Mind Books -
Rich collection of 36 new essays by masters in the study of
people and their plants, edited by father of the field. Sections on
anthropology, medicine, psychology, religion, and other elements.
Ethnopharmacology section with papers on hallucinogens and more by
Albert Hofmann, Bo Holmstedt, Dennis McKenna, Gordon Wasson, and
others. Scientific name index.
Ethnobotany has undergone a true evolution in the 20th century.
Although plants have always been important to people, and the study
of the knowledge and use of plants must go back to the beginnings of
human existence, only in our century has ethnobotany evolved as a
distinct branch of the natural sciences. Aristotle's research with
plants early on elevated this field to formal study, but it was not
until 1895 that the term ethnobotany was coined.
Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline is a seminal volume,
published on the 100th anniversary of this fascinating science,
celebrating its recent evolution and providing a comprehensive
summary of the history and current state of the field. It brings a
broad and fully interdisciplinary approach to the study of human
evaluation and use of plant materials in primitive or unlettered
societies. The contributors of the thirty-six articles represent a
broad spectrum of academic and scientific skill, as well as an
international perspective. The editors are world-renowned
ethnobotanists, and the range of carefully selected articles (most
of them written specifically for this book) presents a truly global
perspective on the theory and practice of today's ethnobotany.
Although rooted in antiquity, ethnobotany is a dynamic contemporary
science with tremendous importance for the future. The diminishing
rain forests may well hold unknown keys to conquering devastating
new diseases, and peoples native to those regions can often lead the
way with their herbal knowledge. Experimentation with
as-yet-unstudied plants may provide new solutions to expand food and
energy reserves for our overpopulated planet.
This volume offers important new material for those who work in
fields of science devoted to plants, people, or both -- including
anthropology, archaeology, botany, environmental conservation,
ethnopharmacology, geography, history, medicine, psychology,
religion, and sociology. It is fascinating information for the
general lay reader as well. Considering the impact of plant use
throughout history in the human social structures of economics,
politics, religion, and science, this is a book that contributes
immeasurably to our understanding of human history and the world