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Ginseng and Tobacco Snuff: An Unexpected Pleasure (Long)

fredhfredh Member
edited March 2014 in General
I could not find any previous threads on mixing tobacco snuff with ginseng for snuffing, only a few passing but interesting posts by members such as @basement_shaman and @juxtaposer. I found nothing about snuffing ginseng all by itself. So it seems appropriate to start one. I want to say at the outset that I am not an expert on ginseng, the brain, neuroscience or anything else. Anything I state should be taken as my opinion and not authoritative in any way. Also, I offer no advice in the rather wild report that follows.

I have been experimenting with a pure ginseng powder that appears to be fine grind high quality Asian ginseng, Panax Ginseng. There are no other ingredients, according to the package. I found it at the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AVO3LLK/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This powder has a reasonable amount (7%) of the active ingredients of ginseng, which are the various "ginsenosides" which have some remarkable benefits ranging from elevation in mood, and increased capacity for abstract thinking and general feelings of well being and mental clarity. Like nicotine, it seems to act as a neural protectant and also, like nicotine, seems to affect the release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. According to what I have read, it also is associated, unlike nicotine, with the well known neurotransmitter, serotonin. There are many other effects. The most common belief about it is that it enhances physical energy but this not always true for many. There are also many kinds of ginseng ranging from sources such as China, Korea, Siberia, and America--and each supposedly has slightly different effects. Some of these links below may provide some further information. It is also important to note that ginseng effects are controversial as there is much in the way of conflicting findings (as with gingko biloba).
-------------------------------------------------------
http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1015/p1539.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513215410.htm

http://www.ginsengres.org/main/

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21536
-------------------------------------------------------

Anyway, I decided to snuff some of this powder straight. I did not find anything about snuffing straight ginseng on the internet but what the hell. And I admit, I was somewhat apprehensive but I tried it anyway. Ginseng is known for being bitter and a bit harsh. I had no idea what to expect. I was expecting a nasty nose "flavor" and a lot of burn.

What I experienced was quite remarkable and, I think, worth sharing here with my fellow snuff enthusiasts. There was absolutely no burn, no bitterness (although it was bitter on the tongue), and only a trace of an herbal scent and only a bit of "flavor" to speak of. But something rather amazing did manifest. I admit that what follows is rather strange but quite unexpected but here it is in any case.

I took about 5 pinches of the ginseng powder as I could not detect anything in the usual time in which effects would become noticeable with tobacco snuff. After a short delay of 10 to 15 seconds (longer than compared to nicotine), I found myself spontaneously starting to smile (in spite of myself) and experienced a distinct euphoria (this is also a documented effect of ginseng). This was accompanied by a feeling a well being, mental clarity, and a general "all is well" type of attitude. I experienced no physical energizing feeling, that for me, is found in nicotine. The effect was consistent over several episodes of snuffing this powder.

To provide some background, I have never taken or snorted cocaine, meth, heroin or any other illegal drug (other than marijuana 40+ years ago), and I do not ever intend to. So I have nothing to compare this experience with in terms of intensity or magnitude of euphoria. Having said that, I can say that the euphoria from ginseng was quite noticeable and quite pleasant. I cannot speak for any cognitive improvements as such things are difficult to discern--probably because I am not smart enough :-S

Also, if you don't mind my blathering on about this, I am in my mid 60s in age and have been interested in taking various cognitive enhancing supplements that may help me to maintain what little cognitive skill and functioning I now possess. That is my hope. These include nicotine (through snuff and pipes), Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Phosphatidylserine, and Vitamin D3. After reading about some of the ginseng research and its benefits, and after snuffing it, I have decided to add this to my list of supplements intended to delay the mental effects that come with old age.

I spent some time deciding what tobacco snuffs with which to blend this ginseng powder. The only one I have actually tried so far is as follows.

