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I found this book in my Junior High School library at age 14 in 1984 and permanently checked it out. Since then I have choked down and puked up everything in it, thus began the journey. I read this in its entirety before ever smoking a joint or cigarette. However I will advise it is a lot of bullshit. With some good stuff as well. Have fun trying to catch a buzz from a can of nutmeg!
Not a reliable source on the psychopharmacology of plants! The author fails to provide attribution anywhere in the text of the writing; rather, he lists “primary sources” at the end of the book, making it nearly impossible to follow the author’s path of research. Without proper citation, there is no way for the reader to understand and evaluate the bases of Emboden’s assertions. Narcotic Plants is therefore not recommended as an academic reference.
Despite its shortcomings, Emboden’s Narcotic Plants is still often referenced today. Published over thirty years ago (first in 1972, and then again in 1979), it was one of the first compilations of psychoactive plants. Emboden does provide an interesting read on common stimulants, including coffee, nutmeg, tobacco, Kava Kava, and cacao, as well as on some lesser-known plants, such as Lion’s Tail, Coanenepilli, Wild Lettuce, and Bay Bean. The author traces each plant’s historical origins to its modern uses, describing the botanical characteristics, and the active chemical properties.
L. van der Does, Ph.D.