In the west the word tobacco is commonly used to refer to cigarettes.
Nicotiana tobacum is the strain of tobacco used in the cigarette industry, but it is only one strain in a large family of plants.
The key ingredient in hapé is nicotiana rustica, known to some as mapacho. This is an ancient wild Amazonian tobacco plant that is used in healing rituals by most tribes.
This pure and natural tobacco is nothing like the tobacco used in cigarettes. It has been used for thousands of years by these tribes, with no association with disease. In fact it is one of the main curative medicines to for the body and mind.
Cigarettes only contain about 70% tobacco, with the remaining 30% made up of fillers and additives. These plants are usually grown with pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides and many other chemicals to increase production yield, preserve products shelf life and to speed up burning.
Tobacco in a medicinal context is is usually snorted, chewed, and drunk. In some cases, it is also burnt but not inhaled. Amongst indigenous people, Its effects are known to ground, clear the mind, centre, cleanse the body and to communicate with the spirit realm.