Thousands of years the Indians of North America smoked not tobacco

It is believed that Smoking on the North American continent originated 5,000 years ago and eventually became the most important attribute of all social and religious activities of indigenous peoples. However, it is the tobacco for these purposes began to be used not later than 500 years ago. The answer to the question that smoked the Indians in more ancient times, tried to give researchers from the University of Washington (USA).

The study was conducted under the new methodology, where the subject of interest are not just traces of chemical compounds (markers, like nicotine or caffeine), and various metabolites. It is the intermediate products of processing plants, including, by eating or by burning in the tube. Compared to single traces of each substance, the metabolite is a album by various markers, which greatly increases the accuracy of identification was found.

It is the study of metabolites in Nagar the ancient pipes, whose age is at least 1400 years, and led scientists to a particular plant, Sumy bare, lat. Rhus glábra. The candidate almost perfect, if only because it is almost the only plant that naturally grows in all 48 contiguous States of the USA. No matter the tribe was rich or poor, whether it is traded with neighbors or lived in solitude, all had access to a source of raw material for Smoking mixtures.

Naked sumac is considered a medicinal plant, it contains a lot of tannins, it is added to tea, and smoke for inhalation. Use dried plants as alternatives to tobacco is quite logical as the fact that with the advent of the tobacco Indians still prefer to add easily accessible sumac. Traces of such compounds found in the smoke tubes of a later period.

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