Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke: Its Ethnobotany as Hallucinogen, Perfume, Incense, and Medicine

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Oxford University Press, Jul 23, 2010 - Science - 264 pages
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Plants provide the food, shelter, medicines, and biomass that underlie sustainable life. One of the earliest and often overlooked uses of plants is the production of smoke, dating to the time of early hominid species. Plant-derived smoke has had an enormous socio-economic impact throughout human history, being burned for medicinal and recreational purposes, magico-religious ceremonies, pest control, food preservation, and flavoring, perfumes, and incense. This illustrated global compendium documents and describes approximately 2,000 global uses for over 1,400 plant species. The Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke is accessibly written and provides a wealth of information on human uses for smoke. Divided into nine main categories of use, the compendium lists plant-derived smoke's medicinal, historical, ceremonial, ritual and recreational uses. Plant use in the production of incense and to preserve and flavor foods and beverages is also included. Each entry includes full binomial names and family, an identification of the person who named the plant, as well as numerous references to other scholarly texts. Of particular interest will be plants such as Tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum), Boswellia spp (frankincense), and Datura stramonium (smoked as a treatment for asthma all over the world), all of which are described in great detail.

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List of Plants
Species Index
Subject index

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About the author (2010)

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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