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Connect with Master Plants

in the Sacred Valley

Merav Artzi

A trained plant medicine healer (Tabaquera-Curandera), offering ceremonies and diets with Tobacco and other Master Plants for healing and learning, in Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru.

The work is held in small groups and individual sessions, with attention to the personal needs and goals of each participant.

  • This work is suitable for those who want to embody the values that Tobacco promotes, and incorporate them into their initiation process with other master plants such as San Pedro and Ayahuasca
  • For individuals who need grounding or help with the integration of other types of spiritual practices
  • For those feeling a call to create a positive change in their lives and connect with their needs through Shamanic work
  • For students of plant medicine who want to learn, heal and connect with Master Plants

At an early age, I left my home country of Israel to study fine arts in Europe. In 2009, while traveling in South America, I decided to go to the Amazon. The work with Ayahuasca was a gate to the magical world of medicinal plants. The Amazon is truly the pharmacy of planet Earth. I have been working for over 10 years as a healer trained with Amazonian plants, specializing in Tobacco. Beforehand, I apprenticed with Maestro Ernesto Garcia Torres in Iquitos. As a healer I work with patients suffering from hormonal imbalance, anxiety, depression, addictions, trauma and more. In addition, I give Master Plant diets and teach students who are interested in learning how to heal with Tobacco.

Tobacco is the medicine of my heart and I am here to share this medicine with the world. I invite you, with lots of love, to read about Tobacco, Plant Diets, and to take part in upcoming events.

In the Amazon, Tobacco is considered a universal medicine and is used by the Shaman or traditional healer. A teacher and a guide to cosmic knowledge and the spirit world, Tobacco is called with affection “The grandfather of all plants”, a plant that brings blessing and protection.

According to the indigenous world view, every life form has a spirit, including plants. Plant spirits teach people how to live in peace and harmony with themselves and their environment. Master plants help us to recognize the truth of who we are, and therefore better understand our relations with the world that we live in. Indigenous medicine men use Tobacco to induce a strong physical and energetic cleanse, promote prophetic dreams and to protect and regulate the energetic body. Tobacco works to bring us back to our body, and connects us to our heart, intuition and higher self.

The Tobacco Story

Witoto creation myth from Rember Yahuarcaní

When he finished the dream of creation, Buinaima [the Creator], left us something to remember him by. He left us tobacco. In this way we can dream like He dreamt. This plant grew alone by the mound where Buinaima sat, dreaming throughout the night. That’s why, when we take tobacco, we concentrate in meditation and think of the gods, and they advise us through our dreams.

Tobacco can be smoked, inhaled, and also chewed when it’s prepared in a paste made from crushed leaves. We use it with respect and caution, because tobacco is a great traveler. Those who have envisioned him in dreams say that he is a very thin man, almost like a skeleton. He walks in space, aided by a cane where his leaves grow, and he wears a necklace of skulls and knees. They are the bones of our ancestors, so old and ghostly like his white smoke. He looks like he’s tired, but he keeps walking, always carrying for us the memory of all that has happened since the earth and her creation formed.

In dreams we reconnect to Buinaima, the Creator, to Jusíguna, the tree-child, and to Buiñaiño, the mother of water from whom was born all that exists when Buinaima blew and illuminated the water with his white saliva. Since then, Buinaima wears a rainbow in his head of hair and dreams in color, and we also dream, because life is the dream of colors from the creator. We live and we dream in all the colors with which Buiñaiño is dressed when she stands up, holding the heavens to save us from storms and make the sun rise and shine again.

A Tobacco ceremony is a powerful physical and energetic cleanse. Participants drink an infusion made from the plant’s leaves (it is not obligatory to smoke). This type of Tobacco is called Nicotiana Rustica, and it grows in the jungle. This is not the same Tobacco that is used in commercial cigarettes – It’s rather wild and potent, with no chemicals or additives.

