Sunday, March 24, 2013

"The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and It's Applications" by Christian Ratsch (Book Review)

ISBN #: 978-089281978-2

Long have I lusted after this book, having discovered it in a 'used' bin at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area, but that is another posting, I suppose). For some time psychoactive substances and culture have been of interest to me, even moreso now in my profession as a Physical Therapist as I see the effects of various medications on my clients. What I love about this book is that it combines the history, biology, chemistry, and cultural significance and use of the plants it discusses (as the title suggests, haha). It has already helped to bridge my understanding of various topics because it is wondrously pan-disciplinary (and I am just starting it!). Though I would ordinarily refuse to review anything before I've finished it, I feel confident making a review having so far only read the forward, introduction (etc, etc) and a few plant entries as the rest of the entries follow the same set-up and a quick perusal ensured the same quality. The author's style is extremely knowledgeable, based on a lifetime of academic research and personal experiences; direct and informative. My kind of writing (though not yet my style, ha!).

If you are interested in the use of psychoactive plants or even in ritual/magical practices across various cultures, I HIGHLY recommend this book!

Criticisms: PRICE. This book will set you back at least $70+ but it is SO worth it.

P.S. special thanks to my partner for buying this for me for my birthday. NO THANKS to the USPS for losing it once.

*Review copyright The Samnambulist, 2013*

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