Louis Lewin 18501929

emphasis about thirty psychoactive plants, and he mentioned a number of others in passing. Pointing out that von B bra's pioneering book was dated, that chemical and botanical research on these curiously active plants had scarcely begun in 1855, he optimistically maintained that by 1911, such studies were either well under way or had already been completed.

Thirteen years later, in 1924, perhaps the most influential figure in psychopharmacology, Louis Lewin, published his Pbantastica, a book of extraordinary interdisciplinary depth. It presented a total story of some twenty-eight plants and a few synthetic compounds that are used around the world for their stimulating or inebriating effects, emphasizing their importance to scientific research, especially in the fields of botany, eth-nobotany, chemistry, pharmacology, medicine, psychology, and psychiatry, as well as to ethnology, history, and sociology. Lewin wrote that "the contents of this book v ill provide a starting point from which original research in the above-mentioned departments of science maybe pursued."

From the 1930s to today, interdisciplinary activity in psychopharmacology, botany, and anthropology began uninterruptedly to increase Many amplifications and clarifications of older knowledge have been made and new discoveries in sundry fields have followed one another in close succession. In spite of the pharmaceutical, phytochemical, and ethnobotanical advances that have been made in the past 150 years, there still remains a tremendous amount of work to be done on these "plants of the gods."

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