Plants of the Gods: Origins of Hallucinogenic Use

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9780091416003: Plants of the Gods: Origins of Hallucinogenic Use

World-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist Christian Ratsch provides the latest scientific updates to this classic work on psychoactive flora by two eminent researchers.

· Numerous new and rare color photographs complement the completely revised and updated text.

· Explores the uses of hallucinogenic plants in shamanic rituals throughout the world.

· Cross-referenced by plant, illness, preparation, season of collection, and chemical constituents.

Three scientific titans join forces to completely revise the classic text on the ritual uses of psychoactive plants. They provide a fascinating testimony of these "plants of the gods," tracing their uses throughout the world and their significance in shaping culture and history. In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful of those plants, which are known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness, have always been regarded as sacred. The authors detail the uses of hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites while providing lucid explanations of the biochemistry of these plants and the cultural prayers, songs, and dances associated with them. The text is lavishly illustrated with 400 rare photographs of plants, people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world's sacred psychoactive flora.

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About the Author:

A specialist in the cultural use of psychoactive plants, Christian Ratsch is the author of numerous books, including Gateway to Inner Space, The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants, and the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants. A resident of Germany, he is currently serving as the president of the German Society for Ethnomedicine. Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001) was a Jeffrey Professor of Biology and Director of the Botanical Museum at Harvard University, considered by many to be the father of modern ethnobotany. Albert Hofmann (1906-2008), discoverer of LSD, was a world renowned research biochemist.

Review:

"This superbly illustrated, encyclopedic volume provides a much needed, well-balanced scientific perspective on the use of hallucinogenic plants. Richard Evans Schultes, the worlds most eminent ethnobotanist, and Albert Hofmann, the former research director at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, emphasize the need for continued education about both the potential benefits and the inherent dangers involved in the use of hallucinogens." (Shaman's Drum)

"Carefully researched, beautifully written, and abundantly illustrated, this book reminds us that the use of hallucinogenic plants has been a fundamental part of the human experience for millennia." (Michael R. Aldrich, Ph.D., Curator Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library)

"It contains an incredible amount of rigorous and fascinating information in a highly accessible, beautiful, and compelling format." (Journal of Scientific Exploration, October 2003)

"Richard Evans Schultes has been the nexus of almost everything interesting and supportive concerned with economic and cultural uses of plants. Plants of the Gods gives precise and illuminating portraits of the many peoples of the Earth who pay homage to and gain insights with the aid of psychedelic plants: an exquisite, thoroughly scholarly book." (Whole Earth Review)

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