is a long history to smoking in herbal medicine. Mixtures of herbs can be
rolled cigarettes, or burnt on a block of charcoal. Using the latter method,
the smoke can be inhaled by standing over it, or through a tube of
The herbs first need to be dried, then cured. Cure with honey
to prevent the smoke being harsh and dry on the throat. Sage is used as the
base herb because it burns well, and others are added for taste. Some
examples of additions are rosemary, thyme, basil, bay, parsley, tarragon,
aniseed powder and fennel powder.
The Roman writer Pliny (Natural
History, AD77) recommended "smoke drawn into the mouth through a reed and
swallowed....a remedy for an obstinate cough." Good smoke will clear the
brain and relax the chest, and contains no harmful chemicals. (as far as they knew ...)
- Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 4 teaspoons of water. Mix the herbs
together well, and add the honeyed water 1 teaspoon at a time. Rub together
until the leaves are slightly damp.
- Lay the herbs out on a shallow
dish for a few days to allow the moisture to evaporate, turning the mixture
occasionally. When it is dry enough to burn but is not yet bone dry, put it
in an airtight tin. Label the tin with the name and date.