The word “shaman” comes from the ancient South American word “šaman” which means “the one who knows.” Shamanism is essentially the practice of knowing: knowing oneself, others and the world around us. Long before we had doctors of Western medicine, one would look to a shaman for healing.

Studies suggest that shamanic medicine can reduce the symptoms of physical ailments including pain, and can also alleviate a wide range of psychological disorders. A common belief in shamanic practices is that everything is sacred, and shamanic plant medicines address disease through the realignment with nature.

These medicines can heighten our connection to subtle energies in ourselves and in nature. Their healing powers offer a number of benefits to the mind, body and spirit. Most of the ingredients in shamanic medicines are derived from plants, and have been traditionally used for thousands of years. Never before has it been more clear that we cannot discredit the efficacy of these practices.

Shamanic medicines are often used in a ceremonial setting, where one or more people are guided on a journey while ingesting the ingredients. For some people, these ceremonies can be extremely powerful – both physically and emotionally.

At Nature’s Pharmatropia, our shamanic medicines are designed for ceremonial use but we also offer some versions for everyday use. Whether you are looking to hold your own personal ceremony or guide others on a shamanic journey, we have something for you. By looking at a few of our blends, we hope to demystify shamanic medicines and support you in deciding which one is right for you.

Ceremonial cacao is a safe shamanic medicine

For many of us, it makes sense that the main ingredient in chocolate should have healing powers. When faced with a stressful situation, a lot of us grab something chocolate-y in order to soothe our hearts, reward our actions or comfort a troubled mind. It is no coincidence that ceremonial cocoa has been used by traditional Mexican communities for centuries. Cacao ceremonies have now entered mainstream culture, particularly among those looking for alternative ways to heal the body and mind.

In ceremonial form, cacao is natural and unprocessed. Its bitter taste can be difficult to swallow, but this in itself is part of the healing power. Being able to take in bitter experiences is a metaphor for being able to digest the not-so-sweet things in life. Ceremonial-grade cacao promotes a sense of harmony within yourself and the world around you.

Benefits of ceremonial cacao

On a physical level, ceremonial cacao targets a number of different ailments because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed a number of positive uses for cacao, including calming the nerves, improving energy and resolving digestive problems.

Although it is a stimulant, it lowers blood pressure and does not affect our nervous system in the same way as an espresso shot. Cacao is known for enhancing human cognition, particularly age-related cognitive decline. Its benefits to health include neuroprotection and improved cognitive performance: better memory, attention and cognitive processing speeds.

Ceremonial cacao is used in weight loss and weight management because it can act as an appetite suppressant. It has also been found to improve skin disorders, including eczema, acne, psoriasis and warts. Available for daily use or in ceremonial kits, ceremonial cacao is nature’s alternative to coffee: a mood-boosting and ritualistic antidote to the stresses of life.

Medicinal snuff: rapé (pronounced ha-peh or ra-pay)

A finely-ground medicinal snuff, rapé is made from plants indigenous to the Amazonian rainforest. It is administered through the nose and is a natural alternative to a nasal spray or inhaler stick. Using a bamboo pipe, a Kuripe, this smokeless snuff is blown into the nostrils. It can be self-administered or administered by another person.  

The chemical compounds found in rapé may heal many ailments but are especially beneficial for the respiratory tract, making it effective in the treatment of sinus problems. This nasal snuff is non-addictive and is widely used across indigenous South America to boost the immune system and focus the mind.

Benefits of medicinal snuff

Nature’s Pharmatropia has different blends of shamanic nasal snuff, each offering their own unique set of healing properties. For example, our Nukini rapé blend has cleansing and grounding properties, calming the mind and supporting overall health. Yawanawa rapé may assist with meditation, with its deep cleansing capacities supporting a realignment and release of energy. Vashawa rapé has the potential to bring the user more into the present moment, improving self-esteem and combating depression. 

Other blends are beneficial for headache sufferers, to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis or in the treatment of flu. Since the blends are seasonal, they are available at different times of the year – check our online store to see what’s currently available.

Shamanic medicine for the eyes: Sananga eye drops  

Sananga eye drops is an eye remedy that works with the body on an emotional, physical and spiritual level. Historically used by Amazonian tribes, these eye drops are made from roots and bark and are considered an all-purpose remedy to treat various conditions such as skin conditions, dental issues, fevers, inflammation and eye problems. Amazonian tribes use Sananga for healing both physical and spiritual ailments, which include improving their focus and clearing out distracting energies before going on a hunt.

The eye is a very sensitive part of the body. These eye drops can be quite intense, especially for first-time users. Those with pre-existing conditions need to take care and consult their medical practitioner before administering the drops. Sananga eye drops can cause an intense burning which lasts a few minutes. This intensity is part of the process and users need to breathe deeply and allow the sensations to take shape and flow through the body.

Benefits of Sananga eye drops

This eye medicine has energetic healing power that can detoxify the body, support healing from mental distress (e.g. anxiety, depression and addiction), increase perception and treat a wide range of eye problems. Sananga eye drops may assist with glaucoma, blindness, myopia, depth and colour perception and long range vision. They are also energy-boosting, cleansing the body of blocked energies as well as clearing the mind.

For those looking for a more gentle experience of Sananga, we recommend our Sananga Potentised Homoeopathic drops which are orally administered. These homoeopathic drops are much easier to ingest but still offer the benefit of the eye drops. They may assist with reducing anxiety and fear, improving mental focus and perception with grounding and cleansing properties.

For more information about Nature’s Pharmatropia shamanic medicines, visit our Sacred Medicines online store or download our free information pack. For more information about the rest of our products, please contact us today.


Nature’s Pharmatropia is dedicated to the re-introduction and remembrance of natural medicines carried by ancient healing traditions from around the world. Recent research suggests there are more than 35 000 species of plants being used every day in phytomedicines across the world.

Some of these plant allies form the foundation of the product offerings available through our online store. We also stock a range of expertly crafted potentised homeopathic remedies which are at the forefront of vibrational medicine.

For more insights into phytomedicines and traditional remedies from across the globe, visit our blog section or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.