As the debate on the dangers of hookah smoking begins to heat up, there are a growing number of people who believe that herbal (tobacco free) shisha makes a great substitute for hookah tobacco, with none of the negative effects of regular shisha. Herbal shisha is made from an herbal substitute for tobacco leaves, and can be bought in a hookah store. Generally, other leaves that smoke in a similar fashion to tobacco leaves are best. I’ve heard of people using mint leaves as a substitute for hookah tobacco, but I’ve never tried that variation myself. The most common herbal shisha is made from tea leaves and is covered in flavored molasses, just like regular hookah tobacco. There are several obvious advantages to herbal shisha. Herbal shisha does not contain tobacco, and therefore does not contain any nicotine. Without nicotine, herbal shisha does not have any addictive properties. Also, because there is no tobacco in herbal shisha, there is less tar, heavy metals, and other harmful chemicals than in regular hookah tobacco. This means that the long term health effects of herbal shisha are less than those of typical shisha made from tobacco. However, there are health risks associated with inhaling smoke of any kind, though the risks may vary.
Personally, I find having a bit of herbal shisha now and again to be quite enjoyable….. but you can read the rest of the article here.