Nicotiana rustica - mapacho, махорка, thuốc lào, tobacco


This is an enthogenic species of Nicotiana (tobacco) native to South America containing up to nine times more nicotine then commercial Nicotiana tabaccum. N. rustica leaves also contain high levels of β-carbolines including harmala alkaloids.


Solanaceae, Nicotiana rustica leaf.jpg

In South American ethnobotanical preparations, Mapacho (Nicotiana rustica) leaves are soaked or infused in water, and the water is then insufflated into the stomach in a preparation known as singado or singa; the leaves can also smoked in cigars , used as an enema, made into a lickable product known as ambil, and made into a snuff with the bark of a species of Theobroma, creating nu-nu. In the southeast part of Turkey, people use this herb and ashes of some tree bodies to make a moist snuff called maraş otu. They use this by putting the mixture under their lips like Swedish snus or Afghan naswar. It is also a common admixture of Ayahuasca in some parts of the Amazon. The leaves of N. rustica can be used to make a powerful organic insecticide and are used in the production of pesticides due to the high concentration of nicotine. I keep the plant scattered here and there throughout the garden as I feel its presence deters some detrimental garden pests.

One word of advice would be to not self - administer this plant without full knowledge of its potency and potential effects.


Nicotiana rustica can be easily propagated from seed. As the seeds are very small, the most straight forward method I have used is to lightly sprinkle seeds across a moist propagation medium. If seeds are kept in a humid environment they do not need to be covered in soil to germinate. Wait until seedlings have developed their seconds set of leaves to divide them and transplant into individual containers.