During a Tobacco ceremony participants often experience a sense of presence in their body. It is a grounding plant. Tobacco is not a psychedelic and does not promote visions. It does work in the dream world, inducing lucid dreaming. These dreams are different from everyday dreams – They may illustrate teachings, and the way that the plant is currently working in our bodies.

Tobacco juice is a strong purgative. It works to collect and clear toxins from our physical, emotional and mental bodies. The process can be challenging at times, as the body is releasing held tension, blocked emotion and material toxins. It often involves vomiting, defecating, sweating, alternating between feeling hot and cold. Afterwards our body feels clean, light and energised, and our mind relaxed and clear.

The best way to be in a ceremony is to surrender to the medicine and let it do its work. The more we trust in the medicine and in the process and just allow things to be, the deeper the healing and connection we will experience. When we give up control, life happens. It’s the same when we come to ceremony. Surrender allows us to listen deeper to our hearts, get a better understanding of our needs, be kinder to ourselves, and give comfort and care to parts of us that are hurt and afraid. From this place healing occurs. Behavioural patterns can be released, answers to questions become clear, wounds clear, if we just allow.

On the physical level, Tobacco cleans the blood, intestines, stomach and sinuses. It cleans mucus, toxins and parasites.
On the emotional level, Tobacco supports clearing held emotions, behavioural patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us.
On the energetic level, Tobacco helps to open energetic blockages, so that our energy may flow freely in the body.

If you are about to drink Tobacco, please abstain from alcohol, meat, processed foods, stimulants, marijuana and any sexual activity for at least 3 days before. It is strongly recommended not to mix tobacco with alcohol, or any other drugs and medications. In case you are taking any plant or chemical medication on a regular basis (incl. recent antibiotic use), please inform me, so that we can make sure that your process is optimal. If you have any limitations sticking to the pre-ceremony recommendations, please contact me.

On the day of ceremony eat light food and drink plenty of water. A well hydrated body will receive the medicine better. Start fasting from 2pm, with the exception of drinking water. Take some quiet time for yourself, to sit in nature, unwind, meditate. Please bring a 2L bottle of water, a small blanket and a long sleeved shirt. If you work with crystals you may bring them as well.

You must seek consultation from a professional Tabaquera in case you are suffering from any heart condition, low or high blood pressure, asthma and if you have been recently operated or pregnant.

The Shamanic world view is holistic. According to it, illness begins at the level of the spirit. A plant ‘Dieta’ is the way that a traditional healer creates a bond with the plant spirits. I offer plant diets to those who wish to heal and learn from plants through spirit.

These plants are big trees, shrubs, and herbs with medicinal qualities, and are known to the indigenous people as doctors and teachers. They are also called ‘Master Plants’. Each master plant has different healing properties and knowledge. They all have the ability to help us embody the unique qualities and values that they promote. All master plants connect us to the field of healing and cosmic knowledge. Plants teach what they have mastered in millions of years of evolution – how to live in harmony, peace and balance with ourselves and our environment.

The healing brought by plant spirits has a central role in the work of the traditional healer. It is usually the healer that administers plant medicine, determines which plant will be beneficial to diet, and the duration of time that is needed. Most of the master plants are served with Tobacco. Tobacco activates the other plants that are mixed in it, helps to ground their teachings and integrate them into the body. Usually the first plant that we diet would be Tobacco. It is considered the pillar of the shamanic house for it’s cleansing and grounding qualities, and it helps us to manifest ourselves in the material world. Tobacco provides the stability and grounding needed in order to work with other plant teachers that open a window to travel in other dimensions. Before we travel, Tobacco teaches us to walk the Earth.

Alongside Tobacco, I work with plants like Camalonga, Ajo Macho, Rosasisa, Ajo Sacha, and trees like Ayahuma, Chiric Sanango, Bellaco Caspi and more. Master plants help to clean negative energy, negative thoughts, ancestral karma, and are helpful for mental strengthening and clarity. Each plant cures and strengthens different organs in the physical and energetic body. They connect us to other dimensions and convey specific knowledge that is unique to them. The diets helps to open spiritual channels. All plants are channels to the light of creation and cosmic knowledge.

