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Comment: Copyright 1998, softcover. All pages are clean.
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Phantastica: A Classic Survey on the Use and Abuse of Mind-Altering Plants Paperback – May 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


"Phantastica has weathered the test of time quite well, and it continues to bear testimony to the scientific dedication and keen wisdom of one of the world's great psychopharmacologists. [An] open-minded, scientific approach to the study of psychoactives." (Timothy White, Shaman's Drum, Summer 1999)

"One of the primary classics in the field of ethnopsychopharmacology. The information is given in a lucid, authoritative manner and represents the most advance thinking on these substances up to the first quarter of this century." (Mark Blumenthal, HerbalGram)

"This book gives the reader a worldwide tour of inebriation, addiction, and devotional ecstasy along with his insightful perspective of human nature." (American Herb Association)

“. . . for the psychoactive enthusiast and scholar it [Phantastica] remains a vital text in the creation of modern drug culture and, as such, is a must read. . .” (Psychedelic Press, UK March 2011)

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; New edition edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892817836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892817832
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on May 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
This classic of ethnobotany was first published in 1924. Louis Lewin (1850 - 1929) was a world famous pharmacologist and this interesting work remains a landmark of psychedelic research.
The preface provides an overview of psychological considerations; the introduction looks at the motives for the use of these substances, the importance of the mental constitution in relation to external stimuli, tolerance and habituation, and immunity against poisons.
The author then looks at the mode of action and the classification of narcotic and stimulant drugs. The next section, EUPHORICA, investigates mental sedatives like opium, cocaine and codeine and its derivates. Next is PHANTASTICA (on hallucinogens) which deals with anhalonium lewinii, Indian hemp, fly agaric and the solanaceae.
Alcohol, chloroform, ether, benzene and nitrous oxide are discussed under INEBRIANTIA, whilst HYPNOTICA: SOPORIFICS deals with stuff like chloral, veronal, potassium bromide, sulphonal and kava-kava. The last chapter is called EXCITANTIA and investigates camphor, betel, kat, caffeine, tea, kola nut, guarana, cocoa, tobacco and others.
This early work remains a fascinating study of an impressive array of psychoactive substances from around the world. The text is engaging and will appeal to the general reader as much as the scientist. The book concludes with notes containing bibliographic references, and an index.
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