2 parts Toque Rustica Fine (high nic, stimulating and focusing)
1 part Blueberry Powder (I discussed this in another thread as having a mild "energy" effect)
1 part Ginseng Powder

Notes: The grassy-meadow "flavor" and scent of the Rustica was counterbalanced by the blueberry which also has a slightly grassy but mostly fruit "flavor." There was a noticeable nic effect from the Rustica along with a bit of the aforementioned euphoria from the ginseng. It was overall a quite smooth and pleasant experience but not particularly flavorful. The mental effects were quite satisfying. But I am still experimenting. But it looks like I will be having some fun with this for a while.

It seems to me that tobacco snuff and this powdered ginseng are quite compatible.

I have also made a blend of Toque Rustica, Toque SP Extra, and the Ginseng powder. I have not tried it yet, but I will add that report a bit later after I try it out for a while.

Well, for all I know, this might be dangerous to do and I don't recommend it to anyone. But I don't think it is going to kill me anytime soon... If it does kill me, I will let you know immediately ;))

Anyone else ever snuff ginseng or ginseng/tobacco and want to share your experience? Your comments are welcome.

And I apologize for the long post. :-@
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Comments

  • Very cool stuff, I may have to experiment with this myself some time.
  • Really interesting, thanks for posting!

    I may try this myself.
  • Thanks for posting this topic. I'll give it a try. I could use a "lift" . :)>-
  • I Have and snuff American ginseng. Just one of many plant materials to snuff. Guarana would be one of my favorites. I usually mix with Toque Quit. As I recall looking in to it I realized an overdosing potential with ginseng but once or twice a day seems reasonable.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited March 2014 PM
    Thanks @Juxtaposer. Considering that you have experience with this, I have lots of questions, if you wouldn't mind considering them, please...

    Do you snuff American Ginseng with no other ingredients? Do you get that clarity and euphoria I mentioned from the American ginseng? As I am sure you know, the Panax Ginseng that I am using is probably from China and there may be slight differences according to the research I have read.

    Do you mix the American ginseng with both Toque Quit and Guarana, or do you only mix Quit and Guarana? I could not tell for sure from what you wrote.

    What is Guarana like when snuffed all by itself?

    You mentioned that you snuff many plant materials. I am greatly interested in what those might be and what the effects are, if you would not mind sharing?

    Sorry for all the questions, Juxtaposer. I am fascinated by all this. Whatever you wish to share would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • @fredhanna Thanks for the commentary and discussion of your experiments here. I am interested in nootropic substances, those that aid mental focus and clarity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic), and both nicotine and ginseng are among the many substances considered to do so.

    I will be following this thread intently, and will definitely try mixing snuff and ginseng in the future.
  • Very interesting post I am going to buy a pestle and mortar tomorrow and try this asap...
  • All this jazz I have already posted here at the snuff house. Guarana is much better in the nose than ginseng. I don't like the finish of the ginseng but you just gave me the idea to mix it with a floral. If you like it plain then you have it easy. Don't use too much and research the symptoms of overdose. I would have to check my notes here to see what I have mixed in the past. I'll try search herb mix. I wish I had more time here.
  • Here is a cut and paste;

    Too many to mention but herbs that I have and do use for snuff are;

    Basil, coriander, diviners sage, gotu kola, calamus, wormwood, clip daga, goldenseal, echinacea, ava, cannabis, lavender, N. glauca, saffron, coriander, angelica, fennel, anise, licorice root, ginseng root, woodruff, ...

    most spices as well...

    I'm sure I left some out!
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited March 2014 PM
    Here is a cut and paste;

    Too many to mention but herbs that I have and do use for snuff are;

    Basil, coriander, diviners sage, gotu kola, calamus, wormwood, clip daga, goldenseal, echinacea, ava, cannabis, lavender, N. glauca, saffron, coriander, angelica, fennel, anise, licorice root, ginseng root, woodruff, ...

    most spices as well...

    I'm sure I left some out!
    Wow! @Juxtaposer that is an amazing list! I did not run into that post when I did my search. Thanks for your post here!

    You have obviously been experimenting with this sort of thing for a long time! My hat is off to you!

