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Common tobacco refers to annual cultivated plants. The country of origin is South America.
The stem of the species is solid, multi-branched, reaches a height of up to 2 m in open ground.
The leaves of Tobacco vulgaris are whole, alternate, broadly ovate, densely pubescent. Loose panicle inflorescences consist of long-tubular funnel-shaped spine-lobed, white-pink flowers. The corolla is about 5 cm long.
All parts of the representative species contain nicotine. Ordinary tobacco is considered the most common type, since tobacco leaves are used for smoking tobacco.
A heat-loving plant for industrial purposes is most effectively grown in hot countries.
Among the many varieties, the most famous varieties of Tobacco ordinary are the Havana group. It includes fairly compact plants, characterized by abundant flowering. The color of their corollas is very diverse.
Ornamental varieties of Tobacco ordinary are grown as potted plants on balconies and terraces or in open ground in flower beds.
Botanical description of common tobacco
Common tobacco - annual plant of the family Solanaceae (Solanaceae).
Root branched, sheer, yellowish white.
Stem cylindrical erect, up to 2 m high. Some varieties of tobacco reach a height of 3 meters.
Leaves regular, large, elongated elliptical, with a specific smell. In many species, the leaves are covered with glandular hairs.
Flowers large, bisexual, calyx, bell-shaped. Corolla falling, pink on top, greenish down. The fivefold odorous flowers are gathered in a panicle. Tobacco blossoms from June to October. Tobacco is pollinated by insects.
Fetus - ovoid opening box with very small seeds.
The use of tobacco in medicine
Tobacco leaves are used for enemas, for strangulated hernias, for tetanus, for the treatment of motion sickness, for dizziness, vomiting of pregnant women, acute pain in the joints, restless sleep, a feeling of weakness and longing, tinnitus and other diseases.
A decoction of tobacco leaves is used for certain diseases of the skin, scalp, as well as against scabies, itchy dermatitis.
Dosage forms, method of using ordinary tobacco
Decoction of tobacco leaves. 2 tbsp. l tobacco leaves in 400 ml of water are boiled for 20 minutes, filtered. It is used for washing, lotions, wet compresses for certain diseases of the skin, scalp, as well as against scabies, itchy dermatitis.
Tobacco leaf tincture. 1 tbsp. l tobacco leaves per 100 ml of vodka insist 10 days, filter. Take 1 drop, diluted in 100 ml of water, 2-3 times a day with motion sickness, dizziness.
Paste. The crushed leaves and stalks of tobacco are boiled in water to the consistency of a liquid toffee, then a little sesame oil is added. Paste is applied to the lymph nodes affected by tuberculosis. As a result of treatment, within 2 months, lymphomas disappear. Isolation of pus from the fistula ceases within 1-2 weeks, and after 3 weeks there is a complete recovery.
Contraindications to the use of ordinary tobacco
The use of tobacco leaves and preparations thereof requires great care, because of the very toxic substance nicotine in tobacco. With tobacco poisoning, the clinical picture becomes noticeable after a few hours. Nicotine poisoning causes sore throat, dizziness, headache, hiccups, nausea, vomiting, burning in the mouth, sometimes excitement, blurred consciousness, decreased vision, deafness, rapid breathing, deep fainting, and others.
When tobacco poisoning, antidotes are apomorphine, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate. The stomach is washed with a suspension of activated carbon in water and take caramel as a laxative inside. Caffeine, digitalis, atropine, corozol are injected subcutaneously. Drinking warm milk is recommended. With cramps, a warming compress is used on the stomach and a warm bath. When poisoning with pure nicotine and when smoking - a cold compress on the head. It is necessary to rinse the stomach with an aqueous suspension of coal.
Other Tobacco Information
There are over 60 types of tobacco that grow in the temperate and subtropical zones of America, Australia and Polynesia. The largest tobacco crops today in China, India, USA, Indonesia, Turkey.
To produce smoking tobacco, mainly cultivated tobacco, or smoking, is cultivated, and shag - Both plants come from South America (unknown in the wild). They also grow four leaf tobacco, sticky tobacco and others. Sometimes for smoking use the leaves of some wild tobacco, for example, panicled tobacco and forest tobacco.
In decorative gardening, types of tobacco with large or fragrant flowers that open and exude aroma at night are used - tobaccos winged, Sander, fragrant and etc.
