Plant Medicine in Peru Part 1: Tobacco Purge for the Mind, Body and Soul
My plant medicine journey began when I decided to go to Peru for my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Kula. I was intrigued to learn more about plant medicine however, I was hesitant to participate in the ceremonies since I have never experienced any type of substance that altered my state of being.
We were given the option to try a tobacco purge during our training. I decided to keep an open mind and listen to my body and mind’s signals when the opportunity arouse.
When I arrived in Peru, my stomach was attempting to adapt to the altitude and all the rice that I didn’t normally eat … and it wasn’t very happy with me. Along with my period trying to normalize, I felt very weak and sick during the first few days of the training.
Gaia and Kylie, our facilitators, encouraged me to try the tobacco purge as a way to reset my body and get rid of any blocked energy and possible parasites lingering in my stomach. I woke up the morning of the purge and felt a strong feeling that it was the right thing to do.
I entered the ceremony with no expectations of healing. Just an open mind and heart.
It was an intense process.
We were instructed to drink some tobacco and then immediately seven liters of water to begin purging the medicine. The cleaner your diet is, the easier it is supposed to be … at least I had that going for me.
Selva, the Shaman in charge of the tobacco purge, was so supportive and sweet during the process. Before drinking the tobacco, Selva smoked some to cleanse and purify the space. The smell reminded me of my grandpa who passed and made me feel comforted and at peace with my decision. I asked the tobacco plant for gentleness, abundance in health and clarity of mind, body and soul.
The water we drank was more like warm-ish tea, and for a girl who drinks water like a camel … this was the easy part of the process. After about each liter, I would release (literally) into the bucket all of my blocked energy, past pain and anything that was no longer serving my mind, body or soul. It did get difficult towards the middle of drinking all the water, as I felt very nauseous … but I was encouraged by song, Selva and rattles to keep going.
in the suffering… is when we most grow.
By the end of my seven liters, I felt at peace and light as all the medicine and toxins left my body. I laid down to prevent feeling dizzy and felt such clarity as my mind went into a meditative state. I was floating as the sunshine danced on my cheeks and welcomed me into a space of joy and love. Selva gave me some rapé (tobacco up your nose) to close the ceremony and ground myself.
I felt every sensation in my body as I took a hot shower, letting the water wash away any lingering past stories, feels and experiences. Cradled in a hammock outside, I felt so present, calm and centered as I wrote in my journal, reflecting on my purge.
Here’s what I wrote:
I feel so grateful and blessed and held by Mother Earth. I feel so connected to my body, mind and spirit. I feel so clean and revitalized. Thank you God for this opportunity to shine my whole self. I released the need to hide my imperfections. You let me be my authentic self, allowing me to be beautiful and shine bright. I feel so harmonized with nature and my whole being. Let me be so present without worries or judgement. I am constantly amazed by the beauty You reveal to me. Let me stay humbled by your presence.
I am a vessel of love and light.
Time slows down, I slow down as I am in awe of your beauty. I am You. You are me. I feel so grounded and connected to your Spirit in adoration and worship. Let me be a vessel of connection and growth. Thank you for clarity and renewal. Let me be guided by Your light.
Let me stand in awe of your creation. I am a new me – deeply devoted and in tune with your journey for my life. You release my expectations, my anxiety, my worries – you are all I need. Only you. I am so blessed by you. You bring me to higher places to rest. Thank you for softness and connection to my heart and stomach.
Let me find renewal in You and all that is. Thank you for growth – thank you for release. I release my old self – my busyness, my discomfort in not aligning with my true self. Let me be a vessel.
Let me SHINE.
Let me be aware and full of inspiration. I am cradled by healing water and Mother Earth. Let you love flow in and through me. You are my source of power and strength. You are my source of wisdom and pure joy. Let me truly feel and be aligned, enlightened and amazed by Your presence. Let me see the path you have for me. I stand in wonder and awe of your presence. Let me feel Your warmth – help me to stay in tune and be a source of joy and light and love.
Let it be.
Let my light unfold simply and with purpose. Let me stay in tune with you and all Your power. You provide blessings and allow me to not be afraid of the unknown. I trust in your beauty and grace. I am healed by You in all aspects… air, water, earth and fire.
Let me release the fire and balance your elements within… let Your water cleanse me and detoxify my soul. Let the plants continue to heal me. Let laughter be my medicine. Let me shed my darkness and only let light in.
I am my greatest healer with You at my center.
Let me be opened and ready to receive. Let my words and actions match my inner most desires. Let me hold myself with care, with gentleness and with grace. I am so blessed by You.
Shed the darkness.
Shed the lies.
Be a space holder – shed the ego. Let me interact with kindness and gentleness. Let others feel they can be their truest selves around me. Let me join others in their spirit journey.
Let sound be my healing.
Let bliss be my healing.
Let breath and guidance be my healing.
Let me share with gratitude, joy and beauty. Let me stay in this state as long as I need it. You are my guide. I surrender to You in all You are.
In You, I am magic.
Want to learn more about Peruvian plant medicine and try it yourself? Check out our offerings in Peru!
Jill is a health enthusiast passionate about holistic living through being conscious of the mind, body and spirit connection. She is a free-spirited veggie-loving yogi that loves any kind of adventure that comes her way, whether that is rock climbing, paddle boarding, waterfall rappelling, cliff jumping or learning a new inversion. She finds balance and inspiration in her happy place of being in nature and swimming in the ocean. She ensures that everything she does is in alignment with her truth – to have a grateful and vulnerable heart in order to live in a positive and light filled way.