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Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine Hardcover – 5 Aug 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (5 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195370015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195370010
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2 x 15.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,564,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

This book is quite entertaining with its rich provision of surprising details. (Chemistry and Industry)

About the Author

Marcello Pennacchio is a medical botanists with over ten years of experience in research and teaching in this area. He has published approximately 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, including a comprehensive review of plants that produce cardioactive agents. Lara V. Jefferson, is a restoration ecologist. She too has written scholarly journal articles and has presented her work at various conferences all over the world. Her main research interests are invasive plant species and using smoke to promote seed germination. She is currently the manager for environmental approvals with an Australian mining company. Kayri Havens, is the Medard and Elizabeth Welch Director of the Division for Plant Biology and Conservation at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Dr Havens has also written scholarly journal articles and recently co-authored and co-edited a book on conservation, titled Ex-situ Plant Conservation (Island Press).

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gross on 11 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a compendium listing 1400 plant species, so it could very well be boring. However, it is dedicated to plants that have been burned to produce smoke for various purposes, and it's the rich variety of these purposes that makes this book interesting. Obviously, burning plants to do something with the smoke is an ancient and practically universal behaviour, which in our time has been funnelled into the global habit of smoking mass-produced cigarettes, and thus disconnected from its diverse cultural roots.

The 30-page introduction categorises the uses of smoke: medicinal is the largest group by far, followed by religious/magical/ceremonial, and recreational. It also cites some of the more suprising examples, e.g. "in Bulamogi County, Uganda, men smoked various plants to rid themselves of their wives." (That's under magical, not under medicinal use!)

The species list spanning 148 pages from Abies amabilis through to Zornia glochidiata is clearly for reference and/or the specialist reader only. You may want to look up your favourite plants. About one of mine it says: "the latex of this plant was burned to produce smoke that was inhaled in parts of Iran for general gastrointestinal disorders." That's the quince tree (Cydonia oblonga). You may not want to read all 1400 entries, but the introduction is very enlightening for all of us.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1400 plants to burn and produce smoke 13 Jan. 2011
By Michael Gross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a compendium listing 1400 plant species, so it could very well be boring. However, it is dedicated to plants that have been burned to produce smoke for various purposes, and it's the rich variety of these purposes that makes this book interesting. Obviously, burning plants to do something with the smoke is an ancient and practically universal behaviour, which in our time has been funnelled into the global habit of smoking mass-produced cigarettes, and thus disconnected from its diverse cultural roots.

The 30-page introduction categorises the uses of smoke: medicinal is the largest group by far, followed by religious/magical/ceremonial, and recreational. It also cites some of the more suprising examples, e.g. "in Bulamogi County, Uganda, men smoked various plants to rid themselves of their wives." (That's under magical, not under medicinal use!)

The species list spanning 148 pages from Abies amabilis through to Zornia glochidiata is clearly for reference and/or the specialist reader only. You may want to look up your favourite plants. About one of mine it says: "the latex of this plant was burned to produce smoke that was inhaled in parts of Iran for general gastrointestinal disorders." That's the quince tree (Cydonia oblonga). You may not want to read all 1400 entries, but the introduction is very enlightening for all of us.
Three Stars 6 April 2015
By Walntz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
nothing special
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
AGAIN? 8 Jan. 2013
By Roland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really? I mean serriously.... This book title sounds like it takes the subject matter serriously. But it does not. There are a lot of "could be" and "unspecified part of..." with it ending is "its believed to be this plant" Add to that the shear lack of effort put into 90% of the book. Its like the author wanted to focus on just a few and spent more time in the abbreviations and definitions than in actually going into a good deal of the plants.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Disappointingly technical 24 Oct. 2011
By William M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a book that held promise of interesting history and commentary but really has lots of listings and technical factoids which aren't of much use to those who want to learn on a more holistic level. Save it for the academic micro-scholars who don't live in the real world.
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