By Peter Lee

an in depth examine of the background and utilization of opium

• Explores using opium as an incredible therapeutic herb and a favored relaxant

• info the opium practices adhered to within the chinese language tradition

• contains info at the suppression of opium through the fashionable pharmaceutical industry

Opium. The very sound of the observe conjures photographs of mystery rooms in unique lands, the place languid people who smoke living room dreamily in a blue haze of aromatic poppy smoke, breathing in from lengthy bamboo pipes held over the ruby flame of the jade lamp. but this day little or no actual info is accessible relating to a substance that for three hundred years was once critical to the lives of thousands of individuals during the world.

In Opium Culture Peter Lee provides a desirable narrative that covers each point of the paintings and craft of opium use. beginning with a concise account of opium’s lengthy and colourful heritage and the tale of ways it got here to be smoked for excitement in China, Lee deals certain descriptions of the becoming and harvesting procedure; the unique stock of instruments and paraphernalia required to smoke opium because the chinese language did; its transition from a tremendous therapeutic herb to a narcotic that has been suppressed by means of the trendy pharmaceutical undefined; its connections to the I Ching, Taoism, and chinese language medication; and the paintings, tradition, philosophy, pharmacology, and psychology of this longstanding Asian customized. Highlighted all through with attention-grabbing fees from literary and inventive figures who have been opium people who smoke, akin to Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Herman Melville, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the textual content is studded with gemstones of lengthy forgotten opium arcana and dispels a few of the chronic myths approximately opium and its users.

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