464 pages, 500 colour photos, b/w illustrations
Written by respected professors of botany and pharmaceutical biology, this is the definitive account of plants and mushrooms used for poison darts, traditional medicine, ceremonial and spiritual purposes, and recreational drugs. Hazardous plants are commonly used as garden ornamentals, potted plants, or florist flowers, yet many people are unaware of the dangers posed by the toxins derived from them.
In addition to exploring plants that are ingested, the authors also treat plants that cause irritation and inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes. A special focus is given to psychoactive plants, which can have stimulant, sedative, hypnotic, narcotic, or hallucinogenic properties. These include coca, opium, cannabis, and scopolamine. Mind-Altering and Poisonous Plants of the World is a must for gardeners, farmers, veterinarians, botanists, pharmacists, chemists, doctors, and poison control centers.
"Recommended to anyone who is interested in poisonous plants and their components. The extensive illustrations and cogent explanations make this book a good reference work for natural scientists, and a particularly good textbook for pharmaceutical professionals and students who are interested in toxicology."
- Organic-Chemistry.org 2009-04-01
"An intriguing (and inexpensive) book to browse, both for the usual suspects (cannabis) and unsuspected ones (grape)."
– R. Schmid, Choice 2009-07-01
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Michael Wink is a professor of pharmaceutical biology and a director of the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He is an authority on secondary metabolites of plants and their pharmacological effects.
Ben-Erik van Wyk is a professor of botany at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His scientific field of interest is in plant classification, ethnobotany, and useful plants.