Ancient Shipibo Plant Medicine

Rapé Tobacco

Our remarkable curandero, Don Miguel will teach us about the significance of rapé tobacco that will be used throughout the sacred plant medicine ceremonies. This knowledge will be vital in helping us to access our greatest potential and realise deep healing and transformation. The next shipibo medicine introduced is often flower vapour baths.


Nu-Nu or Rapé is a sacred plant medicine used by traditional tribal cultures and healers of the Peruvian Amazon. It has been used by curanderos and tribes indigenous to South America for thousands of years, including the Matses, Kaxinawa, Yawanawa and Katukina peoples.

Rapé is a unique blend of carefully selected plants that are then pulverised and combined with a tobacco that is up to 20 times stronger than its Western equivalent. Cinnamon, Tonka bean, clover and mint are also occasionally added during the ritualistic preparation of the Rapé that involves drying the blend over a slow burning fire. It is common for the blend to be kept a secret by the curanderos whose task it is to craft it.

How is Rapé Used?

The sacred administration of Nu-Nu is one characterised by great courage, intention and authenticity sharing little in common with the irreverent use of tobacco in the West. Rapé has been used in indigenous tribes for over centuries in rites of passage and initiation, to cure disease and to obtain the mental clarity needed to undertake a vision quest or deep spiritual journey.

A Rapé or Nu-Nu ritual usually involves two people helping each another to administer the blend. The Rapé is blown high up into the nostrils traditionally with a pipe made form bone, wood or bamboo. The two people are intimately connected by nose, mouth and breath and therefore their heart need to remain open to giving and receiving healing intentions between each other. This ritual involves trust, courage and a deep commitment to giving and receiving. It is itself a vital component in the healing potential of the Rapé.

The intensity of the blow can help to clear the mind of any unnecessary mental chatter and help to clarify our intentions. Rapé also has the capacity to increase the healing potentiality of Ayahuasca and other sacred medicinal plants, thereby opening us up to experience profound spiritual transformation when taken together.

The unique antibacterial effects of Rapé can help to rid the body of unwanted toxins and congestion. If the body is overrun with bacteria and excess mucus it is common to experience vomiting, sneezing and coughing this however can be an extremely relieving and positive experience that restores the body to excellent health.

In scientific studies, Rapé has also been shown to act as an anti-depressant and stimulant increasing blood flow to the brain and helping to ease negativity, confusion, sadness and psychological distress.

Tribespeople also use Rapé as a gateway to access their higher self, renew their strength and cultivate their healing potentialities.

Lattanzi, Giovanni. “Kambô: Scientific Research and Healing Treatments”
Bolshaw Gomes, Marcelo. “Kambo, The spirit of the Shaman”