Herbal Treats

Herbal Smoking Mixtures Workshop

Herbal Smoking Mixtures Workshop taught by Howie Brounstein of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and author of Herbal Smoking Mixtures, a groundbreaking Etext released over 10 years ago!

This 5 hour intensive workshop includes reasons why people smoke, herbs to quit smoking, herbs for body and flavor, preparing mixtures, and ceremonial, recreational, and medicinal uses of herbal smokes. We will discuss and sample specific smoking herbs and explore the intricacies of developing your own mixture. Bring a clean pipe or a pack of rolling papers.

Saturday July 16, 2011 11 AM to 5 PM At Dicentra Farm, outside of Corvallis, Oregon Camping available in natural setting

$75 includes free smoking samples $50 deposit required Deposit required to reserve you spot Contact 541-687-7114 for more information or to make a reservation

Click here for lecture posters and additional information

Medicinal Smoking Herbs for the Lungs

by Howie Brounstein

Intro:

People often ask me how smoking herbs can possibly be good for your lungs. I tell them the peanut butter story. Is peanut butter good for you? If you wake up to coffee and a maple bar (it has the sugar I need to get up and go in the morning), a quick coffee and some sugary lunch snack bar, followed by a processed dinner with an extra serving of tensions, then replacing the lunch with a peanut butter sandwich will be healthy. If you’re on a strict vegan diet of raw fruit only, a peanut butter sandwich will clog your digestive tract like super- glue. Peanut butter is bad. It all depends where your body is.

It is the same with smoking herbs. If you have never smoked and your lungs are healthy and clean, then smoking anything will not be healthy. 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. It all depends on where your body is.

Mullein, Verbascum thapsus:

Mullein is a fine medicinal for the lungs, even when you smoke it. It soothes inflamed or infected lungs, and prevents coughing until infection or inflammation is broken. Then it aids in expectoration, helping to break up congestion and promote "effective" coughing. It was smoked to stop the coughing of tuberculosis years ago. It is wonderful for any kind of lung cleansing. Very gentle and non-toxic, you can use it anytime. If you are a smoker, and you are sick and can’t stop coughing from a cold, you can smoke some Mullein instead of Tobacco. It may help you to stop coughing, and you will have smoked one less cigarette. If you are not a smoker, stick with tincture (extract) or Mullein tea. After all, there’s no need to smoke when you’re sick in your lungs.

It also has almost no flavor and is a very light smoke. I have never seen anyone become addicted to smoking Mullein, as after a while it is very unsatisfying. The average smoker would feel as if they’re smoking air.

Crispy dried crushed Mullein is a lousy smoke. Be sure to keep it ever so slightly moist. Dried Mullein should be rubbed for the best results. It will become very fluffy and puffy. This fuzzy rubbed Mullein will burn evenly when smoked in a paper or pipe. It will hold other herbs that are in the form of small pieces and powder, and keep them evenly distributed. And it has no flavor! Ideal for a smoking base; I use it in almost every smoking mixture.

I like the light green baby leaves found in the center of the first year basal rosette, but it’s a matter of personal choice. Any leaf will work.

Horehound, Marrubium vulgare, and Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara:

These commonly used smoking ingredients are expectorants. They promote coughing and aid in the upward flow of mucus. Let me repeat this: these herbs will make you cough. Let me relate to you a story I have heard more times than I can count on my hands and my feet. The person hears that Coltsfoot was smoked by the Native Americans. They run to the health food store, roll up a cigarette of dried raspy Coltsfoot, and proceed to smoke it as if it was marijuana. After they cough a piece of their brains out, they decide that perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea. However, the difference between poison and medicine is dosage. If used properly, these herbs are very effective healthful herbs.

Mix these herbs in medium amounts with other herbs. If the mixture makes you cough too much, use less of the expectorant. They are ideal for a general lung cleanse, for the ending of respiratory flus and colds, when you’re quitting Tobacco, and to get the crud out of you lungs in general. Do not use them when you are coughing up blood or if it hurts when you breathe. See a qualified health professional if this is the case. Also, do not use them when you can not stop coughing. If this is the case, stick with Mullein. Ideally theses mixtures should not make you cough incessantly, but just cough effectively once in a while, bringing up some of that excess phlegm.

Jimson Weed Seeds, Datura sp.:

One good reason to smoke an herb as a preferred method of ingestion is regulation of dosage. You can smoke an herb that is very strong and regulate the dosage safety. The difference between medicine and poison is dosage. Many plants are too strong to take internally safely. If you take a tea, it may take half an hour or more before you can tell how strong of a dosage you took. At that point it is too late to take less. When you smoke an herb the effects or side effects become apparent quickly. If the herb doesn’t agree with you, you can stop before overdosing.

Jimson weed is definitely a strong hallucinogen, poison, medicine any way you look at it. The dosage is all important. I do not recommend internal use of Datura without the guidance of a shaman. The use of Datura for a high by pimply adolescents looking for some fireworks is deplorable. Too many of them end up as newspaper reports. I personally know of people who have landed in the hospital for extended stays because of this plant.

Used in the proper dosages, Datura can be a very effective treatment for a variety of problems. Smoke the crushed seeds only. The seeds are the mildest part of the plant. Just a few puffs will anesthetize your throat and lungs. This could be very helpful with some lung problems. You will not feel psychological effects from this small a dosage. I have used this method of taking this herb and will guarantee that you will not get high from two puffs. This plant does not agree with some people. If you feel light headed or nauseous, then stop smoking it. No harm will be done.

In some oversea countries, you may find that the cigarettes still contain Datura leaf. Datura has been used as smoking mixtures in a variety of cultures. Generally this is for their hallucinogenic effect and doesn’t concern us in this book.

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