AND THE BEST HERBS TO SMOKE
Learn the best herbs for texture, flavor & effect + how to make you own herbal smoking blend!
And check out our Summer Evening Recipe below!
Our History with Smoking Herbs
Our history as humans includes a long tradition of burning and smoking herbs, often in community and for health or spiritual benefit.
Some of the earliest smoking pipes found come from within Eqyptian tombs from around 2000 BCE. Other ancient smoking pipes have been found in Norway, historian Herodotus noted Iranian tribes smoking “burning leaves” in 500 B.C and we know many indigenous tribes still present in North America still hold pipe and tobacco ceremonies.
Some of the most common herbs appreciated and worked with by Shaman, healers and everyday people around the world include;
- California poppy
- Red Raspberry
- Rose petals
- And of course….Tobacco
- Lavender flowers
How to Create a Balanced Herbal Smoking Blend
It can be helpful to think of herbal smoking blends in 3 parts:
- Base herbs
- Supportive herbs (effects)
- Herbs for flavor
This is the foundation of the blend and constitutes it’s texture. Textures matters for matters when smoking (burn consistency) and ease of packing a bowl or rolling into a joint/cigarette/blunt. Since this is the majority of the blend, you also want to avoid harsh or intense flavors.
Note: not all herbs should be smoked, some herbs are poisonous. All herbs mentioned here are herbs that are used often by Herbalists internally and have a history of use in smoking. That being said, inhalation of combusted herbs should only be done by adults who understand that inhaling any kind of smoke can be harmful.
TOP 3 HERBAL BASES
All of these are light, fluffy and generally neutral in flavor. You can experiment with combining these herbs in different ratios!
Pacific NW tip:
Harvest some of the invasive Himalayan Blackberry leaves instead of Raspberry leaf
Just remember to dry thoroughly, shred & rub the leaves to promote a fluffier texture
Just watch out for those thorns!
You can personalize this section based on what you’d like from a blend.The most common areas of interest include relaxation, sleep/dreams, expectoration (to help expel lung phlegm) and creative or romantic inspiration.
Here are my top supportive herbs (many are in more than one category)
BEST RELAXING HERBS
BEST SLEEP AND DREAM PROMOTING HERBS
Mugwort (promotes lucid dreaming too!)
Blue Lotus Flower
BEST CREATIVE AND ROMANTIC HERBS
Damiana (most popular aphrodisiac)
BEST EXPECTORANT HERBS
Coltsfoot (a little goes a long way!)
The sprinkles on top include a bit of herbs simply to improve or enhance a more specific flavor
TOP HERBS FOR FLAVOR
Peppermint or Spearmint (which is a bit sweeter and more mild than Peppermint)
Lemon Verbena leaves
How to Formulate an Herbal Smoking Blend
Now for the fun part, putting it together!
Feel free to experiment with small amounts before making a larger batch. Be creative and practicing trust in your intuition.
One general recipe structure for a new formula is;
- 2 Tablespoons base herb/s
- 1 Tablespoon specific herb/s
- 1 teaspoon flavorful herb/s (or 1/4 teaspoon for powdered seeds or spices)
All Together Now!
Before blending your herbs in a bowl, feel free to gently rub your base herbs in your hands to fluff them up a bit more so they can help carry the other ingredients.
If you have large pieces of leaves or flowers you can crumble them up a bit with your hands (or a blender if needed). If you’re using a pipe then it’s OK if they’re bigger chunks but if you plant to roll your blend up then you’ll want a more consistent texture.
Combine your herbs and viola! You did it!
Now you can enjoy your blend alone or added to other common smoking herbs (yes I’m talking about cannabis and tobacco) and make adjustments as desired!
- Keep your blend in an air tight glass jar out of direct sunlight.
- Pop a whole 2 way moisture packet (do not open) in the blend if it seems a bit dry or harsh. Some people will also add a tiny spray of water, though be watchful of mold if you go that route.
If you really enjoy the smell of your blend you can burn it as incense! You can put the loose blend on a hot surface made for incense or use a binder like pine pitch to create a solid incense.
If you really enjoy the smell of your blend you can burn it as incense!
Put the loose blend on a hot surface made for incense or use a binder like pine pitch to create a solid incense cone!
RECIPE | SUMMER EVENING BLEND
Simple yet satisfying
3 TBSP Raspberry Leaf
1 TBSP Damiana
1 TBSP Lavender Flowers
If you liked this information (written by an Herbalist) then sign up for our newsletter to get interesting new herbal info directly into your inbox!
Tania Oceana | Herbalist, Formulator and founder of Epic Herbalism
Brounstein, Howie. (1995). Herbal Smoking Mixtures. Retrieved from: http://botanicalstudies.net/herbalism/smoking-mixtures/
Jenner, Greg. (2015). Did People Smoke Anything Before Tobacco Was Discovered? History Extra. Retrieved from: http://www.historyextra.com/qa/did-people-smoke-anything-tobacco-was-discovered
Pennacchio, M., Jefferson, L., Havens, K. (2010). Uses and abuses of plant derived smoke. Oxford University Press. New York.