Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Healing Forest: Medicinal and Toxic Plants of Northwest Amazonia.
Schultes, Richard Evans, and Raffauf, Robert F. (1990).
Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press.
484 pages. Historical, Ethno- & Economic Botany Series, Vol.
Contents: Foreword by
H. R. H. Philip, preface, acknowledgments,
abbreviations and conventions, medicinal and toxic plants of the
Indians of northwest Amazonia, general bibliography, symptom,
disease and treatment index, index to genera.
Note: The authors include
and describe 1,479 species and variants, representing 596 genera
in 145 plant families. Each description contains references. Readers
of this bibliography will be especially interested in the following
topics in the Symptom,
Disease, and Treatment Index: additives, analgesics, hallucinogens,
hypnotics, intoxicants, magic practices, mythology,
sedatives, snuffs, somnifacients, stimulants, superstitions, tobacco,
Excerpt(s): Our purpose
in assembling these notes on the medicinal and toxic plants used
by the peoples of the northwest Amazon is twofold: first, to emphasize
the importance of what has come to be known as ethnobotanical
conservation; second, to call attention to the distinct possibility
that from some of these plants might come new chemical compounds
of eventual value to modern medicine and industry. Yet in attempting
to fulfill our purpose, we acknowledge at the outset that the
1516 species considered in this work represent but a part of the
ethnopharmacological wealth of the aboriginal peoples of the region.
Knowledge of this bioactivity has been accumulated
by experimentation over centuries by people living in intimate
association with their environment and wholly dependent upon their
ambient flora and fauna for the necessities and ameliorants of
life. As a result, almost every primitive society has its own
rich vegetal pharmacopoeia. Civilization as we define it is rapidly
encroaching on these societies in many parts of the world as a
result of road building, wars, air travel, commercial activities,
increased missionary efforts, and even tourism. With this encroachment,
aboriginal societies are rapidly disintegrating; one of the first
casualties is native lore, particularly the knowledge of biodynamic
plants. This wealth of enthopharmacological information disappears
often faster in many areas than the extinction of plant species
which rampant deforestation invariably entails. (Preface, page
conservation. Perhaps the way advanced technological societies
are least sensitive (still imperiously colonial, in fact) is our
haughty indifference to the psychological and psychophysiological
knowledge which resides in less technologically advanced societies
and our systematic destruction of this knowledge. The destruction
of indigenous knowledge about mindbody states and the psychotechnologies
for achieving these states is no less than the destruction of
healing plants and indigenous knowledge about them. (Schultes
& Raffauf, 1990)
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