Phantastica: A Classic Survey on the Use and Abuse of Mind-Altering Plants by Louis Lewin, M.D. / ISBN 9780892817832 / 288-page paperback from Park Street Press
Long out of print, this is a landmark study on narcotic and psychedelic substances by a world-renowned pharmacologist and toxicologist
• The first book to bring non-judgmental scientific insights to the use of drugs around the world
• Provides detailed information on all major drugs of the time, including opium, cocaine, heroin, cannabis, peyote, fly agaric, henbane, datura, alcohol, kava, betel, coffee, tea, cocoa, and tobacco
• A book credited with starting an era of ethnobotany that continues to the present day
The publication of Louis Lewin's Phantastica in 1924 began an era of ethnobotany that is still flourishing 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 astonishing variety of knowledge, reflected in this book, which provides detailed information on all major drugs of the time, including opium, cocaine, heroin, cannabis, peyote, fly agaric, henbane, datura, alcohol, kava, betel, 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 work is once again available.