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The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications [Kindle Edition]

Christian Rätsch , Albert Hofmann
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £90.00
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Book Description

The most comprehensive guide to the botany, history, distribution, and cultivation of all known psychoactive plants

• Examines 414 psychoactive plants and related substances

• Explores how using psychoactive plants in a culturally sanctioned context can produce important insights into the nature of reality

• Contains 797 color photographs and 645 black-and-white illustrations

In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful plants--those known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness--have traditionally been regarded as sacred. In The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants Christian R䴳ch details the botany, history, distribution, cultivation, and preparation and dosage of more than 400 psychoactive plants. He discusses their ritual and medicinal usage, cultural artifacts made from these plants, and works of art that either represent or have been inspired by them. The author begins with 168 of the most well-known psychoactives--such as cannabis, datura, and papaver--then presents 133 lesser known substances as well as additional plants known as “legal highs,” plants known only from mythological contexts and literature, and plant products that include substances such as ayahuasca, incense, and soma. The text is lavishly illustrated with 797 color photographs--many of which are from the author’s extensive fieldwork around the world--showing the people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world’s sacred psychoactives.

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Product Description


"This book covers pretty much every psychedelic/psychoactive plant out there, including several that people may not realize have psychoactive properties...For anyone interested in learning more about psychoactive plants this book will likely answer all your questions and more. It's a great complement to other books on the subject as well as a stand-alone book for your education on this expansive and important topic."

About the Author

Christian RAtsch, Ph.D., is a world- renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants for spiritual as well as medicinal purposes. He studied Mesoamerican languages and cultures and anthropology at the University of Hamburg and spent, altogether, three years of fieldwork among the Lacandone Indians in Chiapas, Mexico, being the only European fluent in their language. He then received a fellowship from the German academic service for foreign research, the Deutsche Akademische Auslandsdienst (DAAD), to realize his doctoral thesis on healing spells and incantations of the Lacandone-Maya at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In addition to his work in Mexico, his numerous fieldworks have included research in Thailand, Bali, the Seychelles, as well as a long-term study (18 years) on shamanism in Nepal combined with expeditions to Korea and the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon. He also was a scientific -anthro-pological advisor for expeditions organized by German magazines such as GEO and "Spektrum der Wissenschaften" (Spectrum of Sciences). Before becoming a full-time author and internationally renowned lecturer, RAtsch worked as professor of anthropology at the University of Bremen and served as consultant advisor for many German museums. Because of his extensive collection of shells, fossils, artifacts, and entheopharmacological items, he has had numerous museum expositions on these topics. He is the author of numerous articles and more than 40 books, including "Plants of Love," "Gateway to Inner Space," "Marijuana Medicine," and "The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants." He is also coauthor of "Plants of the Gods," "Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas," and "Witchcraft Medicine" and is editor of the "Yearbook of Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness." A former member of the board of advisors of the European College for the Study of Consciousness (ECSC) and former president of the Association of Ethnomedicine, he lives in Hamburg, Germany.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 51306 KB
  • Print Length: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; 1 edition (25 April 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005VRKR0U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #920,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference work! A masterpiece! 2 Dec. 2005
By South Londoner VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I took a bit of a chance with this book as it's quite an investment but it has exceeded my expectations BIG TIME! Most of the books on the subject were either 'How to grow your own home-grown' or 'The Holy Weed - why ganja is good for you' written by A. Hippee. Not exactly impartial or scientific.
This book looks at the active ingredients, how the drugs work, where they came from, how they spread through the world, and how they have been used in traditional cultures.
It is exhaustive, authoritative and elaborately illustrated. Magnificent!
*Please note - if you are thinking of buying this book to get tips on where to locate psychoactive plants and how to prepare them for use - forget it and refer to said texts above*
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW too much info! 29 Oct. 2009
By Kooner
This is a classic book! It exactly as it says in the title. Theres no doubt that this is the best book out there on the topic. YET if your looking for information on how to grow, take and doses on the plants, you might need to do more research!
Hope this helps!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars encyclopedia of psychoactive plants 7 Jun. 2013
Best overall compendium of psychoactive plants available. So much info all in one place. A library of enthogenic plants , cultural use , effects , in some places dosage ( warning take care, not an experimenters cook book ) Worth every penny, don't waist your money on lesser coffee table publications, this is what your after if what your looking for is an extensively researched, scientifically based and enthusiastically written tome. Hours of quality reading on a fascinating subject by probably the world leading authority.
Comparatively you would have to spend thousand on specialist books and hours trawling through them to gleam half the knowledge held in this book. Also having a fore word by the late great Albert Hoffman is a bonus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Manni
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its... A 3 kg brick of all plants in the nature containing psychoactive compounds. Describes ethnopharmacological uses of all there plants.
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