Every night during a plant diet, plant medicine is served in a ceremonial manner to each participant in their private space. During daytime participants rest and eat light food, consisting of fruit and vegetables. To make the best out of the experience, it is best to avoid company and to stay in oneself’s energy. It is also recommended to abstain from any sexual stimulation. These recommendations are meant to allow the participants to undergo a deep process of detoxification on all levels – physical, emotional and mental. That is to help slow and calm their mind’s activity, so to open the spiritual channels.

Before starting a diet please abstain from alcohol, meat, processed foods, stimulants, marijuana and any sexual activity for at least 3 days. In case you are taking any plant or chemical medication on a regular basis (including recent antibiotics use), please inform me, so we can make sure that your process is optimal. If you have any limitation sticking to the pre-ceremony recommendations, please contact me.

When you finish a plant diet, it is good to take time for yourself and rest well, so that you may better integrate your process. Be gentle on your body, eat small meals, avoid spicy and deep fried food, and very cold foods or ice. Rest is important for a soft integration, and maintaining the connection with the plant you have just dieted.

I offer Tobacco ceremonies and Amazonian plant dietas in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in a modern country house with access to hiking trails, waterfalls and archeological sites. Integrated in the work are plant baths, visits to hot springs and other places of power in nature, where one can recharge their energy and connect with the elements.

Crushed Cacao Beans - Plant Diets Peru

Merav Tabaquera - Outdoor Ceremony

Urubamba Sacred Valley

Trauma, when not processed properly at the mental-emotional level, can cause an energetic blockage that may later manifest itself in the physical body. While the herbalist may look for the physical aspects of a disease, the shaman will look for the spiritual root of it. When that is treated, the body will be able to heal itself. Through connecting to the intuitive, inner wisdom of the shamanic healer and the patient, the appropriate plants will introduce themselves, by means of insight, metaphors, and dreams. The selection of plants for treatment is related to their unique effect on the unique process of a unique patient, and therefore shamanism avoids permanent definition of medicinal properties.

When a patient comes for consultation, I start with a personal talk and an energetic diagnosis. Based on that, I recommend plant medicine and the treatment’s length. In my house I provide a healthy, nourishing and tasty diet, physical and energetic cleanses that support the process.

My role is to hold a safe and loving space where healing can occur, guide the participants in their process, and be a bridge between the western world view and the plant spirit world. During ceremonies and diets, the shamanic healer directs the medicine and supports the process of the participants with different tools.

Dietas help to elevate one’s vibration. In this state, it is easier to see the emotional and mental patterns that we hold and no longer serve us, and understand where they are coming from, so that we may find a way of being that better serves us. Diets are also suitable for those who want to connect to the magic of the master plants, and discover a new world. They can help treating depression, bi-polar disorder, addictions, trauma, confusion and lack of direction, difficulties in integration of work with other Master Plants such as Ayahuasca and San Pedro.

Tobacco ceremonies are powerful and grounding cleanses, for all of our bodies.
I also offer shamanic initiation – learning from the Master Plants for those interested in becoming Tabaqueros.

My house is in a pastoral mountain town called Urubamba, which is an hour away from the big city of Cusco. It has a spacious living room, hot showers and a large fireplace that warms it in winter. Guests live in private rooms. Urubamba has everything you need – from modern services and a hospital to health-food stores, cafes, restaurants and a big market with rich, fresh produce from the fertile lands of Peru. Machu-Picchu and numerous other travel attractions are nearby.

I also travel and work around the world, and do distant healing (including delivering medicine) in certain cases. I work in English, Spanish and Hebrew.

You’re warmly invited to join one of my upcoming workshops, or contact me for individual bookings below.

I am happy to answer any question about how I heal, Master Plants, their teachings and any other way that I can help you.