Exploring Purification and Ancestry with Amazonian Dust

By: Juan Sebastian Chaves Gil

The rape, a powder made from ancient Amazonian plants with tobacco as its main ingredient, is considered both a physical and spiritual medicine that contributes to the purification of the pineal gland. This gland, located in the brain, is believed to provide a direct connection to universal energy. rape, also known as rapeh, hapé, or hapay, is a type of tobacco that is inhaled and used in South American shamanic practices. It consists of a mixture of powdered plants, including tobacco and tree ash, and is administered by insufflation, or blowing into the nose, as part of sacred ceremonies. It is often used in combination with other ceremonial medicinal plants, such as ayahuasca. The rape formulation contains plant and mineral ingredients that have been used by various Amazonian tribes for thousands of years.

rape is a form of tobacco used in Amazonian shamanism and is administered through a pipe called a kuripe or tepi, which is blown directly into the nostrils. This practice, which plays an essential role in shamanic traditions, is derived from plants such as Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rustica, which have been used for medicinal purposes in the Americas for thousands of years.

Throughout history, tobacco has been consumed both smoked and inhaled. Its name, "tobacco," probably comes from the pipe used by Native Americans to smoke it. Since its inception, indigenous communities in the Americas have used tobacco for medicinal and recreational purposes. According to Daniss Lasserna, a therapist and researcher of ancestral knowledge, members of these tribes are in constant contact with nature, fasting and isolating themselves to purify themselves energetically before using tobacco as medicine.

Tobacco insufflation, or inhalation, was a common practice in the Americas before its discovery by Westerners in the 16th century. It spread rapidly to Europe, where it was popular with the aristocracy. In 1624, however, the Pope condemned its use because the pleasurable sensation of sneezing (after insufflation) resembled sexual ecstasy. Despite its decline in Europe in the 19th century, the tradition of rape, especially rape mixtures, continues to be important in the shamanic cultures of the Amazon.

rape, a specific type of tobacco found throughout the Amazon, usually contains Nicotiana rustica and is mixed with other plants. In addition to its medicinal use, its use is considered a form of self-knowledge and a way of transmitting wisdom among generations of traditional practitioners in Amazonian tribes.


Ancestral use

The rape can be used in two ways: individually, in a moment of solitude, or as part of a ritual led by a therapist; however, its most common use is spiritual rather than medicinal in nature. The rape has been integrated into various Amazonian cultures, particularly among the Huni Kuin, Yawanawa, Katukina, Apurina, Nukini, and Kuntanawa. In these Amazonian tribal communities, rape plays a fundamental role in social contexts as well as in ceremonies and healing treatments.

In addition to its use as rape, tobacco is consumed in a variety of ways in these cultures, including ingestion of the juice extracted from the plant, topical application as an ointment, or inclusion in ayahuasca recipes. Tobacco is used to purify and protect objects and people, and to release negative energies. During ceremonies, much higher doses are administered to deepen introspective and self-understanding processes. The application of rape through the nose creates an essential bond between therapist and patient that is fundamental to the healing process. Similarly, in Amazonian traditions, rape is as revered a medicinal plant as any other. Shamans engage in years of preparation, fasting in its company and familiarizing themselves with its spirit through repeated trips to its spiritual realms.

"The medicine is not limited to the rape itself, but resides in the intention of the one who administers it. rape acts as a channel for spiritual energy, so it is critical that the person using it maintain a neutral, healing intention toward the other person," Lasserna said.

Exploring the properties of Rape

The therapist uses rape as part of therapy sessions, combining psychological questioning with dialogue. Patients gradually reveal their fears under her guidance, using rape as well as other alternative medicines such as ayahuasca or peyote. In addition to its therapeutic use, rape is also used to relieve allergies, headaches, and to improve mental concentration when needed. It is important to keep in mind that excessive use of rape can lead to a mild dependence like smoking, and the frequency of use should be related to the physical or energetic ailment it is intended to treat.

Despite the traditional medicinal properties of rape and the pharmacological safety of nicotine, all tobacco products carry some risk, as tobacco in any form is potentially carcinogenic. Some research suggests that rape powder may be less harmful than smoking tobacco, but most studies compare rape to Western cigarettes, which contain harmful additives and chemicals. In short, there is no clear understanding of how the harmful effects of rape compare to other tobacco products. 

For generations, rape has been used for its medicinal properties, not only to treat physical ailments, but also to explore the inner energies of patients, restore spiritual balance, and eliminate negative energies in shamanic contexts.