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Vine of the Soul
Medicine Men, their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia
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Robert F. Raffauf
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Synergetic Press
Professors Schultes and Raffauf in this new book take us on a journey to a place where healing with plants is the norm, and where ritual and magic play an essential role in everyday life. This book is the story of a time that was -- when the Amazon Indians, living in their verdant and expansive rainforest, had a minimum of contact with cultures of the outside world. Thus, we have a firsthand picture of traditional life in this region.

In Vine of the Soul --a companion book to Where the Gods Reign-- Drs. Schultes and Raffauf collaborate to produce an exceptional photographic essay accompanied by detailed descriptions of the Amazon Indian's use of medicinal and other sacred plant substances. Included are over 160 of the most significant photographs ever taken on this subject.

"Quite simply a masterpiece . . . Vine of the Soul deserves to be read by everyone interested in rainforests, indigenous peoples, shamanism, hallucinogens, ethnomedicine, and conservation."
--Mark Plotkin, V.P. Plant Conservation, Conservation International

"We have her a wonderful integration of ethnobotany, chemistry, and photography to produce a book that will long be an important historic record of one of the threatened cultures of the world. I hope that readers learning about ayahuasca, the vine of the soul, and other psychoactive drugs discussed here will have their concern heightened for the future fate of the Amazon Indians and their societies."
-- Ghillean T. Prance, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, from the Forward

Boston-born and Harvard-educated, Richard evans Schultes is Jeffrey Professor of Biology and Director of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University (Emeritus). Botanical explorer, ethnobotanist and conservationist, he has carried out extensive field studies, particularly in the Amazon, since 1939, specialising on natively used medicinal and toxic plants and on new sources of rubber. Among his numerous awards are the Cross of Boyaca, Colombia's highest honour, and the annual Gold Medal of the World Wildlife Fund, presented by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1987, he received the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; and in 1992, he was awarded the Linnean Gold Medal, the highest award a botanist can receive. Dr. Schultes is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Linnean Society of London, three Latin American academies, the Academy of India, and Third World Academy of Sciences.

Robert F. Raffauf is Professor of Pharmacognosy and Medicinal Chemistry (Emeritus) at the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions of Northeastern University in Boston. Dr. Raffauf has spent twenty-five years in the pharmaceutical industry concentrating on the search for novel medicinal agents from natural sources, part of which included several expeditions to the Amazon with Dr. Schultes and his students. Dr. Raffauf is a member of several professional and academic honour societies, a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Research Associate of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University.