Tobacco in history and mythology
South America is considered the birthplace of tobacco. The Indians grew tobacco long before the discovery of America by Europeans. He was brought to Europe (Spain, Portugal, then France, Germany, Italy) at the end of the 15th century and was first used as an ornamental and medicinal plant.
The founder of tobacco growing in Europe was the French envoy to Portugal, Jean Nico de Willemen, in whose honor botanists gave the Latin name to the plant. The origin of the word tobacco is still not known for certain. Perhaps it came from the name of one of the Antilles - Tobago, or maybe because the pipes that the Indians smoked were called tobacco.
Tobacco came to Russia at the beginning of the 17th century, the first plantations were laid near the village of Akhtyrka (Ukraine).
According to Scott Cunningham, tobacco has the following characteristics:
In some shamanistic traditions, the “candidates for the position” of the shaman had to drink tobacco juice in order to evoke visions. Some Native Americans have long used tobacco in their religious ceremonies. Until now, many peoples consider this plant sacred.
South American Indians smoked tobacco to communicate with perfumes. Tobacco was thrown into the river before embarking on a river boat trip. This travelers tried to appease the river gods.
It was believed that burning tobacco as an incense cleanses the space of negativity and any perfume (both good and evil), and in order to cure the pain in the ear, tobacco smoke was blown into the ear.
Tobacco was also used by people suffering from nightmares. Immediately after awakening, it was necessary to wash in running water and throw tobacco into the water as an offering to the Water Spirit, which will cleanse from evil.
Tobacco serves as a magical substitute for sulfur, just like dope and belladonna, which belong to the same nightshade family.
Botanical characteristics of tobacco and the history of introduction to the culture
Real tobacco - Nicotiana tabacum L. is an annual glandular pubescent plant from the nightshade family (Solanaceae) up to 3 m high. The stem is usually unbranched, rounded ribbed, abundantly leafy. The leaves are alternate, with oval or ovate plates, pointed at the apex, with long winged petioles.
The flowers are large, up to 4 cm long, collected in panicled inflorescence, which ends with the stem. A cup of 5 fused green sepals, remaining with the fruit, a corolla of 5 fused pink or red petals, a tubular-wheeled, with a limb up to 3 cm wide, 5 stamens fused with a corolla tube, a pistil with an ovary and capitate stigma. The fruit is a box 1.5 - 2 cm long, with numerous small seeds.
Wild-growing this type of plant is not found anywhere else. In America, other wild species of the genus Nicotiana grow, of which local residents developed special cultural forms, which they began to breed long before the discovery of the New World by Europeans. In Europe (and indeed in the Old World), two species have taken root and are widely bred everywhere: real tobacco (its description is given above) and a somewhat smaller plant, called “shag” - Nicotiana rustica L. Shag tobacco gives low-quality tobacco, but it has the advantage over real tobacco in that it is more cold resistant. This allows you to grow it much farther than the possible culture of real tobacco.
The Spaniards, Christopher Columbus’s companions, saw many wonders when they entered the newly discovered American continent. They were particularly struck by the Indians' habit of folding leaves of some (from an unknown to Europeans) plant into a tube, burning this tube from one end, and taking the other end into their mouths, drawing in smoke and letting it out through the nostrils. To us, observing smoking daily, this process does not seem to be something interesting and all the more attractive, but America's discoverers were extremely intrigued by it. Some sailors began to imitate the Indians and learned to smoke. But this brought them directly to prison upon arrival in Spain, because in those days it was believed that only sorcerers could breathe smoke through their nose.
Native American use of tobacco was extremely common. They attributed to him a soothing euphoric property, capable of immersing in thoughts, a dreamy state. Since then, the custom of the Indians living on the plains to smoke a “pipe of peace” has been known. For example, at the conclusion of peace after warfare, recent opponents sat in a circle, the leader lit a pipe and handed it to a neighbor. After one or two puffs, he passed the phone to his neighbor, and he - to his neighbor. And so in a circle was the "peace pipe."
Modern biochemists actually recognize tobacco as a means of relaxing the nervous system.
However, tobacco, mixed with real hallucinogenic plants, played a particularly important role in the ritual of ordination of future shamans, and they were almost completely devoid of food, replaced with a large amount of tobacco liquid. As a result of her repeated receptions, the newcomer “made” his first “journey to another world” in order to meet with spirits there.