    Aside from ginseng, which of that vast list brings about a sense of mental clarity or alertness or focused attention or increased energy the way that ginseng and/or nicotine does? Thank you.
  • That list is a bit old I'd say. Guarana is not on the list but it is more like caffeine. Besides, the answer to your question is entirely subjective.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited March 2014 PM
    As I mentioned in the opening post of this thread, I have made a blend of Toque Rustica, Toque SP Extra, and the Ginseng powder. I mentioned that I would report on it a bit later after I tried it out for a while. Well, I have tried it and want to share my impressions.

    The SP Extra turned out to be quite compatible with both the ginseng powder and the Rustica. The particularly strong bergamot component in the SP Extra seems to compensate for and mostly remove the grassy, herbal "flavors" of both the Rustica and ginseng. However, the latter two also dilute the strong bergamot, of course. The result is more or less a moderately flavored SP but with a high nic hit due to the high nic content of Rustica and the high strength of the SP Extra, which as you know, has Toque Quit as its base flour. There is also a nice effect from the ginseng powder. The blend I made was as follows:

    3 parts SP Extra
    2 parts Ginseng Powder
    1 part Rustica.

    It seems to work pretty well. It is very smooth and I really enjoy it. Of course, your mileage may vary. But there it is for what it's worth.

    If you try something different I would be highly interested in hearing about it.

    Meanwhile, I have a few other ideas for the ginseng powder that I am working on... More later.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited April 2014 PM
    A bit of an update on ginseng blending. Be aware that the Ginseng powder leaves a definite bitter drip when a lot of it is snuffed.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited April 2014 PM
    Another update on Ginseng blending. So far my favorite ginseng blend has been:

    2 parts Ginseng Powder
    1 part Toque Rustica
    1 part Toque Vanilla
    2 parts Toque Spanish Gem

    For me, this is a very "tasty" and truly enjoyable blend that is easy to snuff. Your experience may differ, but I sure do recommend this one. But be warned, it is a strong snuff.
  • edited April 2014 PM
    Interesting enjoyable experiement.

    Of course got me now wondering if a Ginseng and Nicotine ejuice would also be viable. Don't see any available on a brief search. Or why for instance have there never been Ginseng cigarettes or perhaps there have but at least not widely know and used as far as I am aware, which is not very far probably.

    Looking forward to more thoughts after a longer trial. Hope it all goes well and safely but if it's not genuinely giving a benefit or improvement then don't be concerned about disclosing that also.

    I've tried a lot of snuff blending but after usage for a while there really are only a tiny few that I again regularly recreate.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited April 2014 PM
    @I_snuff_therefore__ When I was wandering around in various parts of China 30 years ago I remember seeing and trying some Ginseng cigarettes. My understanding was that the cigarettes had Ginseng added to the tobacco. I seem to remember that there was a picture of a Taoist immortal on the front of the pack. I have never seen them outside of China although there may be some in Taiwan or Hong Kong for all I know although I do not remember seeing them in those places.

    The Ginseng cigarettes I tried were mostly bitter and pretty harsh. But this is not surprising as Ginseng is itself bitter to the tongue, so some bitterness on the tongue when it is smoked is to be expected, I would suppose.

    Remarkably, after snuffing Ginseng on a rather consistent basis since a couple of weeks before starting this thread, I still find that Ginseng is not at all harsh or bitter in the nose when snuffed. In fact, it is quite smooth. And I still find that the psychological effects of increased and enhanced feelings of well being and the other effects that I listed in the first post still hold true up to the time of this writing.

    I can also say that it seems to me that the effects of nicotine merge extremely well with the effects of Ginseng, at least they do when snuffed. Seems to me that they go together very nicely indeed. My experience is that it is an enjoyable combination, although I can only speak for myself on this and cannot speak for anyone else, of course.

