Passionflower, Wild Dagga, Uva Ursi, Mugwort, Skullcap, Wild Lettuce, Hops, California Poppy, Catnip, Chamomile,  Thyme, Uva Ursi, Mugwort, Lobelia, Marigold, Coltsfoot, Marshmallow, Marjoram Rose, and Stevia
Damiana blends well with other relaxing, psychotropic herbs like Blue Lotus,  Passionflower, Wild Dagga, Uva Ursi, Mugwort, Skullcap, Wild Lettuce, Hops, California Poppy, Calea and Catnip.
Mullein and Raspberry Leaf blend well with herbs  like Chamomile, Uva Ursi, Mugwort, Lobelia, Marigold, Coltsfoot, Marshmallow, Marjoram, Rose Petals, and Sage.
3. Add a Flavor Twist
This herb will be in a smaller amount as they have a stronger taste, and they will finish off your blend with a unique flavor! Be careful with herbs like Clove which have a strong taste and medicinal effect.
Some examples are:
~Peppermint, Spearmint, Lavender, Sage, Thyme, Clove (crushed or ground), Licorice Root (crushed or ground) and Stevia.
4. Put it together!
Now you’re ready for the final step. Take all your dried herbs (make sure to pick out any stems) and put them together in this ratio:
~ 3 parts Base Herb
~2 parts Modifiers
~1/2 to 1 part Flavor twist
For example, you’ve decided to  make a relaxing smoke mix.
Your base is Damiana. Place 3 handfuls of Damiana in a bowl.
Your modifiers are Blue Lotus, Mugwort and Wild Dagga. Mix these together first in equal parts, then place 2 handfuls of your modifiers in the bowl.
Your flavor twist is Lavender. You just want a subtle flavor Take a 1 very small handful of Lavender and place it in the bowl.  Mix it all together, and you’re done! Now for the fun part….Try it out!

Common Plantain grows most everywhere as a common weed in your lawn, but it's much more than that, see what I mean... Plantain Herb Helps Smokers Kick the Habit
A weed that you’ve probably trampled on more than a few times could help you butt out. The North American wild herb, plantain (Plantago major), helps reduce cravings for cigarettes. That could be one of the main reasons it is being used in many commercial smoking cessation products.
Growing on lawns, between sidewalk cracks, and in wild spaces alike, plantain is regularly killed by grass aficionados in search of lawn perfection. This is not the same plant that produces banana-like fruit also known as plantain found in tropical destinations.
Not only does plantain reduce cravings for cigarettes, it also reduces lung inflammation and helps to clean out the lungs. Available as a tea, tincture (alcohol extract), a quit-smoking spray, or as a dried herb in many health food stores, it is easy to take advantage of its health-promoting properties.
If you choose the dried herb, simply add one teaspoon to a cup of boiling water, steep for at least 10 minutes then drink before you reach for a cigarette. Many people find they’ll be butting out soon afterward since the craving is gone. You may also feel like you’ve had enough before you finish that cigarette.
Plantain is also used by natural medicine practitioners to reduce bronchial congestion, laryngitis, lung irritations, coughs, toothaches, ulcers, digestive complaints, gout, and kidney infections.
It's possible to graft a tobacco plant onto the roots of a tomato, producing nicotine-free tobacco leaves. (only the roots synthesize nicotine)  You can smoke these leaves while you go through withdrawal, which might break your association between smoking and nicotine, and will also allow you to gradually end the habit after dealing with the effects of stopping use of the drug.
Honeyrose cigarettes are made of natural ingredients like rose petals, marshmallow leaves, red clover flowers, honey and apple juice.
De Luxe Cigarettes have had apple juice and honey added to the herb mix. Tar level of 6mg
Ginseng Cigarettes have herbal mix with a Ginseng leaf in exotic yellow papers. Tar level of 7mg
Herbal blend
A wide range of consumable products may be used as a filling, in lieu of tobacco. Corn silk and a number of flavorful herbs, such as mint, cinnamon or lemongrass, have been utilized by a wide number of herbal cigarette producers.[5] Other manufacturers have included non-herbs like rose petals or clover leaves. Some use the flavorless bagasse and make the herbal cigarette depend on the flavoring; this is especially common in shisha. Some are made with dried lettuce.
Herbal cigarettes are not viewed as physically addictive, as they do not contain addictive substances.
Many people often think that herbal cigarettes have tobacco and nicotine in them. This is simply not true. Herbal cigarettes are made without tobacco and are nicotine free. They contain natural ingredients that you find throughout nature. Here are some of the most common ingredients found in herbal cigarettes:    Ginseng,     Eucalyptus,     Mint     Lemongrass     Cinnamon     Corn silk     Jasmine     Red clover flowers     Passion flower     Rose petals     Lotus leaf     Licorice root

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It's such a long post. Thank you for your sharing. It's music to my ears. My husband is a chain smoker.
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So informative! I tried going herbal years ago- the factory made herbal cigarettes taste terrible to me! I used mullein and damiana and raspberry leaves, but ended up back in tobacco. The last time I quit and thought it would last but I'm struggling again. The herbs you've shared are very extensive and the only thing I can add was a tip passed on to me from a friend who quit while they were still in a relationship with a chain-smoker. They began rolling corn silk purchased through a co-op as a tea base. Just pure corn silk, rolled and filtered allowed them to smoke with friends and not feel left out.
I used it in conjunction with nicorette lozenges and I was smoke-free until I got very depressed this past spring. I suspect that if one dried the corn silk themselves it would have less harshness but it is still better than the mullein/damiana I used to use- very even burning and only a slight harshness which seems advantageous as it doesn't invite habitual use.
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Anne Miller wrote:
A very good lung medicine is jimson weed, thorn apple or datura stramonium. Don't be scared.... no psychic side effects!

Safety of Jimson weed has not been established as far as I can tell.


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Hi, Ive heard that you should use filters for Mullein when smoking because of the tiny hairs? And strain through a coffee filter for tea?
Ive smoked it (found it harsh so thanks for the tip to keep it moist) , but ive never noticed any problem with hairs. What would your advice be here?

Thank you
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