Herbs and botanicals have been part of our health and spiritual rituals for centuries. Our ancestors harnessed the power of plants in all forms, from eating them to smoking them, both as a form of medicine and for ceremonial purposes. Records of medicinal plants date back to those of the Sumerians over 5,000 years ago, and the ancient Egyptians wrote the Ebers Papyrus, which listed over 850 medicinal herbs. Another herbal tradition is Ayurveda, a system of medicine from India that features over 300 herbs, such as ashwagandha, turmeric and tulsi, which are still commonly used in both Eastern and Western herbal practice.

Today we see more and more options to support and heal our minds and bodies with herbs, and yes, you can smoke herbs, just like cannabis, to receive its medicinal benefits or for a grounding effect up. While the carcinogenic nicotine in cigarettes has indeed cast a negative stigma on smoking, inhaling good quality herbs can be beneficial and supportive of health. Each herb has its own unique set of benefits, and combining them can produce beneficial effects.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

By 13Smile / shutterstock.com

Herbal properties: Mullein has a long history of use as a lung tonic. It can actually help you stop coughing when you are sick.

Effects of Smoked Lavender

While lavender is used in dozens of ways, we are seeing an influx of people smoking lavender, either alone or mixed with different herbs and plants.

Side note: It’s always best to talk to a doctor before embarking on the world of smoking herbs. Also, it is always good to research the good and the bad when it comes to smoking herbs.

Best smoking herbs

Most smoking herbs are now available for sale at smokably.com

  1. Mullein. Many alternative herb smokers consider mullein to be one of the best options. It has a light, fluffy texture and burns slowly and steadily. Both the flavor and the aroma are quite mild and are actually mildly soothing to the throat. Mullein is a great alternative to replace your regular cigarette habit. Mullein is also versatile, blending well with just about any other herb. While mullein is primarily used as a grounding herb, as it is known to support respiratory well-being and treat and prevent lung infections, it could also act as a supportive herb.
  2. Mugwort. Some users call mugwort the “dream herb”. This is because when used during the evening hours, it is known to encourage lucid dreaming. It also supports the nervous system. Due to its consistency, artemisia can be used as a basic herb; however, it is best used as a support herb in a blend. The taste is slightly sweet and generates a slight smoke. Mugwort can also be smoked on its own, to experience the unique properties it contains, and in fact many cultures have done this for centuries. Mugwort has an earthy flavor.
  3. Blue lotus. Blue lotus, a type of water lily native to Egypt and parts of Asia, has been used for thousands of years. It is considered an entheogen, or psychoactive substance, due to its mind-altering properties. It is because of these properties that blue lotus is commonly used during spiritual rituals and religious ceremonies. It can also promote a sense of calm and can make lucid dreaming illicit. For these reasons, blue lotus should be used as a support herb.
  4. Red lotus. Primarily found in most of Asia and some regions of Africa, the red lotus is another type of water lily and is, in fact, quite similar to the blue lotus. It has long been used for its medicinal properties; it can promote relaxation and can also create mild psychoactive effects. Like the blue lotus, the red lotus has been used extensively in spiritual ceremonies and religious rituals and is considered a supportive herb in a smoking blend.
  5. Damian. Damiana is suitable as both a support and a foundation herb. It has been shown to support the nervous system and can relieve stress and promote relaxation; that’s why it could also be used as a support herb. Thanks to its delicious texture, which does a great job of carrying other types of herbs, damiana is a fantastic staple herb. Damiana is also known to act as a natural aphrodisiac, thanks to its mood-enhancing qualities. The flavor of Damiana is quite neutral and somewhat reminiscent of marijuana. It is a popular addition to herbal cannabis cigarettes.
  6. Red raspberry. Another great option for a staple herb, red raspberry leaf has a fluffy texture, allowing it to carry other types of herbs well. It also has a slight fruit flavor, so it will add a nice taste to your blends. It is packed with nutrients and is often used to support women’s health and well-being. Raspberry leaves have a delicate floral flavor.
  7. Skullcap. Mad dog’s skullcap or simply “skullcap” is a perennial herb that is a member of the mint family of herbs. The flavor is pleasant and mild and it is known to contain mild sedative properties which is why it is often used to promote more restful sleep and, in fact, it is a commonly used ingredient in sleeping pills. The skullcap also promotes antiviral, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects.
  8. Passiflora. Passionflower grows wild in many parts of the United States, and while it is commonly grown as an ornamental plant (its flowers are gorgeous), it has long been used as a smoking herb. It has a mild grass-like flavor that may not be palatable at first; however, after a while, you get used to it. Passionflower has pain-relieving, sleep-inducing and relaxing qualities.
  9. Catnip. Catnip isn’t just for cats; in fact, it has been used by humans for millennia. A member of the mint family, catnip elicits a mild sedative effect and promotes a sense of tranquility, calm, and peace. It is mainly used as a support grass; however, it tastes sweet and slightly minty, so it can certainly be used as a spice herb as well.
  10. Melissa. Hailed for its ability to fix blood circulation problems and relieve headaches, lemon balm is most commonly used as a supportive herb; however, due to its mild lemongrass or lemon flavor, which is quite refreshing, it is also an aromatic herb. Lemon balm promotes relaxation and can induce sleep. Because it contains traces of harmine, it can also cause short-term psychoactive effects.
  11. Lavender. Lavender is famous for its rich, aromatic scent and is famous for its relaxing, sleep inducing and pain relieving qualities. It has a pleasant sweet, floral aroma and flavor and can be used as a carrier or flavoring herb.
  12. Pink. Roses are one of the most popular ornamental flowers, due to their stunning beauty and sweet floral aroma; however, the rose can also be used as a smoking herb. Considered an aphrodisiac, rose has mood-enhancing qualities. It also supports healthy digestion. You just need to add some to your blend to enjoy the benefits it provides. The rose has a distinctive floral flavor.
  13. Chamomile. Everyone knows that chamomile promotes relaxation when used as a tea and elicits the same effect when smoked. When used as a smoking herb, chamomile also supports the nervous system and can relieve stress and anxiety, while also supporting digestion. It has a mild flavor with subtle hints of honey, melon and apple combined.


A light, tasteless smoke, mullein is revered as a highly medicinal herb that is believed to cleanse inflammation and lung infections. It is an expectorant, which means that it potentially helps break up respiratory congestion and promotes a productive cough. Because mullein has no flavor, it makes a great base for a smoking herb blend. Overdried mullein won’t smoke evenly, so add some moisture and rub the leaves together for best results.

If you’re like me and the 300 million other asthma sufferers around the world, the white horehound is about to become your new best friend. A unique herb native to the Mediterranean, white horehound is a powerful anti-inflammatory, particularly with regards to respiratory inflammation. In natural medicine practices, it is used to treat bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma.

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