Which Wolf is also a Rabbit? The answer is a unique herb called Gordolobo (“Fat Wolf”), also known as Rabbit Tobacco.
Say hello to an underrated herb humbly growing in the nation’s deserted fields.
Gordolobo (Gnaphalium obtusifolium) is the only ingredient in Dr. Sebi’s Cold Relief Tea. It is a natural liver and blood cleanser, cough reliever, and powerful mucus eliminator.
“Healing has to be consistent with life itself. If it isn’t, then it’s not healing.
The components have to be from life.”
– Dr. Sebi.
What’s In A Name?
Gordolobo is Spanish for ‘fat wolf’ but in Mexico, there are 12 different plants called Gordolobo! The type we’re looking at today is called Psuedognaphalium obtusifolium in the botanical world, but more fondly known as Rabbit Tobacco (for the sake of clarity we’ll use this name.)
Rabbit Tobacco belongs to a family called the everlastings because they retain their beauty long after they’ve been picked and dried. This reputable plant has many other names that reveal different aspects:
- Balsam Weed - it produces balsam (aromatic oil).
- Chafeweed - in Britain the soft leaves were used to prevent chafing.
- Cottonweed - it’s soft to touch.
- Feather Weed - poor people would stuff their mattresses with the plant.
- Fussy Gussy - the most mysterious moniker of them all.
- Indian Posy - its flowers resemble posies when bundled in a bouquet.
- Life of Man - it has mysteriously powerful health-giving properties.
- Moonshine - it dramatically reflects the moonlight.
- Mothwort - it repels moths.
- Old Field Balsam - it’s found in old fields.
- Poverty Weed - it grows in dry, barren soil.
- Sweet Life Everlasting - it gives off a sweet, enticing scent, even when it’s been dried for years.
The name Rabbit Tobacco is taken from a Native American legend about Rabbit using the plant to treat its cuts (Rabbit Tobacco is still used extensively in Europe and America to treat cuts.) The name came from Natives who observed rabbits gathering in places where Rabbit Tobacco grew abundantly, and because some smoked the plant for medicinal or ritual purposes.
When European colonists arrived in America they recognized Rabbit Tobacco and other members of the everlasting family as relatives they knew in Europe. English housewives loved the plant’s beautiful appearance and sweet, distinct scent - somewhere between maple syrup, vanilla, and tobacco.
By 1830, Rabbit Tobacco was a staple in American folk medicine, used by doctors and in households to treat asthma, colds, cuts, diarrhea, and pain. A homeopathic Rabbit Tobacco remedy was used to treat muscular and skeletal issues. But by the 20th century, with more newfangled options, people just forgot about Rabbit Tobacco. Today, it’s mostly used as a folk remedy in the South and by fortunate people in the know.
Where to Find Rabbit Tobacco
Rabbit Tobacco loves to grow in dry, sandy habitats and places with disturbed soil: in meadows, fields, and woodland clearings. It grows in the Canadian Maritimes, throughout most of Eastern North America and down to Florida, Texas and Wisconsin. Rabbit Tobacco is the most common member of the everlasting family. Its sweet aroma attracts the American Lady butterfly, wasps, bees, and flies. Deer and wild turkeys also snack on their leaves.
In its first year of growth Rabbit Tobacco plants produce a rosette of broad green leaves that are white or silver with soft hairs on the underside. In the second year it produces small white flowers with yellow centers that bloom in a cluster at the head of the stem. The plant lasts through the winter, and when it’s dried the flower heads open up in a star shape.
The best time to harvest Rabbit Tobacco is after the fall, when the leaves dry up and turn silvery grey on one side and brown on the other. If you pick it when leaves are still green, the plant will have less terpenes and saponins, massively lowering its therapeutic value.
Rabbit Tobacco Folklore & Medicinal Use
Rabbit Tobacco has been putting in the work for years:
- Dried Rabbit Tobacco flowers have been used to stuff pillows.
- In Virgina the Native Americans used Rabbit Tobacco to cure wounds.
- The Native American Alabama tribe used Rabbit Tobacco in an herbal compound for nerves and insomnia.
- Rabbit Tobacco is one of the Cherokee Tribe’s most important plants, used to make cough syrup, smoked to treat asthma, chewed to treat sore throats, and made into a decoction to treat muscle cramps, pain, and scratches.
- The Choctaw Tribe use the leaves to treat colds and lung pain.
- The Creek Tribe use Rabbit Tobacco leaves to perfume their medicines, as well as making a wash for mumps, insomnia, and people who are being “troubled by spirits.”
- The Koasati Tribe use the leaves to treat fevers.
- The Lakota Tribe believe Rabbit Tobacco can help to connect the living with the dead. This association is connected to the fact that Rabbit Tobacco flowers still have life in them long after they’ve been picked and dried.
- The Menominee Tribe make a smudge from Rabbit Tobacco leaves to repel troublesome ghosts and revive people that fall unconscious.
- The Rappahannock Tribe use the roots of Rabbit Tobacco to treat chills and smoke the stems and leaves in a pipe for asthma.
Rabbit Tobacco has been used to treat a huge variety of conditions:
- Abdominal cramps
- Bowel disorders
- Excess mucus
- Low libido
- Menstrual pains
- Mouth ulcers
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
Harvesting Rabbit Tobacco
First off, identify the correct species (Psuedognaphalium obtusifolium). If you’re unsure, consult a specialist. When you know what you’re dealing with, this is how you harvest and process Rabbit Tobacco:
- Break off sprigs by hand.
- Cut off the roots.
- Check for small critters.
- Pick off the flowers by hand or with cutters.
- Remove twigs from the flowers.
- Store twigs in a cloth bag or pillowcase.
- Discard any remaining green leaves.
- To remove the leaves, pinch the stem then run your fingers down it.
- You now have collections of leaves, flowers, stems, and roots.
- Keep the leaves and flowers in separate piles.
- Store them in a dry, dark, cool place.
Homemade Rabbit Tobacco Preparations
Simple ways you can use Rabbit Tobacco at home for its therapeutic properties:
Rabbit Tobacco Tea
- Take 6 to 8 Rabbit Tobacco leaves and steep them in boiling water.
- This is an excellent natural remedy for sinus congestion and ulcers.
Rabbit Tobacco Aromatherapy
- Boil a cup of hot water and add 8 to 10 large Rabbit Tobacco leaves.
- Put the mixture in a bowl, place a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale the beautiful aroma.
Rabbit Tobacco Flower Pillows
- Take a cotton drawstring bag and fill it with Rabbit Tobacco flowers.
- Place this inside your pillow or your children’s pillows.
- This works brilliantly for nasal congestion and adds a beautiful bedtime smell.
Rabbit Tobacco is an underrated plant that grows abundantly. You might be near some Rabbit Tobacco right now! But before you escape into nature, remember this month is the anniversary of Dr. Sebi’s birthday, and to celebrate, we’re holding a sitewide discount on our entire catalog of products! Only through the month of November, take advantage of 15% off all of our therapeutic packages and products, and you can enjoy an additional 15% off all of our Hemp-derrived CBD products.
Dr. Sebi made the herbal healing of the nations his life’s work. Our beloved founder showed us that nature has provided the essential components for life all around us. What we do with that knowledge is up to us.
“Make one healthy choice every day.” – Dr. Sebi