What Is Rapé

What Is Rapé? An Introduction to the Sacred Tobacco Snuff

Key Takeaway:

  • Rape is a sacred tobacco snuff used for medicinal, religious, and social purposes. It is made by grinding tobacco leaves and mixing them with other ingredients.
  • The history of rape dates back to ancient South American cultures, where it was used as part of indigenous healing practices.
  • There are different types of Rapé, including white, black, and red, each with its own unique characteristics and uses.

Originating from South America, Rapé (pronounced /raˈpe/ [raˈpe] “ha-peh” or “rapay”) is a powerful ceremonial plant medicine made from tobacco leaves and various other natural ingredients. The word ‘Rapé‘ comes from the Portuguese language meaning ‘to snuff’. The sacred tobacco snuff holds an important place in many Native American cultures and shamanic plant medicine healing practices.

What Is Rapé? An Introduction to the Sacred Tobacco Snuff

What Is Rapé? An Introduction to the Sacred Tobacco Snuff

The world of shamanism and indigenous practices is full of unique rituals and ceremonial practices. One such practice is the use of Sacred Tobacco Snuff.

Rapé is a tobacco-based substance that has psychotropic powers and has been used for thousands of years in spiritual ceremonies.

Sacred Tobacco Snuff, also known as “Rapé,” has been used by various shamanic tribes for centuries. It is a powerful medicine that is made by grinding tobacco leaves into a fine powder, which is then mixed with other herbs and plants to create different blends.

When the mixture is sniffed through the nose or blown into another person’s nose using a special applicator, it creates an intense burning sensation in the nasal passages. This sensation opens up the sinuses and allows for deep breathing, helping to clear any blockages or congestion.

This practice has been used to treat a variety of physical and emotional conditions, including headaches, respiratory issues, anxiety, depression, and addiction. It is believed that the medicinal properties of the tobacco plant help to clear negative energy from the body and soul.

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It contains Nicotiana Rustica, a type of tobacco also known as mapacho. It is different from the tobacco used in cigarettes and is more natural than, Nicotiana Tabacum (commonly used in cigarettes).

In addition to its healing properties, Sacred Tobacco Snuff is also used in shamanic ceremonies as a way to connect with spirit guides or ancestors or as a way to get you out of a continuous thought process during an ayahuasca ceremony. When used in this way, it can induce powerful visions and spiritual experiences.

Historical Background

Historical Background

The origins of snuff can be traced back to the time of the Incas, leading many to believe that rapé may have emerged from the discovery of tobacco’s psychotropic qualities.

In Brazil and Peru, shamans and tribes often use rapé as part of their spiritual practices. Tobacco usage in these cultures differs from global practices, as it is primarily ceremonial rather than casual or habitual smoking.

The frequency and purpose of rapé usage vary among different groups and tribes. Some use it before meals, others in rapé-specific ceremonies, and many other ways in between. In America, it has become increasingly popular to use rapé in conjunction with other spiritual medicines, such as Ayahuasca, Sananga, and Kambo.

For rapé and these substances, the set and setting are crucial.

Where Should Rapé Be Used?

The concepts of spiritual settings are frequently discussed in relation to psychotropic substances. The set refers to one’s mindset and headspace, while the setting is the external environment.

It is vital to align both aspects intentionally when using rapé.

Before using rapé, it is important to have a clear intention, whether it is to clear your thoughts, find answers to a question, or deepen your meditation.

The setting should be a relatively quiet and sacred space. Although it need not be an actual sacred site, the energy surrounding rapé usage should be imbued with a sense of ritual and intentionality.

After setting intentions, the administrator and the user can proceed with the medicine.

How is Rapé Administered?

How is Rapé Administered?

Application of Shamanic Snuff Rapé is not snorted or inhaled. Instead, it is forcefully blown into the user’s nostrils using a v-shaped pipe made of bamboo or bone. An experienced individual can perform this using a tepi pipe.

Seasoned users may opt for a kuripe, a personal pipe with a sharper v-angle that allows self-administration.

In either case, a pea-sized amount is placed in the palm, scooped into the pipe, and blown with one forceful blow or a series of quick, strong puffs.

Both nostrils receive rapé to ensure balance and should be administered within a short interval.

After administration, users can expect the following to occur.


Rapé rapidly permeates the mucous membranes in the nose, entering the bloodstream. Once there, it binds to nicotine receptors, increasing the production of dopamine, acetylcholine, and epinephrine.

