Tobacco has a bad rap in modern society due to its links to emphysema and cancer as well as other health effects. But tobacco was once a staple ceremonial and trade plant that has a rich tradition of use in our native populations. The Hopi tobacco plant contains powerful alkaloids and is not the same as today’s tobacco. The potent compounds in the leaves make the tobacco an excellent organic pesticide, an added benefit on a beautiful heritage plant.
Many of our heirloom tobacco plants have died out due to manipulation of the gene pool and seed in an effort to create commercial use plants. These modified tobaccos are quite different from the traditional native plants. Hopi tobacco plants were revered for spiritual, medical and ceremonial uses. This is an easy plant to grow and seed is available. Brush up on some Hopi tobacco plant info and see if this plant is a good fit for your garden.
Hopi tobacco use was infrequent, with the plant reserved for special occasions and rites. The indigenous population of the north, south and central Americas believed tobacco smoke carried one’s prayers to the Gods. The native population of the Four Corners region had their own proprietal strain of tobacco. These heirloom tobacco plants are still available today and useful as a natural pesticide.
It also had medicinal uses for the treatment of cramps, boils and headaches. Hopi tobacco use by both men and women was traditional but only after the plant had been harvested. The plants themselves were only tended by men and women were not allowed to touch plants because a hopefully outdated sexist belief existed that women would damage the plant’s spirit.