Which is why the Maya apparently chewed it, inhaled it, or…ingested it through the colorectal epithelium. In the news today comes chemical proof that the little ceramic ‘poison vessels’ or ‘pilgrim flasks’ that abound in the archaeological record were, at least some of the time, used to store a variety of tobacco that’s much more potent than that found in cigarettes and cigars. Says one of the anthropologists consulted for this piece,
“The first thing you experience is vertigo, your head spins, sometimes you break out in a light sweat,” Groark said. “As you keep sucking on it and your body continues to metabolize some of these compounds, it promotes a very calm direct focus, a broad awareness. You can feel it lighting up your central nervous system in a pretty profound way.”
I don’t know about you, but I could use a little profound CNS lighting-up! I remember the first time I used tobacco as a 16-year-old. The only thing that lit up was the ceiling light in my bathroom as the nausea slowly grew to a crescendo!
Imagine the Surgeon General’s warning on Maya-strength tobacco.
CAUTION: SMOKING CAUSES DEATH…BUT FIRST IT MAKES YOUR HEAD FEEL LIKE MANY EAGLES…