Nicotiana rustica Seeds
Aztec Tobacco, Indian Tobacco, Wild Tobacco, Sacred Tobacco, Mapacho, Makhorka, Thuoc Lao
Nicotiana rustica is a beautiful and historically profound tobacco that will grow to about 1.5m high. This heirloom annual self-seeds readily and collected seeds can be sown every year in spring! The European conquerors of America watched in amazement when smoke emerged from the mouths of American Indians. Not long afterwards, Europe, too, was smoking. Nicotiana tabacum, the cultivated variety with its more refined taste, was only discovered later. In World War II, when supplies from the tropics came to an end in Europe, people grew Nicotiana rustica, which is easier to cultivate and to roll into cigarettes. This is the real wild tobacco, Nicotiana rustica used by North American Indians for thousands of years and still in use in native ceremonies. It is also grown for smoking in parts of South America, Asia and Africa. It is also a common admixture of Ayahuasca in some parts of the rainforest. Nicotiana rustica is also used for entheogenic purposes by South American shamans. Growing in the rainforest it contains up to nine times more nicotine than common North American varieties such as Nicotiana tabacum. Other reasons for its shamanic use are the comparatively high levels of MAOI beta-carbolines, including the Harmala alkaloids, harman and norharman. Most commonly, it is allowed to soak in water, and the water is then insufflated; it is also smoked in cigars and used as an enema and as an anthelmintic effective against tapeworm infections. From late spring to early summer it bears greenish yellow flowers which are followed by seedpods. Only collect seeds from pods that have gone brown and are splitting open on their own. Store the seeds in a cool dry place till the following spring. Sow them early spring and keep indoors till the last expected frost for your area. The seeds of Nicotiana rustica are small and are best mixed with some fine sand for even sowing. The seeds should only be firmed down gently and not be covered. Plant the Nicotiana rustica seedlings outdoors after last frosts at 30 to 90cm intervals. More potent than cultivated tobaccos, with more nicotine content, it is a source of nicotine sulphate, an insecticide for the control of aphids, thrips, whiteflies and mites.