HOW TO CRAFT AN HERBAL SMOKING BLEND

AND THE BEST HERBS TO SMOKE

Herbs rolled into an herbal cigarette

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;

  • Mullein
  • Damiana
  • Sage
  • Mugwort
  • California poppy
  • Skullcap
  • Red Raspberry
  • Rose petals
  • And of course….Tobacco
  • Cannabis
  • Lavender flowers

How to Create a Balanced Herbal Smoking Blend

It can be helpful to think of herbal smoking blends in 3 parts:

  1. Base herbs
  2. Supportive herbs (effects)
  3. Herbs for flavor

The Base

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

Raspberry Leaf

Mullein

Marshmallow Leaf

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!

Supportive Herbs

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

Passionflower

Skullcap

Kava kava

BEST SLEEP AND DREAM PROMOTING HERBS

Mugwort (promotes lucid dreaming too!)

California Poppy

Passionflower

Blue Lotus Flower

BEST CREATIVE AND ROMANTIC HERBS

Damiana (most popular aphrodisiac)

Gotu Kola

Yarrow

BEST EXPECTORANT HERBS

Mullein

Lobelia

Hyssop

Coltsfoot (a little goes a long way!)

Flavorful Herbs

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)

Chamomile flowers

Lavender flowers

Lemon Verbena leaves

Clove

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!

PRO TIPS

  • 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.

Herbal Smoking Blend 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

HERBS

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!

Stay Green!

Tania Oceana | Herbalist, Formulator and founder of Epic Herbalism

Additional references

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.

SHARE ON FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST


Expansion Herbal Smoking Blend by Mossy Tonic | Smoldering Botanic

Organic Herbal Smoking Blend

Expansion | Pre-rolled herbal cigarettes featuring Yarrow, Lobelia & Rose

Herbal Smoking Herbs | Expansion

Loose Organic Herbal Smoking Blend

Expansion | Roll your own!

Now with FREE shipping!

Herbal Smoking Blends Smoldering Botanic
Herbal Smoking Blends by Smoldering Botanic

Lobelia | The nasty herb for shoulder tension and wildfire lung support

The abundance and variety of properties in a single herb never fails to impress me. The idea that one little plant can wear so many different hats also helps reminds me how odd it is to try to pack any living being in to too few, and separate, boxes.

Illustration of Lobelia Inflata

Lobelia Inflata is a small plant who often sports little purple flowers, and who wears the following hats; Muscle relaxant, expectorant, antispasmodic, eases asthma, supports tobacco cessation, tastes kind of like poison and in large doses it is toxic. And of course in additional to those there are always other secrets to wonder about.

Lobelia is so nasty in flavor that it can literally cause one to gag. The lesson in this, I believe, is to work with this herb conservatively. To save your taste buds, a tincture is a better way to go over tea. A bit of loose Lobelia herb could be hidden in say, some strong peppermint tea, but to understand the individual affect, a tincture in a bit of water is a good bet. Due to the strong nature of this herb, a little goes a long way. Instead of the usual 30 drop dose for most herbal tinctures, Lobelia is more of a “drop dose” herb, meaning that 1-10 drops is usually sufficient to feel the effects. If you are sensitive, then you can start on the lower end.

And now the age old question, “so what do you use this herb for?”

A valid question, and I understand the enthusiasm! I do also want to spread the idea though that a more holistic way to approach herbalism is with a bit more open curiosity to what properties this plant has. These properties are all of those different hats, and they can change based on the the weather (your desired application for example) and the plants mood (those random factors affecting the plant, the sourcing and various factors within yourself, that limit homogeny and make life interesting). Ok so let’s start with the muscle relaxation aspect. Lobelia has the lovely ability to loosen muscle tension throughout our body in both our smooth and skeletal muscles. Just that alone means that this herb can greatly aid in tense, knotted shoulder or neck muscles, uterine cramps, leg cramps, restless leg, and even our tiny lung muscles if they happen to be constricted or spazzy from allergies, asthma or illness. Whether the muscle tension is from stress, injury or an inherited condition doesn’t change the effect, which is a deep sigh of relief and physical relaxation. The muscles calm, lose their stiffness and lessen in tone and spasms.

This physical relaxation often promotes emotional relaxation because when your neck loosens up, your cramps subside and pain looses some of it’s sharpness, it’s so much easier to feel comfortable and remember to see all the beauty around us.

As for Lobelia’s relationship with the lungs, the affect is twofold. You have the muscle relaxation aspect, which can calm a spastic cough, tense lungs and the emotional trigger aspect that can exacerbate constriction and breathlessness. The lungs open and relax. The second aspect it Lobelia’s expectorant property. Expectorant means that it helps to loosen, break up and expel excess phlegm from the lungs. So essentially it can help you hack up phlegm which can ease respiratory congestion. This could be beneficial in many ongoing or acute issues in the lungs, such as a chest cold or chronic bronchitis. I do want to mention to please consult a medical professional before attempting to substitute any conventional asthma protocols for Lobelia!

In addition to those with asthma, anyone in forest fire prones areas can often benefit from additional lung support. Here in Oregon, these last few years have been the worst I’ve ever seen in terms of unhealthy air quality from wildfire smoke. That mixed with the heat and excessive city emissions, August and September can be a tricky time for those with sensitive lungs and to a lesser degree everyone else as well. Thankfully this year we got a bit more rain than last year, and more of us are aware and becoming aware of small changes we can make to keep our environments, ourselves and each other healthier. Good news is that when we support any one of them, we support them all.

And lastly, for those who want to transition off of tobacco cigarettes, Lobelia can help with both the tobacco cravings and the inevitable cleaning out of the lungs from accumulated cigarette tar (even when smoked). While Lobelia does not contain any nicotine, it has been called “Indian Tobacco” due to it’s use among North American Natives, as well as it’s use as a tobacco alternative. The physical and mental relaxation properties can be of benefit when transitioning from nicotine, and Lobelia is often blended with other smoking herbs for flavor and effect. Surprisingly, the flavor of the smoke is not gross and can even be pleasant.

In case you are curious how to experiment with this interesting plant, I’d love to share a simple and balanced herbal blend to help support your hardworking lungs this season:

BREATH SUPPORT BLEND | Loose Leaf Herbal Tea or Tincture

1 Part = 1 TBsp Loose Herb OR 1 Dropperful of Liquid Tincture

5 Part Mullein Leaf

2 Part Marshmallow Root (Or substitute Licorice Root)

1 Part Lobelia Herb

Making a Tea: Combine your herbs. Pour 1 quart of freshly boiled water over your blend and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy! You can add honey or a sweetener if desires, and you can enjoy this blend hot or cold, one cup at a time. This blend should last about a day in the refrigerator. 1-3 cups per day is a great way to support your lungs during fire season.

Using Tinctures: Combine in a dropper bottle. Take 1 Droppersful in a bit of water or into tea 1-3x/day during fire season.

Thank you for ready and stay green!

If you are on the journey to quitting tobacco cigarettes, we have five different flavorful herbal smoking blends. All organic, no fillers, no nicotine, and made with love in Oregon!

Check out all of our blend HERE

EXPANSION | This Herbal Smoking Blend features Lobelia and Roses by Mossy Tonic