    I should add that I have not actually smoked Ginseng since 1983 in China and do not plan to smoke it again any time in the foreseeable future. But I will be continuing to experiment with various tobacco/Ginseng snuff blends. Just a couple of days ago I was thinking that Ginseng powder might go well with the Toque USA new Whiskey & Honey, which has some Rustica in it and might mix well with the Ginseng powder. We shall see how that blend turns out as soon as I finish off what I have blended so far (see above posts).
  • Not to highjack, but wormwood was mentioned. I have snuffed copious amounts of wormwood over one evening and had very trippy consequences.
  • @LeNezzz Care to elaborate?
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited April 2014 PM
    @LeNezzz Care to elaborate?
    I would like to hear more about this as well @LeNezzz. What do you mean by " very trippy consequences"?
  • edited April 2014 PM
    Wonder if there would be some antidepressant effect if snuff was mixed with St'John's Wort.

    I've never tried St'John's or Ginseng but if a snuff was develpoed that could help elevate good wellbeing mood even moreso than snuff tobacco alone, even if for only occasional use when having down periods then I think that would be a very good thing and I'd certainly keep a stock. Actually surprised there isn't something like this already.

    Would perhaps become my all day snuff provided I would still be able to cycle etc lol.

    Maybe some of the snuff makers on here could tie up with you @Fredhanna and use you as a guinea pig, sorry meant co-researcher. I'd volunteer myself.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited April 2014 PM
    @I_snuff_therefore___ I have a friend who tried St. John's Wort for several weeks when he was not depressed. It only made him irritable. It was actually a rather amusing story.

    As for my being a guinea pig for Ginseng/tobacco snuff, I am already a believer, as you can see from what I have written in this thread. I don't need to be convinced.

    However, I think you are right in implying that more experimenting with various herbs and plants needs to be done. Juxtaposer and Basement_Shaman have already done a lot of this sort of thing. But much more needs to be done.

    I would be happy to receive snuff to experiment with, that is kindly and compassionately donated by Nigel, Johnny, and Roderick for the advancement of humanity. Please, if you would @I_snuff_therefore___, contact these fine gentlemen snuff blenders and inform them that in the interest of science, world peace, and all that is holy, they should send me just a tiny bit of each of their various snuffs (say, 5 kilos of each) so that we can experiment with them developing various forms of avant garde snuff. I have no doubt that we could change the world! 8-} :)) >:) 8-X ;))
  • I get the impression you may be stroking a fluffy white cat sitting on your lap HAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAAAHaaaaaaaaaaa!
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited April 2014 PM
    LOL! @I_snuff_therefore__ you are close enough. It is an orange and white cat! You must be clairvoyant.
  • fredhfredh Member
    edited May 2014 PM
    Lately, I have been calling the above mentioned ginseng tobacco snuff blend, "Ginseng Gem."

    Ginseng Gem consists of:
    2 parts Ginseng Powder
    1 part Toque Rustica
    1 part Toque Vanilla
    2 parts Toque Spanish Gem

    I like it so much that have been taking it almost every day--as in at least 5 days a week.

    To me, the effects of this combination of ginseng and snuff are the most pleasant I have experienced in the snuff world. But that's just my experience. Your experience may vary of course.
  • fredhfredh Member
    Here's another great, to my taste, ginseng toacco snuff blend. I call it "Ginseng Cream."

    Ginseng Cream consists of:
    2 parts Ginseng Powder
    1 part Toque Rustica
    1 part FUBAR Shot of Rum
    2 parts Temptation Mango Cream

    I like this every bit as much as the Ginseng Gem and perhaps even a bit more.

    FWIW.
  • Thanks for the updates, Fred. I take it you have seen no negative effects from snuffing ginseng? Have you built much tolerance to the ginseng extract?


    I bought the powdered ginseng that you purchased, but have yet to try it. Truth be told, I primarily use snuff as a "pick me up" to help wake me up while stuck in traffic in the morning commute, in addition to energy drinks and/or coffee in the morning. I was thinking of trying to mix the ginseng into a "wake up blend", focused more on energy and ease of snuffing than overall taste; I lean towards med/coarse snuffs, so I was thinking NTSU black, Viking Dark, and perhaps a few other snuffs. I have a lot of snuff, more than I will ever use at this rate, so I have a lot of options. Would love to hear your thoughts.