There is ample evidence that Indians tobacco desacralization is a relatively recent phenomenon attributable to European influence, but sacred tobacco use was formerly widespread throughout the continent.
According to the American ethnologist Johannes Wilbert, for the Indians of the Varaos tribe in Eastern Venezuela, large cigars still serve as a means of communicating with spirits.
68 years after the discovery of Columbus, Jean Nico, who in 1559-1561. he was an ambassador in Lisbon, receives there as a gift an unknown plant brought from America, and he begins to grow it for decorative purposes until he discovers that it has remarkable healing properties. He sends the crushed leaves of the plant to Catherine de Medici to rid her of migraine. The queen was not so much pleased with his gift that the “grass of the ambassador" began to enjoy success with all the courtiers. That is why the botanist Jacques Daleschamp called tobacco by the name that he still bears - Nicotina tabacum, the word “tabacum” came from Tahiti from the Ariak language, where it means not tobacco itself, but the pipe used for smoking, or a cigarette, made from tobacco.
No wonder they say: a bad example is contagious. Tobacco smoking, borrowed from American natives, amazingly quickly became fashionable and spread in the Old World: first in Europe, then in Asia and Africa. And here is what is amazing. Many useful plants were imported from America, including such wonderful ones as potatoes, sunflowers, and tomatoes, without which it is difficult to imagine our life. So these plants have not received recognition from Europeans for a long time. Moreover, potatoes were introduced into everyday life by sometimes even severe measures. And tobacco (the most unnecessary plant brought from America!) Received widespread recognition and spread easily and quickly, despite the fact that its culture is quite expensive.
It should be noted that there were many opponents of smoking in Europe at all times. They counteracted the introduction of tobacco, but to no avail. One of the English kings is credited with this characteristic of smoking: “A custom disgusting to the eyes, hateful to the nose, harmful to the chest, dangerous to the lungs.” The words of the famous poet Goethe are known: "An educated person does not smoke." According to legend, tobacco was brought to the Moscow state back in the time of Ivan the Terrible. But the attitude to smoking was until the XVIII century. negative. At times, in places, they punished for smoking with whips, exiled to Siberia, but smokers were not transferred. There was a custom not only to smoke, but also to snuff tobacco, for which its dry leaves were pounded into a fine powder, which was laid with pinches in the nostrils. And in some Asian countries they began to chew tobacco. Peter I, who did a lot of progressive during his reign, in this case, did the Russians a disservice. He himself quickly became addicted to smoking abroad and abolished all restrictions on him in Russia. On the contrary, in those days, smoking was even encouraged. And only the church was and remains an implacable opponent of tobacco and smoking.
And so smoking continues, and therefore the cultivation of tobacco. His culture requires a lot of labor. First, seedlings are grown from seeds in greenhouses, then it is planted in the field. Plots with rich soils are allocated for tobacco, since it is very demanding on soil fertility. Tobacco plantation is fertilized, plants are fed with mineral fertilizers and watered. The leaves are torn off manually, then stringed on cords and hung for several days in drying sheds for the so-called languishing. When languishing in the leaves, biochemical processes take place, as a result of which the leaves turn yellow and acquire a specific smell. And the process of leaf processing does not end there, there is a special drying, fermentation, grinding ahead, etc. So the path from tobacco seed to cigarettes is very long. And at every stage of this journey a lot of work is required. This is a paradox - a person spares no effort to create poison for himself!
You can somehow understand the man of the Middle Ages, addicted to smoking - he did not know how harmful this custom is. But now the tremendous harm of smoking has been proven by numerous accurate studies. Nicotine alkaloid contained in tobacco is the strongest poison. It has a very harmful effect on almost all organs of smokers, especially on the heart and blood vessels. The resin formed during the combustion of tobacco has a carcinogenic effect, i.e., causes cancer. Smokers receive incurable lung cancer many times more often than non-smokers. Especially harmful is smoking in childhood.
The economic use of tobacco
the main thing the purpose of tobacco - the manufacture of smoking cigarettes and cigarettes.To do this, use leaves that contain from 1 to 4% of the toxic nicotine alkaloid and from 5 to 17% of organic acids. The smoker's narcotic effect is caused by the nicotine contained in tobacco, and the aroma is caused by the essential oil and resins present in its leaves.
