Nicotiana tabacum, or cultivated tobacco, is an annually-grown herbaceous plant. It is found only in cultivation, where it is the most commonly grown of all plants in the genus Nicotiana, and its leaves are commercially grown in many countries to be processed into tobacco. It grows to heights between 1 and 2 meters.
A protein of the White–Brown complex subfamily can be extracted from the leaves. It is an odourless, tasteless white powder and can be added to cereal grains, vegetables, soft drinks and other foods. It can be whipped like egg whites, liquefied or gelled and can take on the flavour and texture of a variety of foods. It is 99.5% protein, contains no salt,no fat and no cholesterol. It is currently being tested as a low calorie substitute for mayonnaise and whipped cream.
All parts of the plant contain nicotine, which can be extracted and used as an insecticide. The dried leaves can also be used; they remain effective for 6 months after drying. The juice of the leaves can be rubbed on the body as an insect repellent. The leaves can be dried and chewed as an intoxicant. The dried leaves are also used as snuff or are smoked. This is the main species that is used to make cigarettes, cigars, and other products for smokers. A drying oil is obtained from the seed.