    Oh, and I'm tempted to buy some liquid caffeine (500mg caffeine per 1 fluid oz, or roughly 1mg per drop) and use it to help clump up finer snuffs so that I can take them more easily, but for the small amount of caffeine it wouldn't be worth the hassle or the bitterness.
  • Here's another great, to my taste, ginseng toacco snuff blend. I call it "Ginseng Cream."

    Ginseng Cream consists of:
    2 parts Ginseng Powder
    1 part Toque Rustica
    1 part FUBAR Shot of Rum
    2 parts Temptation Mango Cream

    I like this every bit as much as the Ginseng Gem and perhaps even a bit more.

    FWIW.
    This looks especially nice but them I'm a blendomaniac so they all look good. Are you sure it's not just the rustica giving the most pleasant effect. I think there is some in this Havana Toast and I underestimated it's hidden strength. I wonder how it would be possible to tell how much effect the ginseng is actually having? Have you tried the blend without the ginseng?

    Perhaps that would be a good test to highlight any difference.

  • fredhfredh Member
    edited May 2014 PM
    Good point, @I_snuff_therefore___. It is important to bring this up.

    Actually, I still do the ginseng all by itself now and then. I also snuff Toque Rustica straight now and then as well. I am quite familiar with the effects of both, and they are different, at least to me they are. As I said in the first few posts in this thread, the effects of ginseng and nicotine merge together quite well, and quite wonderfully, I might add. But this is just me, and my limited experience, and I am not trying to make any scientific claims whatsoever. And yes, I have tried these blends without the ginseng.

    Many times in the past I have tried ginseng in various drinks or in capsules, and I always wondered if there was any effect at all as I was never quite sure I wan't manufacturing some benefits that were not there. But believe me, all doubt vanished when I snuffed this particular ginseng powder. The effect of this ginseng, on me, is clear to me now.

    Unfortunately, as I said and as most of us know, there are several varieties of ginseng and each has different effects. I am not on a quest to go snuffing all the different types--from American to Chinese, Korean and Siberian--as it is not that important to me. In other words, I don't have all this figured out by any means, but I am reasonably certain that I can tell the difference between nicotine and the ginsenosides that are the active ingredients of this particular ginseng powder--on me.

    And as you know, rustica is an ingredient in several commercially avalaible snuff blends but I believe that rustica should be done straight, all by itself, in order to get a better understanding of it. Thank you Roderick for providing us with rustica.

  • fredhfredh Member
    Good to hear from you @BarkingLeopard. So far no negative effects from the ginseng of which I am aware.

    I am intrigued by some of your ideas for blending the ginseng powder with the various snuffs you mentioned. They seem like good candidates to me. I am eager to hear how your experiments turn out. And using the liquid caffeine to make the fine snuffs more coarse sounds like a great idea that I have not heard before. I do know that powdered caffeine is available on Amazon, so that might be an option as well in terms of a pick-me-up. Makes me wonder if one of the caffeine based energy snuffs might mix well with tobacco snuffs and ginseng.

    Please do let us know what you discover.
  • @fredhanna

    I'll let you know if I discover anything new. I've been AWOL from this forum for a while, and was on a bit of a cigar binge the past two months, but am starting to tire of it, so I suspect I'll be consuming a little more snuff soon, though still not likely more than a handful of pinches a day. Who knows, maybe I'll break out the pipes again (missed the Chicago show this year), it's good to rotate between my tobacco vices.


    Personally, I would be very cautious sniffing straight caffeine, both in terms of dosage and in terms of nasal damage, though mixed with snuff I imagine it would be okay.


    Even though I doubt they would add much in the way of stimulating powers, I like the idea of using concentrated liquid or dry extracts of stimulating substances as mixers. I'm thinking instant coffee, maybe some super strong yerba mate (not sure if you can get that in a concentrate or freeze-dried version). Yerba mate in particular has some grassy notes that I could see pairing very well with ginseng or perhaps some SP snuffs.


    I'll have to try more of the snuffs I have sitting around and see what ideas I come up with.


    Oh, and when you make your snuff recipes, I presume you do them by volume, not weight?
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