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Ishmael Fleishman

Peruvian "Singado, or singar” Tobacco Juice

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I am interested in the preparation, dosage and consumption of Peruvian "Singado, or singar” Tobacco Juice in the Northern Peruvian Curanderismo Tradition.


I have found been unable to find a definite reference recipe for its perpetration.


I have seen instruction that came from Don Eduardo Calderon Palomino that was a mix of mapacho, alcohol, water, sugar and spices. Another recommends mapacho powder soaked in a 10% alcohol solution for months then filtered and another version adds honey to the mix. Then other references talk about mixing in some wachuma tea with the tobacco juice.


Then their is the question of dosage, their are references to a small shell but to my Western mind that is not a unti of measure I am comfortable with. I have seen the wachuma ceremonies performed and the shells are not that small. See attached still from Eduardo Calderón- the Healer 1978 El Tuno. Chamán y curandero de Las Delicias - Trujillo


If you have seen episode one of Netflix How to Change Your Mind you have seen this scene with the tobacco juice measured in a syringe before being injected into the nasal passage.


Then I just came across the idea that Singado is a more modern version of the ancient practice of imbibing yopo (Anadenanthera peregrin).



This theory is based on the existence in Chavín of a series of heads embedded in the walls of the pyramid in various stages of transformation: from a fully human head to a totally dragon-like feline. The metamorphosis, as various researchers have shown, is clearly associated with swelling of the nose. So my interpretation is that, when you add the paricá, which is sniffed, a feline transformation is produced, a true "incarnation" of the tutelary spirit of worship. There is also considerable evidence of the combined use of San Pedro and paricá in other cultures that appeared later in the Middle Horizon in Peru among the Mochica, the Nasca, and the Wari.


Has anyone got any experience with Peruvian "Singado, or singar” Tobacco Juice and its relationship to wachuma.


I have also noticed that some form of tobacco juice is being used in Neo-shamanic and psychedelic therapists as way to break through "energy blocks". I have also heard of the juice being rubbed into the inside of the elbow to help people break through difficult moments - allowing the users mind to focus and not to be distracted. Since nicotine and possible other alkaloids can be absorbed through the skin, this also makes sense and would be slower to come on then administrating via the sinus.


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Edited by Ishmael Fleishman
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I am surprised that no one has anything to say about the use of tobacco juice through the sinus. I may just have to experiment very very carefully by myself. Maybe starting with 1/8 of a ml of tobacco juice in maybe 10ml of water and working up in dosage. Probably have to use weight instead of volume to get accurate measurements.


I have about 100g of mapacho sitting in 400ml of 60% ABV rum for several months. I will dilute it down with 400ml of water and honey and leave for a few more months.


I know from my days brewing beer that alcohol is a solvent and it extracts certain flavonoids and alkaloids but so does water only it extract different ones. This is why whiskey is aged in oak barrels between 50% to 65% ABV the rest being water and the water being a essential part in extracting flavor from the barrel. I think using honey will make the solution more viscous and better tasting if it gets down the back of the throat from the sinus.


However nicotine is a powerful toxin. However I am an ex smoker I have a fair tolerance. However extreme caution is the order of the day.


Would love opinions and experiences.

Edited by Ishmael Fleishman

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I have a lot of experince with singada, not for a long time now though.


Typical preparation is 6-12 large green or cured mapacho leaves (N.rustica) slow boiled for a few minutes in a small amount of water (until light brown) then strained. That makes dozens of strong "doses" probably like 100mls. I used a palm heart staff (chonta wood/chonta staff) with a small wood bowl carved in the top as the receptable. Such staffs are widely available in witches markets but not often with the small depression/bowl carved in the top. The bowl on top is about the volume of an old skool wooden smoking pipe I guess. Do through one nostril, then the other, with the one bowl... if well prepared you get a feeling of lift off and energy activation, so to speak, that lasts a few minutes. Can be used at the peak of huachuma experience (or slightly after) or separately, i've used it up to perhaps 15-20 times in a single session (2-3 hours) but that's excessive. It is an ordeal experience as much as a psychactive one, used by shamans to offer and clear energy. Doesn't last more than a few days in a bottle. I used to carry my staff around all over the place and do singada at any nice natural location as an offering in an otherwise sober state. At that time I didn't smoke tobacco, I don't think whether you smoke or not affects tolerance per se but doing singada or using mapacho for ritual purpose may explain why I took up smoking!


In Peru, most curanderos prepare only by mashing green mapacho leaves in cold water and keeping the leaves and juice in a special singada bottle, and will use high alpine lake water if possible. This is a much weaker preparation but in Peru san pedro shamans rarely aim for maximum psychoactive effect (unless a gringo is invited), their huachuma brews also done in cold water and quite "weak" by western psychonaut standards, it's more about the ritual. Receptable used may be chonta staff but also varieties of sea-shell. The singada is as important in northcoast ceremonies than the actual san pedro and the singada may be administered several times, possibly seven per the magic number.


I never came across much in the way of admixtures but there's probably heaps. Huicla/yopo an interesting idea, but if you're going to put something up your nose, why not just insufflate the seeds directly for blast off. The tenon heads at chavin are a representation of that experinece precisely, as your link says. Northcoast shamans would add agua de florida, agua rosada, agua kanaga, and other commercial flower waters in small amounts (commercially prepared and sold for the shaman's market that is), and high alpine herbs I can't remember what or why. I never ever used any alcohol in my preparations, I prefer to drink it! Some of the flower waters I guess have some minute alcohol content.


I never measured any dosage, miligrams or whatever, just eyeball mixed with some original tutelege. It's a spectacular thing the singada and very important to peruvian rituals. I never had adverse side effects but depends on your sinuses, I did see a few people end up with blocked ears/sinuses and such from the inhale that can be uncomfortable for days or weeks. Athough I did this probably more than a 1000 times I can't remember atm what happens after... I think some liquid goes down the throat but most comes back out the nose, I don't think I spit it out, but best not to ingest large quantities as tobacco is quite toxic when ingested.


This is my personal experience, it is not advice, nor am I an expert. There's heaps of info on the web if you want to dig into it.

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Micromegas thank you for your  account and first hand experience with tobacco juice.


I will need to digest your information.


The value and purpose of alcohol would depend on the abv.  I have seen recipes with as little as 10% alcohol and this can only be as a solvent however once you get to 38% abv then you are using the alcohol as a preservative. This is why wine at 15% abv  will go off but whiskey at 40% abv will not.


I will try looking online again but I have not been able to find much information.


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