Plants of the Gods: Episode 6. Opium
Opium – Perhaps the most ancient of the “Plants of the Gods,” plant remains in Europe clearly indicate that opium was being used by people more than 10,000 years ago. And not only was opium the first effective painkiller, it was also employed as an inspiration by composers and poets. Only in the 19th century did it become widely realized as a highly addictive substance. Some have suggested that this “Plant of the God” might also be termed a “Plant of the Devil.” Sources: Balick, Michael J., and Paul Alan Cox. Plants, People, and Culture the Science of Ethnobotany. CRC Press, 2020. Booth, M. Opium: A History. MacMillan, 1999. Emboden, William A. Narcotic Plants. Collier Books, 1980. Grinspoon, Lester, and James B. Bakalar. Cocaine: a Drug and Its Social Evolution. Basic Books, 1985. Jay, Mike. High Society: the Central Role of Mind-Altering Drugs in History, Science, and Culture. Park Street Press, 2010. Levetin, E. and K McMahon. Plants and Society. McGraw-Hill, 2002 Majno, Guido. The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World. Harvard University Press, 1975. Mann, J. Chasms of Delight: How Mind-Expanding Drugs Helped to Change the World. Memoirs Books, 2012. Marks, Geoffrey, and William K. Beatty. The Medical Garden: Illustrated. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971. Muraresku, Brian. The Immortality Key: the Secret History of the Religion with No Name. St. Martin's Press, 2020. Simpson, Beryl Brintnall., and Molly Conner-Ogorzaly. Economic Botany: Plants in Our World. McGraw-Hill, 2001.