These chemical reactions induce a relaxed, calm state while maintaining awareness and alertness. The effect is swift and can be intense but generally does not cause anxiety or fear. Users should close their eyes, breathe slowly, and concentrate on their intentions as the effects set in. Watery eyes are common due to nasal sensitivity and the purgative nature of rapé.

Some users may experience crying, increased salivation, sneezing, vomiting, or bowel movements. These reactions are normal and part of the cleansing and purifying process for the mind and body.

The following medicinal and spiritual benefits may also occur.

Medicinal and Spiritual Advantages Various types of rapé exist, as shamans utilize different plants to create the powdery blend.

Nonetheless, here are some potential mental and physical effects.

Mental and Spiritual Effects

Rapé heightens attention and awareness, quieting the mind and releasing emotional tensions.

Users often feel more grounded during the experience, allowing them to resolve uncertainties or discomfort about a particular issue. By focusing on the set intention, users may easily attain their desired state of consciousness or find answers to questions. The mind is purged of everything it needs to release, with the body often following suit.

Physical Effects

Rapé can make you throw up which is referred to as purging during a ceremony. While purging may be uncomfortable, it is one of the benefits of rapé when used in a ceremony and can be beneficial in getting you to the next stage of your journey.

Other Ceremonial Powders

IngredientsCeremonial and Spiritual SignificancePreparation MethodEffects
Tobacco leavesUsed as a sacred offering to ancestors and spiritsLeaves are ground into a fine powder and filtered through a sieveMay induce slight tingling sensation and mild euphoria
Ash from certain treesBelieved to have cleansing and protective propertiesAsh is added to the powdered tobaccoMay induce heightened awareness and clarity of thought
Various herbal medicinesUsed for their healing properties and to enhance the effects of the tobaccoHerbs are added to the powdered tobacco and ash mixtureCan induce a state of relaxation and heightened spiritual awareness

Five Facts About What Is Rape? An Introduction to the Sacred Tobacco Snuff:

  • ✅ Rape is a deeply traumatic and invasive experience that affects individuals physically, emotionally, and psychologically. (Source: RAINN)
  • ✅ The use of sacred tobacco snuff, also known as rapé, is an indigenous tradition in the Amazon that has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and spiritual purposes. (Source: Rapé Snuff)
  • ✅ The use of rapé can enhance emotional and physical well-being, promote connection with spiritual realms, and aid in personal growth and transformation. (Source: Conscious Lifestyle Magazine)
  • ✅ Due to the growing popularity of rapé among Westerners, there is concern that this traditional practice could be misappropriated, leading to a loss of cultural heritage and potential harm to indigenous communities. (Source: Medium)
  • ✅ It is important to approach the use of rapé with respect, reverence, and mindfulness, and to learn about the cultural significance and appropriate practices from knowledgeable sources. (Source: The Third Wave)

FAQs about What Is Rapé? An Introduction To The Sacred Tobacco Snuff

What are the benefits of using Rapé?

The benefits of using Rapé include the ability to clear the mind, increase focus, enhance intuition, and promote physical and emotional healing. Some people also believe that it can help break down emotional and psychological barriers and provide greater access to the subconscious mind.

Is Rapé safe to use?

When used properly and respectfully, Rapé is generally considered safe. However, it is important to note that it is a powerful substance and should be used with caution. Those who are pregnant, nursing, or have certain medical conditions should not use Rapé. It is also important to use it with the guidance of an experienced practitioner or shaman.

What is the proper way to use Rapé?

The proper way to use rapé is with respect and intention and in a ceremonial setting with an experienced shaman or practitioner. It is typically administered through the nose using a small applicator, and the effects can range from mild to intense, depending on the individual and the dosage.

Is Rapé legal?

The legality of Rapé varies depending on the country and jurisdiction. In the United States, for example, it is classified as a tobacco product and is legal for personal use, although it may be subject to certain restrictions in certain states or municipalities.

Where can I learn more about using Rapé?

If you are interested in learning more about using Rapé, it is best to seek guidance from an experienced practitioner or shaman. There are also many resources available online and in books that can provide more information on the history, tradition, and use of this sacred tobacco snuff.

Does Rapé feel good to use?

Rapé when ingested through the nose causes a strong effect and can make your eyes water and your head spin. The experience isn’t necessarily pleasant, especially the first few times. It does have a strong effect and make users cry or throw up.

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