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Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine Hardcover – July 15, 2010


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Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine + Plant Resins: Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology, and Ethnobotany
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195370015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195370010
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,598,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A distinctive, excellent resource for a specialized topic. Readers who think that plant smoke is just for inhaling intoxicants will be surprised by the breadth of human uses of smoke derived from plants, such as seed germination, pest control, and veterinary medicine. Academic libraries supporting programs in areas such as agriculture, ethnobotany, history, cosmetics, and medicine may benefit from this thoroughly researched volume." -- Choice


"A fascinating excursion. This book demonstrates that there's a lot more to smoke created from plant material than just nicotine and narcotics. Although this book remains morally neutral on the rights and wrongs of smoking various substances, it goes some way towards countering the view that plant smoke is always a bad thing."--Green Prophet


"The list of plants presented through the authors extensive literature search is a valuable entity. Perhaps this book's greatest contribution will be in its ability to stimulate research into identification of phytochemicals in a plant's smoke responsible for its ethnobotanical uses." -- Robert J. Krueger, Ferris St. University, Economic Botany


About the Author


Marcello Pennacchio is an ethnobotanist with more than twelve years of experience in research and teaching in this area. He has published many peer-reviewed journal articles on traditional Australian Aboriginal uses for plants, with special emphasis on those considered useful for treating heart-related diseases. His current research interests include plants that can be smoked for medicinal and other purposes.
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.

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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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gross on January 13, 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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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roland on January 8, 2013
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.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Mead on October 24, 2011
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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