Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs : Medicinal Herbs for Treating Psychological and Neurological Problems book cover
1st Edition

Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs
Medicinal Herbs for Treating Psychological and Neurological Problems

ISBN 9780789018588
Published February 25, 2005 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

Find out how plant-derived drugs react with your brain to produce either healing or harmful results!

The Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs will give you a better understanding of herbal products that have psychological effects. The book explores how they work, how effective they are, and what is known about their safety. Geared towards non-specialist professionals and curious individuals, this guide shows how herbal preparations can affect the brain, mental state, and behavior of a user and includes treatment methods, tables, illustrations, a glossary, and a bibliography.

The Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs contains chapters on several types of psychoactive herbs, including:

  • stimulants
  • cognition-enhancers
  • sedatives
  • painkillers
  • hallucinogens
With the Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs, you’ll examine the effects of psychoactive drugs on the nervous system—both positive and negative. Each chapter discusses a type of herbal medicine, its action on the brain and other systems of the body, side effects, and the potential for addiction. The book closely examines possible drug interactions with prescription medications and emphasizes the caution you need to take when using herbal health products.

In the Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs you will learn about the psychoactive actions of such medicinal plants as:
  • coffee
  • tobacco
  • cannabis
  • ginseng
  • chamomile
  • cocoa
  • opium poppy
  • peyote
  • gingko biloba

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Plants As Medicines
  • The Use of Herbal Medicines
  • Why Do Plants Make Drugs?
  • How Humans Came to Use Herbal Medicines
  • The Science of Herbal Medicines
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2. How the Brain Works
  • Mind, Brain, and Behavior
  • Communication in and Between Neurons
  • Structure of the Nervous System
  • Chapter 3. How Drugs Work
  • How the Body Affects Drugs
  • How Drugs Affect the Body
  • Relationships Between Drug Doses and Effects
  • Chapter 4. Stimulant Herbs
  • Pharmaceutical Stimulants
  • Caffeine Stimulants
  • Tobacco and Tobacco-Like Stimulants
  • Amphetamine-Like Stimulants
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Cognition-Enhancing Herbs
  • Discussion and Treatment of Dementia
  • Ginkgo
  • Ginseng
  • Tobacco
  • Solanaceous Vegetables: Tomato, Potato, and Eggplant
  • Discussion and Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Fava Beans
  • Summary
  • Chapter 6. Sedative and Anti-Anxiety Herbs
  • The Problem of Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • The Structure of Sleep
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Valerian
  • Kava
  • Passionflower
  • Chamomile
  • Other Reputed Sedative Herbs
  • Summary
  • Chapter 7. Herbs for Mental Illnesses
  • The Era of Psychotherapeutic Drugs
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo
  • Schizophrenia and Psychosis
  • Chapter 8. Herbal Painkillers
  • What Is Pain?
  • The Pain Systems
  • The Analgesia System
  • Herbal Analgesics
  • Opium Poppy
  • Myrrh
  • Willow
  • Meadowsweet
  • Feverfew
  • Ginger
  • Chili Peppers
  • Stimulant Analgesics
  • Local Anesthetic Herbs
  • Chapter 9. Herbal Hallucinogens
  • What to Call Them?
  • The Historical Uses of Hallucinogenic Plants
  • LSD-Like Hallucinogens
  • Collective Issues with LSD-Like Hallucinogens
  • The Nightshade Hallucinogens
  • Fly Agaric
  • Chapter 10. Cannabis
  • History
  • Cannabis and the Human Body
  • Cannabis Addiction
  • Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis
  • Summary
  • Chapter 11. Use, Abuse, and Addiction
  • Definitions
  • Evolutionary Basis for Drug Abuse
  • Psychological Perspective
  • Addiction in the Brain
  • Are Addictions Limited to Drugs?
  • Treatment
  • Treatment Methods
  • Prevention
  • Conclusions
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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