Whole Leaf Tobacco

Nicotiana alata and Sylvestris

Moth

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I'm growing some of these. Originally because the flowers smell nice and I had a corner of the garden with some fence I wanted to cover up with minimal effort and cost...

Anyhow, I found the following info about then both on the web:

Wikipedia : "Nicotiana alata is a species of tobacco. It is called jasmine tobacco,[1] sweet tobacco,[2] winged tobacco, tanbaku.... In Iran, narghila tobacco is sometimes produced from N. alata; it is not chopped like cigarette tobacco, but broken up by hand."

TobaccoSeeds.co.uk : "Nicotiana Sylvestris ... Try growing this tobacco for mixing purposes only, as it's not strictly a smoking variety. Its unusual flavor makes it a good candidate for blending cigarette tobacco. "

Has anyone smoked any of these before? Sounds like they're smokable and I'm always open to experiment with them, however, wonder if it's worth the effort to process them? If not, I'll grow some tabacum next year. I've given up cigarettes although fond of the odd cigar and in no hurry.

I understand the time and effort involved in processing the leaves and cigars are an art form. I don't have high expectations although if someone has already tried with these plants, and its not worth it I'd like to know.

The alata fragrance fills the house in the evenings when the back doors are open...
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself section. If you enter your general location into your profile, it will appear alongside each of your posts.

To answer your question about N. alata and N. sylvestris, the first inhabitants of the New World had many thousands of years to discover uses for those two species. At least 2000 years ago, they chose N. tabacum and N. rustica to cultivate (along with devotees of N. bigelovii and N. quadrivalvis in the North American west--the latter being improved prior to smoking by frying in buffalo fat). Even within those two, primarily cultivated species, there are varieties that can present some really odd smells and tastes. Among the 72 or so species of the genus, Nicotiana, the mix and proportions of a half-dozen major alkaloids vary considerably. Some produce unpleasant or frightening symptoms. Blah. Blah...

I wouldn't bother with them as smoking material. They certainly won't make a decent cigar. [Maybe a truly odd cigar, if you're fond of them.] If they don't make you ill, they will surely taste awful.

Bob
 

Charly

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I grew some Sylvestris two years ago, the plants and the flowers smelled really good in the garden (sweet floral/fruity smell), but the leaves are so thin that all the leaves I tried to air cure ended flash green dry, and they did not smell as good once dry.
I did try to smoke some (I tried the less ugly ones), the taste and aroma were not as good as the tabacum species I tried.

As Bob said, the sylvestris and the alata are rarely used for smoking, but you can try for yourself and see if you like them.
If you try to air cure some sylvestris, I encourage you to pile them (once harvested) until they become yellow, then hang them do dry. If you give them enough time they might be better than the test I did ;)
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I smoked alata. It tasted bad. It cures grey-olive in color no matter what you do, and you hardly get anything off a plant. The leaves look nice and thick when growing, so you wouldn't think so, but they lose a ton of volume/weight when they cure.
 

deluxestogie

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The major difficulties in understanding pituri:
  • it has not been studied adequately
  • the primary constituents (i.e. what species of plant is used--I count 3 different ones) vary from one Australian aboriginal location to another
  • the species nomenclature has flip-flopped over the past 1-1/2 centuries
  • the scant data on alkaloids shows dramatic variations (e.g. nicotine vs nornicotine; lobeline; hyoscyamine; scopalamine)
  • it is "used" in the mouth, behind the ear, under the breast, beneath headbands
  • the pH, and hence the rate of nicotine/nornicotine absorption, depends on the specific varieties of wood used to form the wood ash component
When a primary literature search on the subject of pituri in Google Scholar turns up a predominance of studies from 1910, 1923, 1936, I get the impression that studying this is not a common thing.

I really didn't intend to be dismissive, but native people across the globe have dabbled with countless psychoactive preparations for eons.

Bob
 

davek14

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The major difficulties in understanding pituri:
  • it has not been studied adequately
  • the primary constituents (i.e. what species of plant is used--I count 3 different ones) vary from one Australian aboriginal location to another
  • the species nomenclature has flip-flopped over the past 1-1/2 centuries
  • the scant data on alkaloids shows dramatic variations (e.g. nicotine vs nornicotine; lobeline; hyoscyamine; scopalamine)
  • it is "used" in the mouth, behind the ear, under the breast, beneath headbands
  • the pH, and hence the rate of nicotine/nornicotine absorption, depends on the specific varieties of wood used to form the wood ash component
When a primary literature search on the subject of pituri in Google Scholar turns up a predominance of studies from 1910, 1923, 1936, I get the impression that studying this is not a common thing.

I really didn't intend to be dismissive, but native people across the globe have dabbled with countless psychoactive preparations for eons.

Bob
Well, various species of Nicotiana are used as, and called, Pituri by the aborigines, (N. Rosulata, N. Gossei, N. suaveolens (benthamiana)) as well as Duboisia Hopwoodii.

Duboisia Hopwoodii has scopolamine, and more importantly, nornicotine as well as nicotine, but certain populations are low in these alkaloids and those are the ones used, and traded long distances. It is used for the nicotine, and it is used habitually as we do :) It *is* hard to find much info on it, probably why I've found it a bit interesting.

I didn't think you were being dismissive. It probably is off topic.

Interestingly enough, N. benthamiana has no immune system and is being used by genetic scientists.
https://newatlas.com/australian-tobacco-plant-gene-space-crops/40253/

It's illegal to grow tobacco in Australia, you probably know. There's a black market in illegal, homegrown, tobacco. Some of these indigenous, ornamental species have apparently even been questioned.

Sorry for the wild tangent. I'll be still now.
 
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