What is Rapé? And where to buy this magic, shamanic snuff tobacco (from Goa and the Amazon)

How to held a rapé ceremony and ritual

There is a good chance you ended up here because you want to know where to buy rapé. If this is the case, before delving into what is rapé, I suggest you check two blends of shamanic snuff that are getting more and more popular among the spiritual community in Goa. Their names are Full Moon and Shiva Power.

But let’s start from the basics.

More and more people keep asking me what is rapé here in Arambol. They see me administering a rapé ceremony. They watch the expression of the ones I give it to while the shamanic snuff fills their nostrils. They are curious and for a good reason.

So, what is rapé after all? Is it a drug? Is it addictive? Is it legal? How can you use it, and why should you? I’ll try to best answer these questions by using my first-hand experience, but also with the knowledge of some people I know who have gone even deeper into the world of this powerful shamanic snuff tobacco from the Amazon.

Looking for a good rapé pipe? Here is a list of the best Kuripe on Etsy

What is rapé?

Also known as Hape, Rapeh, Hapé, Rapé is a very fine, dry, and usually greenish powder. The shamans from South America have been using it for centuries as a medicine. Its main ingredient is a special kind of tobacco.

Recently, rapé is becoming more and more popular among the spiritual community in many countries. It is used as a tool to delve into meditation, or as a way to prepare for spiritual ceremonies, like ayahuasca and kambo. A growing amount of conscious people are also attending pure rapé ceremonies, where the shamanic snuff is used as a tool to raise to a higher state of consciousness.

Rapé has been traditionally produced in South America. But the growing demand for this powder has extended the production to other places. It is more and more common, unfortunately, to bump into rapé powders which are sold as South American but are actually produced elsewhere with an industrial process.

Goa rapé, the rapé you can buy on this website, is one of the more interesting varieties. It is powerful, and made with Ayurvedic ingredients, along with a couple of magic touches. But the production method is strictly manual and inspired by the South American tradition.

So, is rapé merely a kind of snuff tobacco? Technically, yes. But this is a very reductive definition. In fact, this shamanic snuff has been produced for centuries by several South American tribes, mostly located in Peru and Brazil, through a long and tedious process, which involves mixing tobacco with a wide range of Amazonian medicinal plants. The indigenous people who prepare rapé included Katukina, Kaxinawa, and Nu-nu tribes.

Every tribe follows a different preparation recipe, which is handed down through generations and kept secret. So, there are several kinds of shamanic snuff, each of which has a different taste and effect.

Here is what I learned about it.

What are the shamanic snuff ingredients?

is rapé a drug?

In short, the ingredients of rapé are tobacco, wood ash, and medicinal herbs.

The main ingredient of rapé (aka Hapé, Rapeh) is a special blend of tobacco called Nicotiana Rustica, which contains up to 20 times the amount of nicotine usually found in common tobacco.

The indigenous tribes from South America usually make their rapé with a very strong tobacco called Nicotiana Rustica (also known as mapacho), and they mix it with various medicinal plants, such as mint, clover, tonka beans, banana peels, and cinnamon. To produce the ash they burn the bark of local trees.

Goa Rapé is produced with the same process, but with different ingredients. The ask is obtained by burning the cork of Banyan tree, which is the most sacred tree of India. The tobacco is a special blend of nicotiana grown in Afghanistan. The herbs are selected among the most beneficial Ayurvedic medicines.

Some rapé recipes also include more powerful ingredients such as anadenanthera, jurema, and coca. One day I also, on one occasion tried a blend of snuff with a tiny percentage of datura, which is a very powerful psychotropic plant.

There are therefore many varieties of rapé. Some very mild, others very strong. I have personally tried many of them and I can guarantee that the range of experiences you can have is really wide.

I will elaborate more about this further.

How many people do rapé in the world?

Wow, that a big question! I don’t think that the number of rapé doers has been measured. But judging by the number of people who visit my kuripe store on Etsy, they are definitely growing at a high pace.

Especially now, with this Covid pandemic going on for so long, people are searching for alternative ways of meeting their consciousness. And rapé fits perfectly.

Most of my clients are from the U.S. This makes me conclude that the rapé market in America is booming.

How to take rapé

Best kuripe for rapé
This pipe is called Tepi and it is used to administer rapé in the nostril.

As I mentioned earlier, taking rapé is a ceremony. Amazon people administer it to each other using a pipe called Tepi. They insert a certain amount of shamanic snuff into the pipe, apply the pipe to the nostril of the other person and blow the rapé into his or her nose.

