Peyote: The Divine Cactus

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University of Arizona Press, 1996 - History - 272 pages
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Dry whiskey, Divine herb, DevilŐs root, Medicine of God, Peyote: for some people, to use it is to hear colors and see sounds. For many Native Americans, it brings an ability to reach out of their physical lives, to communicate with the spirits, and to become complete. For chemists, pharmacologists, and psychiatrists, the plant is fascinating in its complexity and in the ways its chemicals work upon the human mind.What is it in peyote that causes such unusual effects? Can modern medical science learn anything from Native AmericansŐ use of peyote in curing a wide variety of ailments? What is the Native American Church, and how do its members use peyote? Does anyone have the legal right to use drugs or controlled substances in religious ceremonies?Within this volume are answers to these and dozens of other questions surrounding the controversial and remarkable cactus. Greatly expanded and brought up-to-date from the 1980 edition, these pages describe peyote ceremonies and the usersŐ experiences, and also cover the many scientific and legal aspects of using the plant. Well written, informative, comprehensive, and enlightening, the book will be welcomed by counselors, anthropologists, historians, physicians, chemists, lawyers, and observers of the contemporary drug scene, as well as by interested general readers.

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About the author (1996)

Now Senior Research Botanist at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Edward F. Anderson was on the faculty of Whitman College for thirty years.

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