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Thread: Smokin' Kinnikinnick (Uva usri)

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    Cool Smokin' Kinnikinnick (Uva usri)

    So..... Im young and restless, and every book tells me you CAN smoke kinnikinnick. My question is if anyone here actually HAS smoked it. I would to know if anyone here has personal experience with smoking the plant, besides historical counts of Native Americans.....?


  2. #2

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    I haven't either actually, but I'd also really like to hear some feedback on this one. Either way, I plan on givin' it a try at some point through my adventures. I might add though that I did read somewhere that traditionally they used to smoke a mix of kinnikinnick and some other various herbs and/or bark. Which ones I can't remember, however it can also be smoked by itself. I beleive it was the miners there was a historical quote about in wikipedia, of it being smoked by itself? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong anyone.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    For what its worth...no haven't tried it.
    Quote>
    The term "kinnikinnick" derives from Unami Delaware /kələkːəˈnikːan/, "mixture" (c.f. Ojibwe giniginige "to mix together something animate with something inanimate"),[1] from Proto-Algonquian *kereken-, "mix (it) with something different by hand".[2]Quote<

    Quote>
    Eastern tribes traditionally used Nicotiana rustica in their peace pipe but western tribes used kinnikinick.[4] Cutler cites Edward S. Rutsch study of the Iroquois, listing ingredients used by other Native American tribes: leaves or bark of red osier dogwood, arrowroot, red sumac, laurel, ironwood, wahoo, squaw huckleberry, Indian tobacco, Jamestown weed, black birch, cherry bark, corn, mullein; along with muskrat glands or oil, and other animal oil or rendered fat.[4]< qoute

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinnikinnick
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    So this is just the manzanita (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) that I find in the SF Bay Area?
    I can do a good ID of the plants on my next hike and bring home a few leaves for experimentation.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I quite smoking in '89. I don't need that crap in my system.

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    Good job Rick I plan on quitting smoking Benzene when I go on that quest
    Kinninkinnick here I come! LOL

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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    Yeah Rick, why look for something to smoke?
    I had a compass, but without a map, it's just a cool toy to show you where oceans and ice are.

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    Always have a positive ID on any plant you plan to consume or smoke in this case.
    Kinnikinnick can be smoked alone. With that in mind, Tobacco was not always smoked casually like it is today.

    Like Hunter said, the Kinnikinnick I am familiar with is a blend of herbs and plants that may include Uva usri as well as the plants Hunter lists. Kinnikinnick was often mixed for healing or ceremony. For instance Mullen and cherry bark smoked with a tobacco can be good for respiratory health. I have smoked a tobacco mullein mix to help clear a cough by toning the muscles of mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and soothes the lungs reducing cough spasms, I couldn't tell you if it was the mullein or the tobacco but it definitely helped my cough.

    A decent link to herbal smoking mixes http://home.teleport.com/~howieb/smoking/smoke3.html

    The ceremonial mix I am familiar with contains Salvia Alpina or white sage and cedar leaves, mullein, bear berry and red willow are usually mixed with tobacco.
    This is the mix we use usually after a sweat, the smoke purifies the body and caries prayers to the creator. the plants are chosen for purification like cedar and sage, the mullein takes the bite out of the smoke. The smoke is not always inhaled, often its just drawn into the mouth, even by the regular smokers I know. It can be harsh depending on the mix. The plant choices can very depending on the traditions each tribe and purpose of the mix. Its a personal choice and changes in the mix depend on the purpose of the sweat.

    Just my limited experience....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kortoso View Post
    So this is just the manzanita (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) that I find in the SF Bay Area?
    I can do a good ID of the plants on my next hike and bring home a few leaves for experimentation.
    Ya I am pretty sure it is the same thing! Stuff is everywhere in the bay, also up here in Oregon. Tell me how it goes haha

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    This goes along with most of the research ive done. I am very curious to see how it tastes. Not looking to abuse it, I love Native American history and how connected they were to the earth.

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    Why smoke anything? Save your lungs- you're going to need them. Just ask somebody with COPD or asthma.
    I quit in 1996 and that means quit. Everything.
    I'm told I can be an anti-smoking a-hole. I don't care.
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    godbless you guys that quit, it had to been a tough challenge. In my opinion this needs to be put in perspective. Modern man has a habit of going overboard on their bad habits lol. I highly doubt a smoke of kinnikinnick once in awhile is going be detrimental to ones health. I highly doubt that the indians carried a big poke of tobacco and chained smoked it.

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    Randy - I really don't know one way or the other. You may well be right. It's an argument I've heard quite a bit from smokers of other plants. As I said in another thread, I'm a member of the "better safe than sorry" clan. If I don't smoke wild weeds I know for a fact that it can't harm me. On the other hand, even if I smoked it occasionally it might. That sounds a lot like Russian Roulette to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnerParty View Post
    This goes along with most of the research ive done. I am very curious to see how it tastes. Not looking to abuse it, I love Native American history and how connected they were to the earth.
    Exactly where I am with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Randy - I really don't know one way or the other. You may well be right. It's an argument I've heard quite a bit from smokers of other plants. As I said in another thread, I'm a member of the "better safe than sorry" clan. If I don't smoke wild weeds I know for a fact that it can't harm me. On the other hand, even if I smoked it occasionally it might. That sounds a lot like Russian Roulette to me.
    what the heck Rick, do ya want to live forever?????LOL. Life is meant to be rode hard, put up wet and at the very end be skidding in screaming geronimooooooooo

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    Weeds?....Weeds...somebody say weeds?....Far out, man
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    I tried that once playing baseball. My slide stopped about 3 feet from third base. I learned my lesson.

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    Save your lungs,I just got done 6 months back having a lung removed and I will tell you it HURTS.And am just now getting my breath back.

  19. #19

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    I think that we can do without any lectures here. This is NOT tobacco we're discussing.

    Last weekend, I harvested a couple dozen leaves. I got a feeling that the drying process will be very slow. Maybe I should chop them up to speed the process?

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