An alternative way to take the shamanic snuff is by using the Kuripe, a small, v-shaped pipe that allows one to self-administer the mixture. Here is a cheap, yet beautiful stone kuripe you can buy online.

I personally own several pipes of both kinds. If you are alone and you feel like taking rapé, the Kuripe will do. But my advice is to use the Tepi in most situations.

Having rapé delivered by a skilled person you trust is by far the best way. In fact, the relation of trust with the shaman is a crucial part of the experience. It allows you to focus on the experience itself, without worrying about the process.

The shaman is also responsible for choosing the amount of rapé to administer and the strength with which it is blown it into your nose.

As a general rule, it is advisable not to ask a stranger to use the Tepi pipe on you. Use the Kuripe instead if you are not with somebody you trust who has some experience.

Rapé is often used as a key part of Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Rapé tobacco benefits

Rapé tobacco benefits

When people ask me about the benefits of this medicine, I usually tell them that it gives a sense of clarity, because this is how it feels to me.

Some shamanic snuff can also be used to intensify the connection during tantra and tao exercises and as a preparation for more intense shamanic ceremonies such as Kambo and ayahuasca, and other plant ceremonies.

Others blends are meant as a tool to increase the energy of the body, sharpen the focus of the mind, and for cleansing, release negative energy, and grounding.

So, the rapé tobacco benefits are clearly dependent on the composition of the snuff.

With lighter doses and mixtures, the benefits may include a pleasant feeling in your nose, the opening of the nostrils in case of colds and a sense of light detachment.

Right after taking it, I close my eyes for a few minutes to focus on my inner feelings or sensations. When I am administering to somebody else, I usually give her or him a light head massage afterward and focus Reiki energy to the forehead, where the rapé effect is felt the most.

The psychedelic blends of rapé can induce much deeper effects. It is crucial then to know which kind of snuff you are about to take: You don’t want to start flying if this was not part of the plan!

The side effects of rapé

Different people react in different ways while taking shamanic tobacco. The most common side effect of rapé is a running nose. Every shaman I know always has tissues ready to use.

It is a good practice to firmly blow your nose after being administered, to expel the powder from your nose.

In rare cases, vomiting can be another side effect of rapé. It has never happened to me, though.

So, is the shamanic snuff a drug?

The answer really depends by which kind of shamanic snuff (aka Hapé, Rapeh) and what do you personally consider a drug.

If you consider tobacco a drug, well: the shamanic snuff tobacco is also a drug. If it contains psychotropic substances, it is, as a matter of fact, a psychedelic drug.

But if you are into shamanism and you believe that sacred medicine can help you to reach a higher state of consciousness, so rapé is not a drug: it is instead a powerful tool.

In the Amazon, people use rapé both for medical and recreational use. The shamans administer it to cure people from a variety of diseases and to make them reach a better state of mind.

But among the various tribes, people also consume rapé recreationally.

Is rapé legal?

To my understanding, most of the law authorities around the world don’t consider rapé a drug.

Although, because snuff shamanic tobacco can be made with different herbs, it may be technically treated as a drug when it includes substances that are not allowed by the local law.

For instance, if rapé contains a large number of coca leaves, it can be treated as a drug in most of the countries where cocaine is illegal. But in Perù and Colombia, where possession and cultivation of coca plants are legal in certain quantities and under certain regulations, it can be allowed.

Some people I know have also investigated how to transport rapé between countries. The limitations of carrying shamanic tobacco across borders are pretty much the same as the ones which apply to normal tobacco.

European legislation allows you to carry up to 1 kg of tobacco through immigration. Similar rules apply to the US.

Is it addictive?

Yes, it is. The main ingredient of rapé is nicotiana Rustica, a kind of tobacco that contains a higher level of nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance. So, is the shamanic snuff.

Rapé is not to be consumed frequently. Taking rapé is a ceremony, and as a ceremonial substance, it has to be treated with awareness and respect.

Further reading: Is rapé addictive? (scientific evidence, first-hand experiences)

Where to buy rapé?

where to buy Rapé

Where to buy rapé online? Buying rapé is not the easiest thing. The best option is to get it from a trusted source you already know, because, as I mentioned earlier, more and more people are selling rapé which is supposed to be produced in South America, but it is actually made somewhere else.

