How Much Rapé is too Much?

Is Daily Rapé Use Appropriate?

If you have to ask the question, then the answer is probably “no.”

These days, I hear from a growing number of people who are engaged in various relationships with rapé, ranging from occasional use in ceremonies or while on retreat to daily users. While it’s not my place to dictate how much is too much, I suspect that many individuals are consuming excessive amounts. Because I am open about the complexities of properly integrating this plant medicine into our modern lives, people seem more at ease sharing their struggles with me.

The question of daily rapé use arises frequently. There are popular podcast influencers who proudly speak of carrying their rapé tools everywhere, as it is their daily (or even multiple times a day) practice. No judgment here—I’ve been there, although I now recognize that I was in the grips of a serious addiction rather than a practice. To those who can maintain a daily practice without succumbing to addiction, I salute you.

Today, I came across a wonderful interview with Gesileu Phaspy Ninawa, a true master of rapé. I have always admired Gesileu’s medicine, and if you are fortunate enough to find some, you can feel his love imbued into it. If you are going to take rapé, you would be blessed to take his medicine, as you know it will be of exceptional quality.

At the end of the interview, Gesileu discusses the current issues with rapé use, and I couldn’t help but smile as I read it. He is essentially echoing what I have been saying in this blog for years.

Here is the part of the Q&A that caught my interest:

A: Do you have any message for those who work with the medicine of rapé?

G: Yes, I would tell them: “Use this medicine with full responsibility. Rapé is a medicine, but if you use it too much, it can become a poison!” Today, we see many people lost to the power of rapé, using it compulsively, like drug addicts, taking it as easily as a compulsive smoker lights a cigarette… These people are doing everything completely wrong. If you use rapé responsibly, for example when you really need to work with it, you are on the right path. If you use it anyhow, if you mechanize your use and it becomes a habit like drinking coffee, lighting a cigarette, or watching television, you are doing it wrong. You need to have responsibility and respect for forest medicines.

A friend of mine asked me once, “Txai, how many times do you think I should use rapé per day?” I replied, “I don’t think anything! What’s this story? Why are you asking me to prescribe the frequency of your daily use of rapé?! You are the one who knows or should know what you need. This is the starting point”. I continued with the following question, “How often do you take pharmaceutical medicines?” He replied, “I take it when I am sick”. I asked, “What is rapé for you?” He said, “It is a medicine”. I added, “If it’s a medicine, then why are you going to take it every day? You should take it when you really need that medicine”. Do you understand what I mean? Now, let’s imagine that I intend to study this medicine profoundly for a week or two. During that period, I would use a lot of rapé, but I would take it with a very clear objective, a purpose related to something that I really need. When that period is over, I would stop taking that medicine for a while, at least until new purposes arise. Rapé should not be used just for the sake of it…

Gesileu’s insights serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of using rapé responsibly and with clear intention. As more people discover this potent plant medicine, it is crucial that we approach it with respect, understanding, and mindfulness. By doing so, we can harness its potential for healing and spiritual growth while avoiding the pitfalls of addiction and misuse.

Read the full interview here:

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