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The Psychopharmacology of Herbal Medicine: Plant Drugs That Alter Mind, Brain, and Behavior
Virtually all cultures consume drugs from psychoactive plants. Caffeine, for example, is probably the most common stimulant in the world, and many modernmedicines, such as morphine and codeine, are derived from plant sources. In thesecases, scientific research has revealed the composition of the plants and how theyinteract with the nervous system. There are also many herbal medications withreputed therapeutic value that have not yet gained acceptance into mainstreammedicine, partly because there has not been enough research to support theirusefulness. Instead they are regarded as "alternative medicines." This is an activeresearch area, however, and many current studies are focusing on identifying theactive components, pharmacological properties, physiological effects, and clinicalefficacy of herbal medicines. This book compiles and integrates the most up-to-dateinformation on the major psychoactive herbal medicines -- that is, herbal medicinesthat alter mind, brain, and behavior. It focuses particularly on the effects onvarious areas of cognition, including attention, learning, and memory. The bookcovers all major classes of psychoactive drugs, including stimulants, cognitiveenhancers, sedatives and anxiolytics, psychotherapeutic herbs, analgesics andanesthetic plants, hallucinogens, and cannabis.