5 Herbs Used in Smoking Mixtures

Kicking Tobacco and Nicotine With Herbal Smoking Substances

illustration of popular herbs for smoking mixtures

The Spruce

If you been told that you need to stop smoking or really think it is time to stop, it can seem like a huge hurdle. The idea of going cold turkey can keep you from even attempting to quit. Nicotine addiction is only one component of smoking. For others, it is a soothing act, a time for contemplative relaxation or an oral habit used for self-soothing.

If your road to quitting smoking means you start by replacing tobacco cigarettes with herbal ones, herbal substances seem apparently less harmful than tobacco. Take a look at a sampling of herbs that can be used for a smoking mixture.


All of the herbs in this list can be grown indoors in containers. This makes the herbs available at any time of year.

  • 01 of 05

    Mullein ((Verbascum thapsus))

    Georgian Mullein in a field

    Bob Gibbons/Getty Images

    Think of mullein as the neutral base in any herbal smoking mixture. It adds bulk, a very light smoke, and not much else to the flavor. Dry mullein will go up in a puff of smoke and taste too harsh to be enjoyed at all. Use the fuzzy leaf, when it is dry but still very pliable—too moist to store in a jar. To prepare mullein leaf, allow it to dry slightly and then rub it as you would sage to produce a light, fluffy herb.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Dry soil
  • 02 of 05

    Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus)

    Raspberry growing on a tree

    Junji Oda/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Used for flavor, raspberry leaves also add body to the smoking mixture. Use dried leaves that are thoroughly dried and lightly spritzed with water to refresh them. Herbs that are too dried out taste harsh and will not be enjoyable. When making a smoking mixture, hand-tear the raspberry leaves. This produces a larger piece that can be better blended into the mixture.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Neutral, well-drained soil
  • 03 of 05

    Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

    Close-up of a catnip plant
    Linda Lewis/Getty Images

    Catnip adds a relaxing note to the smoking mixture. Catnip is a very useful herb to have at your disposal. It is gentle and can be effective to take the edge off the craving for tobacco. It can be a little too harsh once that craving abates. When adding catnip, use a light hand—it is an acquired taste for many.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: White and lavender
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Moderately rich loam or sandy soil with good drainage
  • 04 of 05

    Sage (Salvia officinalis)

    Spring of sage on wood

    Roland Krieg/Getty Images

    Sage is a perennial herb that will enhance the smoke of your mixture. All varieties of sage can be used. Each variety has its own unique flavor. Try a few types before settling on your favorite.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Lemon Balm (M. officinalis)

    Close-up of lemon balm

    Michael Peuckert/Getty Images

    Lemon balm is an herb that's closely related to mint. It adds an unusual flavoring to your herbal smoking mixtures. Lemon balm is a traditional curative with roots in ancient Greece and Rome, and, in addition to its use in smoking mixtures, it's also used in tonics, teas, and as an essential oil.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 1 to 4
    • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Good, fast-draining potting soil