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HERBAL REMEDIES The culmination of more than 30 years of cultural, anthropological, and scientific research, this encyclo-pedia examines the botany, pharmacology, history, preparation, dosage, and practical use of more than 500 erotically stimulating substances from antiquity to the present day. Around the globe, there are countless numbers of plants...
HERBAL REMEDIES The culmination of more than 30 years of cultural, anthropological, and scientific research, this encyclo-pedia examines the botany, pharmacology, history, preparation, dosage, and practical use of more than 500 erotically stimulating substances from antiquity to the present day. Around the globe, there are countless numbers of plants and substances said to stimulate and enhance love, lust, and passion or to intensify it to the level of mystical experience. The word for these “agents of pleasure”--aphrodisiacs--refers to the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Through detailed monographs on each aphrodisiac, the authors explain the beliefs behind culturally specific aphrodisiacs and reveal the ayurvedic, tantric, shamanic, and European folklore practices and recent pharmacological research associated with them. They provide examples of individual, medicinal, and ritual use through historic and contemporary artwork, personal accounts, and literature. The authors look at the revolving cycle of acceptance and condemnation of aphrodisiacs throughout history--from the Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) by Ovid (43 B.C.E-18 C.E.) and Vatsyana’s Kama Sutra (4th century C.E.) to the 15th-century treatise on love Al-Rawd Al-Atir by Sheik Nefzaui, the classic that was translated into English by Sir Richard Burton as The Perfumed Garden in 1886, to the contemporary Aphrodisiaca, one of the first attempts to classify aphrodisiacs using a pharmaceutical/chemical standard, published in Berlin in 1930 and destroyed by the Nazis when they took power. The authors also present the important role played by mind and setting and explain in depth the different ways aphrodisiacs stimulate desire and erotic experience: either physically, through the senses and vital organs, or mentally, through heightened awareness and altered consciousness. From plants and animals that enhance fertility and virility, such as asparagus, snails, or oysters, to substances that induce arousal, such as ephedra, opium, or cannabis, to erotic objects, such as bones, gems, or conch shells, the encyclopedia is richly illustrated with more than 800 color photographs--many of which come from the authors’ extensive fieldwork around the world. This comprehensive guide reveals aphrodisiacs as holy remedies whose proper use can help reestablish harmony with oneself, one’s partner, and the universe. CHRISTIAN RÄTSCH, Ph.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who special-izes in the shamanic uses of plants for spiritual as well as medicinal purposes. He studied Mesoamerican languages and cultures and anthropology at the University of Hamburg, receiving his doctorate with a thesis on healing spells and incantations of the Lacandon-Maya people after three years of fieldwork among the Lacandon in Chiapas, Mexico. In addition to his work in Mexico, his numerous fieldworks have included research in Thailand, Bali, the Seychelles, and, with coauthor Claudia Müller-Ebeling, a long-term 18-year study on shamanism in Nepal combined with expeditions to Korea and the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon. Before becoming a full-time author and inter-nationally renowned lecturer, Rätsch worked as professor of anthropology at the University of Bremen and served as consultant advisor for many German museums. Because of his extensive collection of shells, fossils, artifacts and entheopharmacological items, he has had numerous museum expositions on these topics. A former president of the Association of Ethnomedicine, he is the author of numerous articles and more than 40 books, including The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants and Marijuana Medicine, and is a coauthor of Plants of the Gods. CLAUDIA MÜLLER-EBELING, Ph.D., is an art historian and anthropologist and coauthor, with Christian Rätsch, of Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, Witchcraft Medicine, and Pagan Christmas as well as a number of articles and books in German. In addition to her long-term anthropological fieldwork in Nepal, Korea, and the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon, she has worked as an art historian at the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts and taught at the Hamburg Institute of Ethnology. She is one of the founders of Psycho Activity, an organization based in Amsterdam that seeks to preserve ancestral shamanic traditions by working with elders from around the world and distributing their wisdom globally. Both authors are former members of the board of advisors of the European College for the Study of Consciousness and regularly give lectures throughout the world on shamanism, ethnobotany, and indigenous spiritual and healing traditions. The authors live in Hamburg, Germany.
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