You can find information about a powerful, magic rapé on this website. It is produced in Goa with a traditional method and made with sacred ingredients from the Ayurveda tradition. The two blends are Full Moon and Shiva Power.

As an alternative, you can buy shamanic snuff on other websites, like sacred-snuff, chakraopening, and katukina.

Rapé that comes from South America travels around the world in different ways. I know several people that buy it there and sell it in Europe, Asia, the US, and Australia. To buy rapé directly from a traveler is better because he or she will probably know more about the tobacco and the price will be lower too.

In case you are traveling in my area, I might help you to point you in the right direction. But if you are not and you still want some top qualità rapé, the Internet could be your best option.

To sum up, if you are wondering where to buy rapé look first for personal contact. If you don’t find it, try to get it online.

What do people think about Rapé?

Since when I started to share this story I have received a huge amount of opinions that do not always match my point of view. Here are some of the most interesting.

Travis: Been using rapé for 6 years and never once felt addicted or compelled to use it habitually. I have never seen anyone get addicted to ceremonial use. I have seen people get addicted when they treat it like a toy though – something to pass the time or get a rush from. Always good to be careful. But I find if you treat tobacco right, it will take care of you in return.

Nikki: Speaking from personal experience, I have been using rapé for over a year and I never once felt that I “need” rapé. I might feel that some of it would be nice, but it’s not the snuff itself, but the atmosphere and the ritual itself that I enjoy. I can go days or weeks without even thinking of it. As a substance, it’s not addictive. But of course, any habit can become a pattern, and patterns are difficult to break.

Danesh: It absolutely is addictive. The amount of research on the neurobiological effect of tobacco surpasses any other substance and is conclusive. Method of administration matters, smoking being most habit-forming, but any other form of administration stimulates the brain to want more and develop tolerance. Any nicotine-containing product is habit-forming.

Don: Have done shamanic snuff only three times. Two of those I was tripping on ayahuasca at a ceremony. For me, the rape was very shocking. I found myself humbly thanking all existence for 20 minutes following. Overall I loved the experience and it is NOT something I would do every day.

Kevin: By using B3 ( niacin) the flushing variety several hours before rapé it reduces the addictive aspect somewhat. B3 and nicotine are taken up by the same receptors in the body. If those receptors are in need of B3 and rapé is used then the nicotine gets absorbed. This is not good, especially over a long period of time. I am willing to bet that at one time there was a requirement to load up on B3 containing foods before using it.

That’s it, for now. I will try to update this story as much as possible to share with you what I will learn next.

In the meanwhile, I will be happy to hear about your experiences. Feel free to use the comment section below.

15 thoughts on “What is Rapé? And where to buy this magic, shamanic snuff tobacco (from Goa and the Amazon)

  1. You say that you should use a Kleenex and blow the powder out of your nostrils after being administered? Is that what I understood?

  2. I found rapé through an ibogaine provider a year ago. Then, I was given this medince during ceremony. However, on my own, I began using this medicine daily to aid myself in the discontinuation of smoking cigarettes. I am 6 months free of cigarette use now! I don’t use rapé all that often anymore, but have it on hand to center and root me before meditation, after yoga, or during plant medince ceremonies. <3

  3. Great article Paolo, thank you. I will visit Arambol soon and wondered if you know any places I can purchase this medicine there. Much appreciated 🙂

  4. Sunif is the South African word for snuff’, is not a special type of smokeless tobacco product. It is commercially and locally produced.

  5. Very informative article, Paolo.

    Could you please let me know on how I can get it within India, avoiding international post?


    1. Hello. I am not aware of any official rapé direct sales channels in India.
      You might find some in local flee markets though

  6. Hey.. Can u plz mail me the contact from Goa who sells rapeh or anyone in India or flea markets . Thanks.. Much appreciated

    1. Hey. I don’t have any direct contact. Rapé is not easy to find in Goa now though. Best to try some flea market by the beach, especially in North Goa.

  7. Thank you for your insight Arambol! Like Brooke I use Hape to enhance the clarity during meditation & ceremony when gathered! My question: is it safe to travel on land between Canada & the USA with Hape?

  8. Rapè is not illegal u can travel with it no problem. Back in the day big tobacco had all kinds of Snuff products. If anyone asks just tell them it’s snuff u wouldn’t b lying lol

  9. Does anyone feel that when taking rape it sort of gets into your head/brain😁…. it shouldnt cause of the blood brain barrier, right?

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