The medicine of Nunu

Nunu is also known as the “Dust of The Elders”.  This medicine is native to the Matses tribe and has been used by their people for thousands of years.  Nunu is composed of tobacco, as its primary ingredient, macambo nut, cacao, as well as barks and leaves of numerous medicinal trees from the Amazon jungle.


The physical benefits of using Nunu are the following:

It cleanses and unclogs the nasal breathing airways.  Even if you feel as though you are breathing just fine, wait until you do Nunu and notice how much better you start sensing the smells around you, as well as breathing in more fully overall. It clears and heals sinuses, which is a concern a lot of people nowadays are dealing with.  Nunu also heals the inside of the nose, which could have been damaged by substances such as cocaine for example.  It has medicinal and healing properties to actually facilitate the growth of necessary tissues back.  It also helps to clean bacteria and fungus from the nasal pathways.  On some occasions, Nunu can trigger the bowel movement, cleaning the system through that way as well.

Benefits on the energetic level:  It opens up the third eye and the heart chakras, making you feel instantaneous connection to all that is around you, including people, uplifting your mind and spirit.  Its also very grounding and calming at the same time, mostly due to tobacco content.  Another benefit in using Nunu is that it literally expels all the negative and low vibrations from your being, which are also referred to as the “bad spirits” in the shamanic traditions.  Your mind becomes clearer and sharper and you feel overall cleansed and purified.

The use of Nunu: it gets snorted into your nostrils, one at a time, using special bamboo sticks.

Dosage: small to moderate, depending on the person.  Normally we start everyone off with a smaller dose, to see how they react to the medicine.  Some people are just fine with a little bit of Nunu, whereas others might need a double amount to feel the desired effect.  Since we will be administering Nunu twice (in one evening), you will have an opportunity to either ask for more, less, or the same amount during your second “shot”.  Please note that the dosage we administer at the centre is not even close to the full dose the Matses people would administer to each other.  A full Matses dose is very potent and can easily make the person purge.  We don’t go to such extremities, because one would require several years or practice with the medicine of Nunu to be able to stand such a dosage.  We give you just enough for you to connect with the medicine and experience its primary benefits.

Side effects:  even though the dosage will be relatively small/moderate, you might still feel a little bit nauseous, if you are a sensitive type of person.  Note that this doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes it occurs and on a rare occasion people can even purge from Nunu.  Don’t worry if this happens, it’s normal.  We will have buckets for you 🙂   From a shamanic perspective, it simply means that you needed a deeper cleanse, whether it be something physical, mental or emotional to release.  It won’t be as intense of a purge as the ones which often occur during the Ayahuasca sessions.


Recommendations: Make sure there is at least 30 minutes of time that passed by after you had the dinner, for food to digest in your stomach before the Nunu ceremony.  Bring your bottle of water with you and make sure to drink lots of it after you get your shot of Nunu, especially if you feel a bit hot in your body/head.  You can also rinse your face off with water in the bathroom, or even take a refreshing shower if you feel a bit uncomfortable.  Once again, it normally doesn’t get to such point with the dosage we give.

Trust in the medicine with all of your heart (just like you would with any other medicine).  Set your intention before connecting with it.  Connect with the Spirit of Nunu through your trust, gratitude and communication with it.  It may be something as simple as acknowledging the fact that Nunu does have a spirit and you are grateful for the opportunity to connect with it!  Have faith in the medicine and accept what it gives you with love.