A Classic Survey on the Use and Abuse of Mind-Altering Plants
Pub Date :
1924, 1931, 1999
Edition(s) at Erowid :
Park Street Press
BACK COVER #The publication of Louis Lewin's Phantastica in 1924 began an era of ethnobotany that is still flowering today. Until Lewin, books on the use of drugs were purely works of anthropology, concerned with how people used these plants rather than how the plants produced their famous effects. Lewin, a world-renowned pharmacologist and toxicologist, was fascinated by both, and Phantastica was the first book to bring scientific insights to a survey of the use of drugs around the world. Lewin traveled extensively and acquired an astounding variety of knowledge, and this is reflected in the book, which provides detailed information on all major drugs of the time, including opium, cocaine, heroin, cannabis, peyote, alcohol, kava, coffee, tea, cocoa, and, of course, tobacco. For thirty years ethnobotanists have bemoaned the fact that Phantastica has been impossible to find; now this landmark of psychedelic research is once again available.