Citation: Pappa. "Fairly Mild And More Or Less Pleasant: An Experience with Tobacco (Ambíl) (ID 34472)". Erowid.org. Jun 3, 2009. erowid.org/exp/34472
I'd just like to relate to everyone my preparation of ambíl; the South American lickable tobacco preparation. I followed a method reported in the book 'Tobacco and Shamanism in South America' by Johannes Wilbert; a tour de force of information on the subject (if you're into that sort of thing).
Yesterday, I took approximately 10 medium (20cm length) tobacco leaves from my Nicotiana tabacum plants, chopped them into strips and put them in a large pan with enough water to cover them. I brought the pan to the boil and simmered for two hours, adding more water 3/4 of the way through to stop it boiling dry.
While they were simmering I tried to prepare alkaline ashes of B. caapi bark by burning it with a blowtorch. Unfortunately, they were converted to charcoal rather than white ash, and the resulting water steeped in them was pH neutral. I then prepared some ash from chillum charcoal and obtained a pH 9 alkaline solution. (This alkaline ash solution is unnecassary, as you can use sodium bicarbonate, but I was interested in trying a more traditional method).
Back to the leaves. I left the pan to cool and took out the tobacco leaves; squeezing all the liquid out into the pan. I then discarded to leaves. The tobacco water was then transferred to a smaller pan, and boilled vigorously until there was only a 6mm depth of liquid in the pan. The heat was then turned down and the liquid gently simmered and blown on to aid evaporation.
Eventually, only about 30-40ml of very dark brown liquid was left in the pan. While hilding the pan at a 45º angle, 30ml (approx.) of alkaline ash solution was added to the liquid, and then 1/4 of a teaspoon of baking powder (not baking soda) was also added. This made the liquid froth immediately.
After frothing, much of the liquid had coagulated on the angled botton of the pan and was thick and dry, the rest was still in liquid form. After very gentle heating of the liquid, and much scraping of the coagulated stuff, 1/2 a teaspoon of very thick and sticky marmite-like stuff was put into a snuff box.
The final result was a little thicker than I would have liked, but from what I have read, well within the bounds of what can be described 'genuine ambíl'.
A little while later, myself and two others tried the ambíl; using amounts about the size of two grains of rice. One, said she felt nothing more than a strange tingling in the hands and a slightly restless feeling. Myself and the other both agreed we could feel a pronounced sense of restlessness and slighlty amphetamine-like stimulation.
I could also feel my heart pounding, and definitely felt on edge. For me the whole experience felt a bit like an adrenaline surge, fairly mild and more or less pleasant. Subjectively, it lasted about 30 minutes. It certainly felt nothing like a 'first cigarette of the morning' tobacco rush.
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