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What is Rapé? Everything you need to know about this Shamanic Tool

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What is Rapeh?

The Rapeh o Rapé is a tool of shamanic sacred medicine, a spirit of stellar medicine, which has been used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin for thousands of years.

In practice it is a complex mixture of various medicinal plants of the Amazon, whose main ingredient is Nicotiana rustica, a strong tobacco 20 times more potent than Nicotiana tabacum, used in cigarettes.

This sacred medicine can have a psychoactive or stimulating effect, depending on the plants used to prepare it.

When used during shamanic ceremonies, it can cause very deep experiences. For shamans and indigenous peoples, the Rapeh is sacred, in fact it is considered a spirit of nature. The Shaman uses it in prayer rituals to invoke the forces of nature for healing and to receive the blessings of the forest.

How Rapeh is prepared? Tobacco and other Ingredients  

The main ingredient of Rapeh is Nicotiana rustica, but its preparation is usually enriched with other finely ground vegetable ingredients or alkaline ashes. These can be tonka beans, cinnamon, banana peel and many others. Some preparations contain hallucinogenic plants such as mocambo, anadenanthera, chacruna, virola, etc.. Shamanic tribes usually keep the exact ingredients of their Rapeh secret.

Very important is the presence of Grandfather Tobacco which helps to order, integrate and balance the other ingredients, and to direct and channel them towards a specific intent. At the same time, Tobacco is a port of connection with the spirit and the universe and helps us to awaken the essential purity of ourselves and of every medicine.

Tobacco is now one of the most consumed plants. Its most common forms are cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

Almost all products derived from this plant have acquired a negative reputation throughout history; during the time that this innocent plant has accompanied us. Tobacco producers have modified the "tobacco" to such an extent that it loses all its beneficial properties. Transforming it into a product that encourages excessive consumption, and that creates dependence. For this purpose, they have used highly toxic chemical additives.

However, it is not the fault of the tobacco, but of the human being. A cigarette made only from dried tobacco leaves and grown at home can help to get out of a lung disease.

It serves as an antiseptic and astringent for all conditions and infections that may occur in the respiratory tract, unlike the products we find on the market today.

Fortunately, there are products that have been protected and kept out of the tentacles of the large tobacco multinationals. One of these is Rapeh.

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The ritual of the "entrega" of the Rapeh

To take the Rapeh in the traditional way you need two people. Your ritual partner uses a bamboo or bone pipe (called "Tepi" in Brazil) to blow the mixture into your nostrils. There is another type of pipe called "Kuripe" that is used for self application. The Kuripe is V-shaped and connects the mouth to the nose, so you can blow your own medicine.

The Rapeh is blown with a pipe in each nostril, balancing the two hemispheres of the brain, our feminine and masculine side, yin and yang. To receive the medicine we must be receptive, calm and hold our breath.

The closure of the glottis prevents the powder from falling down the throat and the bronchus. The Western practice of inhaling tobacco is a distortion of the original scheme of this type of medicine. When inhaled, tobacco does not reach the frontal cavities or sinuses and penetrates the lower respiratory tract causing irritation. In this way it does not fulfil its essential purpose of cleaning up the mind and upper canals.

The entrega of the Rapeh (i.e. the act of receiving the blow in each nostril) helps us to heal from individualism and reminds us that we need each other, that some medicines are taken by ourselves and others are received by the hands of a brother or sister.

Those who blow the Rapeh must be centered and empty, moving from its energy center, not to put anything of themselves and simply to be a channel, knowing that the work is done by the ancestors, by the spirit of the plant. In this way, those who receive the blow can let themselves go to medicine, put themselves in its hands as their ancestors have put themselves in ours.

The use of Rapeh produces a strong stimulation of the mucous membranes, which can be experienced as a hard internal hit. This intense hit opens the mind, allowing the stated intentions to do their job. The Rapeh helps the person to free himself from emotional, physical and mental diseases. It frees the person from negative energy and confusion.

Healers of the Amazon rainforest use Rapeh to balance their energy and connect with their higher self and universe. The ritual of the Rapeh is also considered a form of purification and detoxification of the body. Tobacco dissolves the mucus and eliminates bacteria, thus helping to combat inflammation and various diseases.

It is important to remember that removing the medicinal and sacred purpose, thus giving it a social and superficial use in inappropriate contexts, leads to the use of the strength of plants to feed diseases instead of to fight them, which has happened with cigarettes.

What are the effects and benefits of Rapeh? What is it used for? 

The dose and frequency depend on the real and conscious need of the spirit, like all natural sacred medicine, in the relationship of each one with it and for each moment of one's evolution. It is well known that excesses and extremes are usually not good medicine, and that it is not only the quantity but also the quality that makes the difference, and especially the quality of attention and heart that we devote to the moment of the ritual.

In addition, Rapeh is an air medicine. In the act of blowing we receive the blessing of the Grandfather Wind, universal source of energy, which cleanses our perception, clearing the mind and opening the upper energy channels, to connect with the highest part of our being.

Tobacco and natural medicines help to eliminate entities, energy parasites, contamination and interference in internal dialogue. After receiving Rapeh's entrega, the medicine goes up cleaning, ordering and aligning our energy field, especially the centers or chakras of the third eye and crown, and then up and down the spine, the Tree of Life.

It is also a medicine for the body, which helps to expel mucus and parasites from the frontal and paranasal sinuses. It eliminates headaches, mental confusion and dizziness, as it decompresses the pressure of the skull.

A Rapeh ceremony in a medical circle helps to synchronize and align the attention and perception of participants in moments of opening or transition in the ritual.

It is also a medicine for the vision of the spirit, helping us to free the mind and stop the inner dialogue, to be truly present so that we can see beyond our mental interpretations.

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Medical use of Rapeh

Indigenous peoples in South Africa use tobacco to help wounds heal faster, fight ulcers and repel insects. It is used to reduce fatigue, pain, hunger and thirst and to increase endurance. Rapeh can also clean the respiratory tract. Many people find that after having performed the ritual of Rapeh, they can breathe more freely and have a better sense of smell. There are special mixtures of Rapeh that are used against flu, although this is mainly the work of other herbs that are present in the mixture. In high doses, Rapeh can purify the body by inducing sweating and sometimes even vomiting or going to the bathroom. Tobacco alkaloids have an antidepressant and stimulating effect.

Some argue that Rapeh can repair the pineal gland by decalcifying it. The pineal gland produces melatonin, and thus regulates our sleep rhythm. It is also called the third eye and is located in the center of the brain. The pineal gland has an important function in the central nervous system and is potentially involved in diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Although there is as yet no confirmed scientific evidence, there is a theory that tobacco nicotine can help control these diseases. This issue is currently being investigated and studied.

About 90% of people with schizophrenia smoke. They do so as a form of self-medication. Rapeh is much less harmful than smoking and therefore schizophrenic people can benefit from the use of the tobacco plant nasally in the form of Rapeh to avoid the harmful use of cigarettes.

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