Before the advent of modern vaporizers, Jamaican culture has embraced the active use of aroma therapy though an indigenous device known as the Steam Chalice. Steaming is an activity that has been practiced among the Rastafari people in particular, who use it in their sacramental usage of marijuana in their Nyabinghi rituals. So the tradition has been passed down and the apparatus itself has seen an increase in use by people outside of the Rastafari community for medicinal purposes. This is the great benefit of the Steam Chalice, it is interchangeable with all sorts of beneficial herbs which are distributed much more quickly in steam form, for fast and lasting relief from aches and allergies. It is also important to note that concerning marijuana, steaming is its purest form. This complex yet small apparatus, when assembled provides an elevated or healing experience. Gilligan Steamers, supplier of Epican’s own line of steam chalice shares some more information and a few tips for those who are interested or trying for the first time:
What is the difference between a Steam Chalice and an ordinary Pipe Chalice?
Well you know the Pipe Chalice is basically just smoke, so there you would be smoking. But the Steam Chalice now is straight steam, vapors. It is better for the lungs, for the brain and for the body in general.
Explain the whole contraption
You have the base that the water goes into, we husk the coconuts and use that. There are also other materials you can use like ‘tinkin toe shell or some people use calabash. Then you have the pipe which is made of bamboo, that’s where you pull from. It connects to the base from the side and there is one hole on the opposite side as well one on the top. The hole on the top is where the pipe that connects to the cutchie to the base will go. On top of that pipe is the cutchie, which is made out of clay by myself also. It has one compartment for the herb, and a gritted flat clay piece near the top where the burnt coconut shells will go.
Can the parts be bought separately?
No not at the moment, but if it is damaged you can bring it in for repair. And if the cutchie is broken, you can have it replaced.
What is best to use as the heat source?
Burnt coconut shells. It is the purest wood, so there is no smoke when you light it, but because of the coconut oil it is stored up from housing the coconut, it burns slow and with the flavor of the coconut which is then mixed with the steam from the herb to give a nice vibration.
How often is it necessary to change the water?
It can be changed every session, but because it is already so clean you don’t have to change it too often. I recommend using spring water instead of tap water, or you can use coconut water if you like to add a vibe. Some people even add a drop of eucalyptus or other oil to clear up the sinuses or cold if they’re feeling ill. Some people will steam the mint, or the Rosemary, or even a clove of garlic. It’s really all purpose, for much more than just marijuana.
Safety or cleaning tips?
Because the materials that make them so clean, it doesn’t need to be cleaned too often. I recommend always having water nearby. Some people like puff but that is how you do with a pipe, the steam chalice is not a pipe. You don’t puff it, you sip it, small breaths, bit by bit. Try to have something productive to direct your mind to, I usually read my bible, or think on my business. Gilligan Steam Chalice and burnt coconut shells are both available for purchase at Epican. As it remains one of the purest ways of consuming marijuana, steaming comes highly recommended for those who would like to leave the smoke behind and try something cleaner and more natural.