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Tobacco Leaf

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Tobacco Leaf

Tobacco has a number of magical and mundane uses.

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Despite its bad reputation as being bad for your health, tobacco leaf does have a few positive qualities. Externally, tobacco leaf can be used as an antiseptic. It was once used in enema form to eliminate muscle spasms, but later fell out of favor. In A Modern Herbal, Maud Grieve recommends a wet tobacco leaf be applied to piles (hemorrhoids), or rolled into a suppository for a strangulated hernia. For understandable reasons, this was not a popular treatment.

Tobacco was introduced into England in the late 1500s by Sir Walter Raleigh, with the outrageous suggestion that people smoke it in pipes. This idea was lambasted by pretty much everyone, from the King to the Pope, all of whom said it was an awful plan. However, that didn't stop Raleigh from making a small fortune with tobacco, because Englishmen were willing to buy it. By the seventeen hundreds, it was a staple ingredient in every British pharmacist's dispensary.

Because of the nature of human migration patterns, tobacco use became prevalent in the mountain regions of the eastern United States, and is found in a number of traditional folk remedies. Tobacco leaves were often applied to stop bleeding, and in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, tobacco is well-known as relief for the pain of jellyfish stings.

In South America, the Indian tribes use tobacco smoke to allow them communicate with spirits. It can also be used to appease river gods when going on a trip by boat or canoe. In modern magic, tobacco is sometimes used as an offering to deity, or burned as a purifying incense. In many magical traditions, tobacco is an acceptable substitute for other herbs.

Use tobacco in place of incense for rituals that involve communication with the spirit world, or bundle it up in a sachet and carry it while on a trip for a safe journey. Sprinkle dried tobacco leaf outside your doorways and windows to keep negative energies out of the house.

Gender: Masculine
Element: Fire
Planetary Connection: Mars

Although in theory you could plant and grow your own tobacco, it's a fairly lengthy process, and tobacco plants take up a lot of space. If you opt to simply purchase tobacco for magical use, it's best to have a tin of it that you use *only* for magical reasons. Try not to smoke the same tobacco you're using in ritual, unless you find yourself in a pinch and have no other options.

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