Nicotine, tobacco wastes, in particular tobacco dust, are used as an effective means of combating harmful insects that damage agriculture. Especially successfully tobacco poisons fight garden and garden pests. Some chemicals necessary for medicine and the national economy, in particular nicotinic and citric acids, are obtained from tobacco. Tobacco seeds contain 30 - 35% fatty oil, which can be used in soap manufacture.
In countries that traditionally grow tobacco in large areas, the problem of utilizing its stems has long been a problem. For the most part they are used as fuel, but not very good - the smoke from them is rather unpleasant. In Bulgaria, they tried to grind them, and use the powder as a feed additive for livestock, since it contains up to 9% protein. Unfortunately, this technique was not widely used. Numerous successful experiments of isolating protein from tobacco stems did not go beyond the limits of pilot production.
Medicinal value of tobacco and methods of therapeutic use
In the XVI century. tobacco was considered a panacea in Europe. Oliver de Serre refers him to medical herbs in 1600, because his smoke, inhaled through his mouth, "cures burns, wounds and pain, an inveterate cough, and dental diseases." However, tobacco soon becomes a drug, the fashion of which is rapidly spreading throughout Europe, despite the prohibition that soon followed from state authorities, which sometimes acted with particular cruelty. So, in 1692, in Saint-Jacques-de-Compostel, five monks were immured alive for smoking in the choirs during the service. In Russia, Tsar Fyodor Alekseevich, the brother and predecessor of Peter the Great, ordered that the nose, the organ of sin, be chopped off by those who snuffed tobacco and, in repeated cases, ordered their heads chopped off. The shah of Persia acted even more radically in this regard, who planted snuffing and smoking tobacco on the stake in the same era. However, everything turned out to be useless.
For a long time, tobacco found defenders in medical circles, he was credited with the qualities of a “salivary medication,” which serves to “facilitate the treatment of salivary fluid in the blood mass and glandular filters,” and then spoke of it as a “sneezing agent” designed to separate known “unclean liquids” by sneezing. Included in the code of 1748, tobacco was considered at that time "grass from all diseases." In the form of tinctures, it was used as a laxative and anthelmintic, tobacco smoke was prescribed for asthma, cough and bronchial catarrh.
Even the most famous doctors - Van Sviten, Borkhov and Bartolin recommended tobacco in the XVIII century. from rheumatism and gout, neuralgia, epilepsy and dropsy. In the XIX century. the famous Trousseau recommended it to improve vision.
But the most unconventional way of using it was to fumigate the rectum in order to awaken the drowned to life. For this delicate operation, special devices were even invented that resembled blower fur for heating a samovar.
At first, only a pipe and a cigar, cigarettes, or tobacco, divided into sticks wrapped in paper, were smoked recently. In France, they really only spread after the state plant presented cigarettes in a pack, ready for use. Since then, the whole world has not stopped smoking, and more and more. Today, tobacco consumption is growing at 3% annually.
Modern medicine uses tobacco as a raw material for the industrial production of nicotinic acid, or vitamin PP, which is of great physiological importance for humans, and therefore has found widespread use in medical practice. Niacin is necessary for the body, as it is part of the enzymes involved in oxidative processes. A lack of vitamin PP leads to loss of appetite, pain in the stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and general weakness. In severe cases, pellagra disease develops, accompanied by damage to the central nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract. Naturally, vitamin PP is one of the main treatments for pellagra. But not only her. Nicotinic acid is prescribed for atherosclerosis, other diseases of the cardiovascular system, respiratory and digestive organs, skin, eyes, nervous system, and diabetes.
People use tobacco for foot disease. To do this, crush 2 packets of tobacco (into powder) and mix with 500 g of honey. Lubricate the feet every night before bedtime for 12 days.
For lotions, juice of fresh tobacco leaves is used for inflammation of the lacrimal sac.
Here is what is written in the Botanical Dictionary of Hermetic Medicine: “A decoct from tobacco leaves destroys acne and red spots when it is wetted by it.
Distillation produces a strong emetic and caustic liquid, useful for lichen. Smoked in a pipe disposes to calm. Useful in contemplation. "
Tobacco has the powers of the Moon, Mars, Saturn.